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An Interview with Rebecca Faulkner, author of Permit Me to Write My Own Ending

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Rebecca Faulkner is a London-born poet based in Brooklyn. The author of Permit Me to Write My Own Ending (Write Bloody Publishing, 2023), her work appears in New York Quarterly, The Maine Review, The Poetry Society of New York, CALYX Press, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She is a 2023 poetry recipient of the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for Women, the winner of Black Fox Literary Magazine’s 2023 Writing Contest, and the 2022 winner of Sand Hills Literary Magazine’s National Poetry Contest. Rebecca was a 2021 Poetry Fellow at the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. She holds a BA in English Literature & Theatre Studies from the University of Leeds, an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, and a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently at work on her second collection of poetry, exploring female identity and artistic endeavor.

You can buy Permit Me to Write My Own Ending here or learn more at!

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I have written poetry since I was a teenager, and my earliest influences included Margaret Atwood, Joni Mitchell and Sylvia Plath. I studied English Literature & Theater Studies at Leeds University in England, where I was lucky enough to meet Pamela Crowe, an artist and writer who is a huge influence on me and my work.

My poetry draws on a wide range of art forms including music and cinema. I am really interested in the stories that narrative poems tell. I often think of my poems as doing the work of short story, shot on a Super-8 camera.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I have been a nonprofit arts educator for many years, in both London, where I am from, and New York, where I live. I was formerly the Deputy Director of the Anne Frank Center USA and currently work with On This Spot NYC, a feminist art history nonprofit telling the stories of women artists in New York.

My readers may not know that I have a Master’s in Performance Studies and wanted to be an actor for a long time. Or maybe they can tell, from the dramatic flair of my poetry readings!

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

“Permit Me to Write My Own Ending” is the title poem from my collection. It wasn’t the initial working title, but once I hit upon it, it made absolute sense. The poems in my book confront a landscape dominated by patriarchal notions of the female. The permissions sought by the title, and by all my poems, are rhetorical. The female speaker in the poem boldly and unapologetically writes her own ending.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

I helped to design my book cover using a photograph taken by a Brooklyn-based artist Laura Fontaine. I saw the image before I’d finished writing my book, and knew it was perfect for the cover. It’s a photograph she took of her daughter, swimming underwater in Italy. She looks a bit like me when I was her age, and I adore the stillness the image conjures. She might be drowning, she might just be writing her own ending. I was thrilled that my publisher, Write Bloody UK, loved the image and were happy to design the cover as a series of Polaroid photos, which was part of my concept.

It was amazing to see the mock-up of the cover for the first time, and even more incredible to unbox the books when they arrived. Such a mixture of emotions—pride, excitement, and exhilaration.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

My book does in fact have a soundtrack! I made a Spotify playlist for my collection, as the poems are so infused with the music I was listening to when I wrote it, and the music of my adolescence. Some of the songs include “Cities in Dust” by Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Seventeen” by Sharon Van Etten, and “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am currently working on a new collection of poetry, Daughters of the Minotaur, which is inspired by the life and work of five mid-century women artists.

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