An interview with Doris Ferleger

Greetings! As well as posting about poetry events, this space is a good way to catch up with past MCPLs to learn about their news and current projects. I’ll be making my way through our list of talented poets and please get in touch if there is something coming up that’s timely.

Cathy Cohen

It was a delight catching up with Doris Ferleger, Ph.D., Montgomery County Poet Laureate for 2009. Doris maintains a mindfulness-based therapy practice in Wyncote, Pa as well as a rich and productive poetry career. Four of her books of poetry have been published, three full-length volumes, Big Silences in a Year of Rain, As the Moon Has Breath, Leavened, and a chapbook, When You Become Snow.
Doris shared about her many current projects. Big news is that Doris’ fifth volume of poems was recently chosen as a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Press poetry prize and has moved forward to be judged by Marge Piercy, whose work Doris values. She recently participated in a project of the Philadelphia Calligraphers’ Society wherein visual artists and calligraphers created images based on writers’ poems, (a reverse process to ekphrastic poetry, she noted). This work is featured in PCS’s journal, Scripta, and will be on view at Ludington library in Bryn Mawr along with a poetry reading the evening of July 25.
Doris has finished her sixth book, Galloping Heart. She recently studied with David Wojahn through the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she received her MFA, a low residency program she highly recommends. This summer she will continue her studies there with Patricia Smith.
Asked about current themes and publications, Doris mentioned that two new poems will be coming out in Calyx. Her current work takes up themes of relationships, elegy and love poetry as well as ekphrastic poetry based on photographs taken by her partner.
When asked about the impact of her MCPL year, Doris emphasized how important the experience was, how generous and supportive Joanne Leva and the community were to her, newly widowed in the time.