Fall 2015 Redesign: An Interview with Poet, Jeff Alessandrelli

On July 15th, the BACKWORDS Press team gets the extreme pleasure of re-releasing the work of our Fall 2015 poets, Jeff Alessandrelli, Wes Solether, and W. Vandoren Wheeler—this time in collaboration with graphic designer, Maria Regine Cabbab.

In keeping with the continual expansion of our own artistic vision for the press, working with Maria on our Fall 2015 Issue seemed the perfect partnership for us at Backwords. We’re delighted to share redesigns with you all; it’s our hope that they’ll compliment and carry these incredible poems out into the world with a presence more reflective of their own unique style and skill.

A little about Maria—who we are equally pleased to acquaint you with. Maria is a Hawaii transplant now living in Portland, OR. Drawing is her first love, but, according to her bio, she’s “in a long-term relationship with design.” Maria considers herself a thinker first and then a doer. “Basically I take my time to think things through,” she says, “but once I'm committed I'm all in. I love (to create) beautiful things with purpose.” Our team was deeply impressed with her professionalism, poise, and inventive sense of play. You can hit her up on Instagram at @mvregine, or visit her website to collaborate or commission some work with her.

Like we did with our Spring 2016 Issue writers earlier this year, today we bring you a short interview in honor of the Fall 2015 redesign—with poet, Jeff Alessandrelli. You can refresh your memory of Jeff’s bio on our Author Page. And don’t forget to visit our Shop on July 15th to get a tote or tee featuring the new design!

Read the interview for a preview of the redesign below:


BACKWORDS Press: How do you begin a poem?

Jeff Alessandrelli: If you’re curious about the longish version I actually wrote about that process over on The Kenyon Review blog. But mostly I type up a first draft of a poem sitting at my desk and then all subsequent ideas are derived while walking my dog, Beckett Long Snout.

BACKWORDS Press: How long have you been writing?

JA: I’ve been writing seriously since late 2005…really 2006. So 10 years, give or take. But I’ve been reading and thinking about writing since 4th grade, in Mrs. Tetzlaff’s class. Both her and my mother instilled a great love of reading in me at a young age, something for which I’ll be ever thankful.