In 2017, Lisa Richter published her first book of poetry called Closer to Where we Began. The earliest poem in this book was written more than twenty years prior to its publication. Although the poems were written throughout the past two decades, the manuscript itself came together in less than six months. The poems are all very personal. Richter takes her individuality a step further with the cover of the book, her biggest inspiration: one of her mother’s paintings.
The poems in Richter’s book come from a lot of her personal experiences. Some of them represent the different continents that she’s lived on spanning over two decades. Some of the poems come from writing prompts, workshops, and her journaling practice. A couple of the poems are resulting from collaboration with other poets. In addition, some of the poems are “random bursts of inspiration” from visual art (including but not limited to her mother’s artwork), other poems, personal life experiences, and places that she’s travelled.
Richter felt the need to assemble her work and put a book out into the world. Through some encouragement from a few of her friends, who are like her mentors, she began to compile her poetry. This year and a half-long process was like assembling “an album where you think about the songs that you’ve recorded and the songs that you’ve done” and think of how they fit together, how they related to one another, and how she could group them together in a logical way.