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Lana Del Rey interview for Vogue

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00_story.gifDel Rey had dropped hints about Violet on her Instagram: There have been posts of her type-written poems, a tease of the book’s cover, and a description of the charity that proceeds from her book will benefit (The Navajo Water Project). She also reads her poems aloud in Violet's audiobook, which was released in July and received a musical treatment courtesy of her frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff. 

Days ahead of the release of Violet, Vogue caught up with the singer-songwriter. She gives us insight into her writing process, a preview of two poems, and she even wrote us a little something special. 

How did you land on the idea of releasing a book of your own poems?

I had never planned to put out a book of poetry. It was when I stopped working on music completely and stopped working in the other fields I was interested in and took a big break that long-form poems started to come to me in the middle of the day. I was kind of surprised because I had no intention of being creative during my break. 

You’ve spoken about writing poetry long before Violet was born—what are your poetry writing habits?

Again my writing was somewhat accidental and as the year has gone on since I’ve finished the book, I’ve found that I’m getting better and better. The poems still come to me somewhat out of nowhere and mostly when everything in my life is calm. I never really sit down to write, but I’m often struck by something as I’m driving or walking.

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Your lyrics are lush with literary influences, Whitman in particular, but are there any unlikely sources of inspiration you pull from?

… I don’t read much formal poetry anymore, although I had a long time where I did. I think a very heavy influence are the stories behind the writers I love rather than the works themselves. … Such as the life and death of F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck.

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How are Violet and Chemtrails meant to interact? Are there echoes between them?

I’m really not sure yet. Sometimes I see similarities in things I do at the same time in hindsight. I would say the connecting factors are probably trying to maintain my position in the center of my family and moving that unit around the country safely between the midwest to the south and back to California and in doing so staying connected with our dear friends. Sometimes there is a burden of being more recognized than others and a concern of safety on top of my younger self not having felt safe all of the time. So there is a bit of wistfulness but determination to figure things out in both the album and book.

Can you tell us about the cover art for the book?

Symbolically of course, I love the aliveness and juiciness and vibrance that an orange or a tangerine suggests. I’ve used them as motifs many times.

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Read more: https://www.vogue.com/article/lana-del-rey-poetry-violet-bent-over-the-grass

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