Meet the Blogger: A Self-Interview with Amanda Silberling

Amanda Silberling is a rising freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, originally from South Florida. She has been recognized by The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, and The President’s Committee on the Arts & Humanities. Recently, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Louisville Review, SOFTBLOW, The Fat City Review, and more. She is the Director of Social Media Relations for The Adroit Journal, and also works for BOAAT Press and Dzanc Books.

In addition to her poetry, Amanda Silberling is a freelance journalist. She has published concert reviews, interviews with Billboard-chart-toppers, and opinion editorials in various local and national newspapers. Her coverage of the inaugural Tortuga Music Festival appeared in The Los Angeles Times. She has blogged for PANK, as well as The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom’s Young Poets Network. Find her on Twitter at @asilbwrites.


Who the [expletive] are you? Tell us some fun facts.

Hi, Adroit readers! Well, I have a convenient little bio up above, but let’s get to know the real me.

Fun facts:
1. I have seen the live debut of three Radiohead songs. Impressive, I know.
2. I know more about Gossip Girl than I’d care to admit.
3. My poetry was blessed by a Vietnamese Buddhist Monk once.

So, why the self-interview? Can’t Adroit get Letterman or something?

I didn’t choose the non-profit small press life. The non-profit small press life chose me.

I’m emotionally attached to Bindu’s blogging, and I’m not sure why you’re here all of the sudden. What exactly is changing in the Adroit blogosphere?

We’re major Bindu fans as well, but don’t worry—she’s here more prominently than ever. It’s just that now, so am I!

Here at Adroit, we want to engage more with our community—that’s our staff, our contributors, and most importantly, you! Yes, you. The reader. We want Adroit to be a household name. We want you to bring us home to mom. Prom-pose to us.

That’s where I come in. The journal is published quarterly, but this state-of-the-art, top-notch blog will be updated multiple times a week. As you surely know, the journal has special commitments towards young writers and human rights, and for starters, I want to use this blog to expand those commitments. We will publish monthly features exploring the intersection between human rights and art, as well as an advice column for young writers seeking guidance from Yours Truly (That’s a bit of a frightening thought, but no matter). Every week, we will interview either an Adroit staff member or a current issue contributor, and during the Summer Mentee Program, we will run interviews with the mentees as well. And of course, we’re continuing past blog features, like “We Ask Our Parents About Poetry,” and any other relevant content that Bindu and I feel the need to write. We have many more interesting features planned (example: think xoJane meets poetry), but that will stay a secret for now—you’ll just have to wait to see what comes next!

Wait, an advice column? Didn’t you just publish a piece in PANK about how stressful writing can be for teenagers? Why should I trust your advice if you were a victim to the pressure?

First off, thanks for the plug, self! So unexpected and kind.

You should trust my advice because I am beyond familiar with all the woes of being a young writer with enough ambition to fuel a cross-country road trip, and I’m here to tell the tale. I lived the disease, and I found the cure. More importantly, I want to help. We want to help. Again, we want to provide a safe place where you don’t have to be afraid to ask questions, learn, and grow. And plus—if I can’t give a thoughtful, helpful answer, there’s someone on our staff of seventy students in high school, college, and/or graduate school who can.

Fair enough. You seem pretty cool, except for that Gossip Girl mention earlier. Now that you bring it up, I could use some advice. How do I ask you a question?

This opportunity for advice is effective in 3…2…1. Send us any questions you may have: Why don’t I feel happy with my writing? What are some techniques that can help me grow? How do I demystify the literary world? Nothing is off limits, and you can be anonymous if you’d like.

Email me:

What is your favorite piece that Adroit has ever published?

I love, love, love “Epithalamium” by Shelley Wong, which was in the latest issue of Adroit. Claudia Cortese’s poems from Issue Six are also unbelievable.

What is your favorite piece that Adroit has ever rejected?

A poem about goats eating invasive plants in the Wissahickon, written to the tune of “Beez in the Trap” by Nicky Minaj (“We goatz in the creek/Go-goatz in the creek”). I wasn’t on staff at the time of the submission, but If I were… If I were…

Who is your favorite Adroit staff member?

I love them all. Everyone is great—how could I pick a favorite? (Caleb Kaiser)

Onto non-Adroit­-related favorites: Go.

Band: Tie between Radiohead and Arctic Monkeys.
Novel: Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami.
Poetry Collection: Slow Lightning, Eduardo C. Corral.
Living Beatle: Not Ringo.
Footwear: Juju Jellies (no shame).
Misspelling of AdroitThe Android Journal: featuring Star Trek fan fiction.
Starbucks Order: Venti Iced Coffee, Soy Milk, 2 Shots Raspberry and White Mocha, Light Ice. I dare you to try it.

Have you ever exploited your parents on the internet for comedic value?

Not over Shel Silverstein’s dead body.

Did you steal the self-interview idea from one of your favorite writers?

Not at all.

This was nice—I think I know you pretty well now, and I’m really excited for the Adroit blog 2.0! I just have one last question, though. I’m kind of curious about the creation of Adroit.

I wasn’t here in 2010, but sure! Fire away, self.

Is it true that the journal’s founder Peter LaBerge is actually an android, and he chose the name Adroit as a sly homage to his true identity?

The truth had to come out one day, it seems.

Amanda Silberling

Amanda Silberling is a student at the University of Pennsylvania from South Florida. Her poems, essays, and reviews appear in Crab Orchard Review, PANK, The Los Angeles Times, and The Rumpus, among others. She currently serves as the Blog Editor for The Adroit Journal and a writer/photographer for Rock On Philly. Find her on Twitter at @asilbwrites.

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