Niteblade Contributor Interview with F. J. Bergmann

F. J. Bergmann is presently living and writing in Wisconsin.  To learn more about her and her work, visit her website at

F. J. Bergmann
When did you first recognize yourself as a poet?

Probably in high school. I wrote a few poems then, one of which was published in a national anthology, and a few in college. And then I quit writing for 20 years (busy doing other stuff).

What draws you to speculative poetry?

The same things that draw me to speculative literature, which I’ve been reading all my life: boredom and a need to escape.

Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

“Write from the heart.” With “Write what you know” coming a close second. I totally agree with Oscar Wilde, who said “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”

In the December 2010 issue of Niteblade, Rhonda chose to publish your poem, “The Book of Goodnight Stories.”  Is there a story behind how the poem came about?

Sure. I was at a poetry open mike in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble, sitting opposite the children’s books. Every sentence in that poem is one of those book titles. I like to use a lot of structural devices and appropriated material in my writing. Spam is especially useful.

What have you been working on lately?

I finished a chapbook of conflated-fairy-tale poems, Out of the Black Forest, due out from Centennial Press in 2011 or 2012, and a book of travel-related speculative poems, Travels in the Antipathies, which is under consideration with a UK press. I also have a collection of first-contact poems, originally chapbook-length, but becoming increasingly unwieldy. Recently I learned letterpress printing, and am hoping to start a press that will publish chapbooks by other sf authors.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

Writing notably different, unusual work within the context of a speculative publication is always more of a challenge than in mainstream literary magazines. I hope that my poetry will continue to explore the unexpected, with interesting and entertaining results.

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