Q & A with Poet Cait Zaugg

We recently connected with an inspiring young woman. A 23 year old writer from Long Island, New York, Caitlin Zaugg. We had the opportunity to pick her brain following the release of her new book "What I Could Have Been."

》You have such a natural talent, when did you first realize you were a writer, is this a gift you’ve always had or was it brought out later in life?

Thank you so much! I’ve always been better at

expressing myself on paper than I have orally.

I like to plan things out before I say them.

I was diagnosed with cancer when I was sixteen (6 years cancer-free!)

and I started to journal as a way to

remember events and to cope with the trauma.

I didn’t seriously start writing poetry until about two years ago.

I’ve battled depression and anxiety for a long time

and having an outlet to release those feelings

has been a blessing.

All of that sounds like a total buzzkill but it’s been amazing!

》Who or what inspires your writing most?

People! Any and everyone I interact with inspires me.

I write poems about people I meet on the street, in coffee shops, etc.

That’s kind of a new thing.

I’ve spent so long writing about

ex boyfriends and breakups and trauma,

I needed to be inspired by something a little more uplifting.

I like to imagine what life is like for strangers on the street

and bring them to life in my poems,

even if I miss the mark completely.

》What best helps you work out your writers block?

I’ve started to believe in letting writer’s block run its course.

If I don’t feel inspired, I won’t write.

I can’t tell you how many poems or blog posts I’ve typed out and hated.

Everything I write has to have that feeling of wholeness when I put that last period in.

Like I can take a deep breath and feel better than when I started.

If it doesn’t, I know it’s time for a break and I allow myself to take one.

I don’t know how much that method would fly if this was my day job.

》Who is/are your favorite poet(s)?

I’m obsessed with most poets who have been published by Button Poetry.

You know those spoken word poetry videos circulating around Facebook?

I’m currently living for Rudy Francisco and Neil Hilborn.

But classics? Pablo Neruda brings me to tears every time.

》What writer, dead or alive, would you love to sit down for a conversation with?

That’s so hard!!!


Pablo Neruda.


That’s between Joan Didion and Roxanne Gay.

》I noticed a lot of your poems are typewritten, so cool, what kind of typewriter do you use?

I actually use an app called HanxWriter on my phone

and then I print out the document and take pictures of the page.

I highly recommend it for those who are like me

and have got some credit card debt to pay off

before they can afford a real one!

》Any future books on the horizon?! (We hope so!!)

I hope so!

I would love to get picked up by a real-deal publishing house but for now,

I’m just enjoying having a collection of my own to hold.

You can read some of Cait's work below!

Cait Zaugg is a bilingual advocate for the special needs population,

who puts way too much creamer in her coffee.

She currently resides on Long Island with her cat, Jackson.

Her first book, What I Could Have Been, is available for purchase here.

You can find her work on her website.

and on social media:

Instagram: @caitzaugg

Twitter: @caitlinzaugg


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