Flushing poet takes reins of international magazine

By Scott Sieber

In other words, according to the newly-named editor of MOBIUS: the Poetry Magazine, Juanita Torrence-Thompson, you need to be organized: a word that makes writers everywhere shrink away in fear.”I am,” she proclaimed one recent afternoon in a phone interview from her Flushing apartment. “I'm very organized. Every day I get up and write a list of things to do for the day. It's something I picked up from my mother.”While conceding that the creative brain of a poet can often thrive on chaos, she said her recent appointment as editor to the national magazine came from years of nurturing both the creative and conservative sides of her brain.”I don't say I'll write between this time and that time. I write when I feel like it, and if I don't write when it comes to me then I lost it,” she said. “It's a case of balancing things. I got a time frame to get things done for the year. So we'll go by that.”Born in Massachusetts, Thompson said her experiences in the diverse area of Flushing are partly responsible for her appointment to her current position.She recently published a poetry CD, “Poetry Among the Flowers: Queens Meets Asia,” based on a series of interviews with members of the local Asian community.”I interviewed them and got so inspired, I wrote 65 poems in eight weeks,” she said. “I would interview them and write them the same day.”She describes her style of poetry as “accessible. Some of it has layers, some doesn't. I want the average person in the audience to understand what I'm talking about.”Thompson took control of the 24-year-old magazine after she submitted some of her poems to it last year. The editor was leaving the Delaware-based magazine and liked Thompson's work so much, she offered Thompson the position.”I have my own editorial staff now,” she said with a chuckle. “We just moved it to New York. It's very exciting.” Mobius is a once a year publication that will include several tentative new categories under Thompson's control, including science/nature, family, emotions, spirituality, conflict/disagreements, love, war, escapades, travel and world culture.She said she expects to publish about 80 pages of poetry from poets all over the world.The first issue published from Flushing will come out in September.Reach reporter Scott Sieber by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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