Creative Living with Jamie: Nicole Gulotta

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Creative Living with Jamie (episode 258): Interview with Nicole Gulotta

After a season’s hiatus, the Creative Living with Jamie podcast is back with enhanced foundations and a fresh new look. I hope you love it! And what a great way to return – an interview with author Nicole Gulotta, author of Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry. Nicole pens a blog by the same name, as well as one called The Nourished Writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and French Bulldog.

In this episode, Nicole and I chat about the magical connection between food and poetry, creative intuition and how to develop it, and what Nicole wishes someone had told her when she was starting out. Plus, we have a giveaway!!

Eat This Poem Giveaway

I have a copy of Eat this Poem to giveaway. Listen to the podcast to learn for how to enter.

FREE Excerpt

Go to the Eat This Poem website and sign up for Nicole’s newsletter for access to a free excerpt of her book.

Connect with Nicole Gulotta

Writing Site:
Twitter: @nicolegulotta
Facebook: @eatthispoem
Instagram: @nicolegulotta
Pinterest: @ngulotta 

Shine a Light ~ Spread the Magic

Whether this is the first episode that you’ve listened to or we’ve been hanging out for years, I am so glad that you’re here.  I love knowing that we’re hanging out in your studio, folding your laundry or that we’re hanging out while you’re walking your dog or going to work. Wherever you are and however you listen, I want you to know, I cherish you. And if you cherish this show, if it has been a blessing to your creative life, please spread the magic! Take a moment to leave a positive rating or review on iTunes. Share the podcast with your friends! You really can make a difference by shining a light on the show so that it can be found by other creative hearts just like you.

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When you sign up, you will get a 10% discount on all classes and access to abundant free resources such as Studio Forum recordings on topics such as Journaling, Creative Habits & Challenges! Plus you will receive a weekly email love letter and occasional announcements for courses and offerings.

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  1. cathym30 says:

    Hi Jamie – enjoyed the interview with Nicole. In 1986 when I was in the Faculty of Education one of my profs introduced me to this very simple little poem. I have shared it with many of my students over the years as a way to introduce poetry to them and inspire them to read poetry.

    Keep A Poem In Your Pocket
    By Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

    Keep a poem in your pocket
    And a picture in your head
    And you’ll never feel lonely
    At night when you’re in bed.

    The little poem will sing to you
    The little picture bring to you
    A dozen dreams to dance to you
    At night when you’re in bed.

    So – –
    Keep a poem in your pocket
    And a picture in your head
    And you’ll never feel lonely
    At night when you’re in bed.


  2. julskovac says:

    Jamie, thanks for this very inspirational podcast. One of my favorite poets is David Whyte. I bought his book “River Flow” a couple years ago. Even better is actually listening to him recite his own poetry.

    Here’s a link to a short video on YouTube where he talks about what is poetry –

    This Poem Belongs To You
    by David Whyte

    This poem belongs to you
    and is already finished,
    it was begun years ago
    and I put it away
    knowing it would come into the world
    in its own time.

    In fact you have already read it,
    and closing the pages of the book,
    you are now abandoning the projects of the day
    and putting on your shoes and coat
    to take a walk.

    It has been years since you felt like this.
    You have remembered what I remembered,
    when I first began to write.

  3. Dianne_Dixon says:

    Oh my goodness Jamie, what an assignment you have left us with. Favourite poem! Wow! So, so many, how to choose? Am not sure I have ever met a poem I didn’t like, some were not ‘favourites’, were maybe disturbing, but made me think and so could not be discarded as unlikeable. So here are a few of my favourites. I pared this down from about twenty-five.

    First, this is framed and on my bedroom wall where I see it every day before I leave the room and begin my day.

