an interview with April Halprin Wayland . . .

Filling the Creative Well

April Halprin Wayland is the award-winning author of seven books. Two of my favorites: Girl Coming in for a Landing, an early novel in poems, and To Rabbittown (of course; I read everything with rabbits). Her most recent book, More than Enough: A Passover Story, has received many accolades, and is illustrated by Katie Kath.

April’s bazillions of fabulous poems have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including most of the Poetry Friday anthologies edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. And a poem appears in One Minute Till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep, compiled by former Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt. More of April’s work can be found on Poetry Minute. April teaches at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has visited more than 400 schools around the world. She blogs over at Teaching Authors.

CG: Describe your earliest memories of yourself creating something.

 AHW: In second grade I wrote and illustrated two book(lets): Hair through the Ages and The History of Clothes. Both were my way explaining the styles of the 1960s. In Clothes the clothing became skimpier and shorter until the last page when everyone was naked.

 CG:  What does your workspace look like? How does it reflect and enhance your creativity?
AWH: I stand on a Bosu ball, which is a large exercise ball that’s sliced in half. It sits solidly on it’s sliced side and I bounce (if I want to) while I’m downloading a file or thinking. It feels child-like and fun. My desk is my grandma’s desk, which I love. On top of that is Great Aunt Ida’s coffee table which I also love. The walls of my office are pink, which make me feel joyous, and I have some beloved toys from my childhood around the office. And a vase filled with flowers! All of this makes me feel great. I try to keep the top of the coffee table clear of papers to keep my buzzing brain clearer (this photo of me at my desk was taken by Jone MacCulloch).
CG: Is there a book, song, or work of art that you return to again and again to refill the creative well?

AWH: Since the November 2016 election, I have been playing the opening song of the movie La La Land each morning before I allow myself to listen to the news. It helps…with my creativity and my energy in general.

CG: Do you have a go-to activity that rejuvenates your creative spirit when you are feeling the well dry up?

AHW: I hike with my dog, Eli. It’s absolutely the best thing for my spirits—creative or otherwise (if friends are available to hike with us, so much the better!).
CG: Where can people can find you?


  Thank you, April!