In the Mix: Trish Hopkinson

In the Mix: Trish Hopkinson

Trish Hopkinson has always loved words—in fact, her mother tells everyone she was born with a pen in her hand. She has been published in several anthologies and journals, including The Found Poetry Review, Chagrin River Review and Reconnaissance Magazine. She is a project manager by profession and resides in Utah with her handsome husband and their two outstanding children. You can follow her poetry adventures at or on her Facebook page:

Her poem “Broken Hearts Buried Here” appears in the Lá Bloom special issue of The Found Poetry Review

How would you define found poetry in your own words?

Found poetry is a palimpsest, a more direct approach to re-writing—everything we write is heavily influenced by all that has previously been written. Words upon words upon words have created what we currently consider the literary canon. Found poetry is just one layer, a thin decorated vellum, providing a new view into the original work.

Tell us about your poem that was published in FPR.

I wrote a poem for the Lá Bloom special issue, so it was based on a chapter from James Joyce’s Ulysses. The process was similar for me as other found poems I have written. Essentially, I start by carefully reading the original work, marking any phrases, words, or passages I may want to use, and then determining which form of found poetry will best suit the piece. Revision usually comes by way of finalizing line breaks, removing excess words and rearrangement depending on what form I’ve selected.

In what ways do you consider found poetry similar to what others might call “traditional” poetry? In what ways is it notably different?

Found poetry is similar to other poetry forms in that it reminds us of what we are and have been, what we’ve accomplished and destroyed, and all that is lost and remaining. Found poetry can isolate desire and longing, celebrate connections, and provide inspiration for new creations. Poetic language describes the unavoidable paradox of our existence, scatters boundaries, and fills in the grayness—the space between black and white. It speaks to all of us and for those who choose to write, provides the opportunity to renovate—express, resolve or unearth uncertainties. For me, poetry is necessity—the poems I read are the closest I can come to the lives of others and the poems I write, whether found or original, are byproducts of living.

Critics often accuse found poetry of being “unoriginal.” How do you define originality? What importance do you place on originality in your own work and in other art you consume?

I don’t believe any writing is original. Words are everywhere—everything we read, hear and learn influences how we express ourselves. Bob Dylan is an excellent example. His poetry and song lyrics are typically considered original works, but are chock full of references, phrases and ideas based on songs and writings he admires. The same critics who have trouble with found poetry likely believe Dylan to be a plagiarist, but he certainly has had no lack of success.

What are you working on right now, poetry or otherwise?

Lately, I’ve been consistently spending more time on submissions than on actual writing, but I tend to alternate between found poetry, erasures and original poems when I am writing. I’ve also been steadily working on posting and promoting my poetry web site where I share interesting writing tips, articles, calls for submissions (with no fees, of course) and other info to help promote writing and poetry in general.


  • […] My interview with Found Poetry Review was posted today! The Found Poetry Review was founded in 2011 and celebrates the poetry in the existing and the everyday. […]

  • November 10, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    A haiku composed of some words taken (and shuffled about) from ‘Mornings’ by Trish Hopkinson.


    Eyelids open, blink

    distant yellow lights flash on

    morning waking, jump.


  • November 12, 2014

    Lewis Oakwood

    Hi Trish, I enjoyed reading your poems. My favourites – Waning Morning Moon, Perched, Mouth Open to the Sky, Adventures of the Farmhouse on Route 6 and Mornings (a haiku series.)

    I look forward to reading any new pieces you may place over at Verse-Virtual.


    • November 12, 2014

      Trish Hopkinson

      Lewis, thank you for taking the time to peruse my site and read my poems! The gentleman who founded and runs Verse-Virtual is amazing. I would encourage you to submit some poems to him. I’ve quite enjoyed being part of his poetry community. Thanks again for the kind words and comments!

  • […] For more information on found poetry, check out my interview with the Found Poetry Review. […]