     It Is I Who Must Begin

    Once I begin, once I try —
    here and now,
    right where I am,
    not excusing myself
    by saying things
    would be easier elsewhere,
    without grand speeches and
    ostentatious gestures,
    but all the more persistently
    — to live in harmony
    with the “voice of Being,” as I
    understand it within myself
    — as soon as I begin that,
    I suddenly discover,
    to my surprise, that
    I am neither the only one,
    nor the first,
    nor the most important one
    to have set out
    upon that road.
    Whether all is really lost
    or not depends entirely on
    whether or not I am lost.

    ~ Václav Havel ~

    Then, anything by Mary Oliver.


    Today I’m flying low and I’m
    not saying a word.
    I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
    he world goes on as it must,

    the bees in the garden rumbling a little,

    the fish leaping,
    the gnats getting eaten.

    And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.

    Quiet as a feather.

    I hardly move
    though really
    I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

    One of the doors
into the temple.

    -by Mary Oliver

    And anything by David Whyte.


    These few words are enough.
    If not these words, this breath.
    If not this breath, this sitting here.
    This opening to life
    we have refused
    again and again
    until now.
    Until now

    David Whyte

    And so many more, a number by Canadian poets, some by friends, some classics and more.

    “Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.

    He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day

    who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
    Finish every day and be done with it.

    You have done what you could.

    Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

    Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit

    to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
    This new day is too dear,

    with its hopes and invitations,

    to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Good Bones


    Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
    Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
    in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
    a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
    I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
    fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
    estimate, though I keep this from my children.
    For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
    For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
    sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
    is at least half terrible, and for every kind
    stranger, there is one who would break you,
    though I keep this from my children. I am trying
    to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
    walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
    about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
    right? You could make this place beautiful.


    Now we will count to twelve
    and we will all keep still.
    For once on the face of the earth,
    let’s not speak in any language;
    let’s stop for one second,
    and not move our arms so much.
    It would be an exotic moment
    without rush, without engines;
    we would all be together
    in a sudden strangeness.
    Fisherman in the cold sea
    would not harm whales
    and the man gathering salt
    would look at his hurt hands.
    Those who prepare green wars,
    wars with gas, wars with fire,
    victories with no survivors,
    would put on clean clothes
    and walk about with their brothers
    in the shade, doing nothing.
    What I want should not be confused
    with total inactivity.
    Life is what it is about;
    I want no truck with death.
    If we were not so single-minded
    about keeping our lives moving,
    and for once could do nothing,
    perhaps a huge silence
    might interrupt this sadness
    of never understanding ourselves
    and of threatening ourselves with death.
    Perhaps the earth can teach us
    as when everything seems dead
    and later proves to be alive.
    Now I’ll count up to twelve
    and you keep quiet and I will go.
    —from Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid, pp. 27-29, 1974)

    The Patience of Ordinary Things
    by Pat Schneider

    It is a kind of love, is it not?
    How the cup holds the tea,
    How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
    How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
    Or toes. How soles of feet know
    Where they’re supposed to be.
    I’ve been thinking about the patience
    Of ordinary things, how clothes
    Wait respectfully in closets
    And soap dries quietly in the dish,
    And towels drink the wet
    From the skin of the back.
    And the lovely repetition of stairs.
    And what is more generous than a window?

    From Another River: New and Selected Poems

    On the Beach at Night Alone


    On the beach at night alone,
    As the old mother sways her to and fro singing her husky song,
    As I watch the bright stars shining, I think a thought of the clef of the universes and of the future.

    A vast similitude interlocks all,
    All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
    All distances of place however wide,
    All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
    All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
    All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
    All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
    All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
    All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
    This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d,
    And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.

    Paul Hostovsky
    Bear with me I
want to tell you

    something about

it’s hard to get at
but the thing is
I wasn’t looking

    I was looking

    somewhere else
when my son found it
in the fruit section
and came running
holding it out

    in his small hands
asking me what

    it was and could we
keep it
    it only
cost 99 cents
hairy and brown
hard as a rock

    and something swishing
around inside

    and what on earth
and where on earth
and this was happiness
this little ball

    of interest beating
inside his chest

    this interestedness

    beaming ou
from his face pleading

    and because I wasn’t

    happy I said
to put it back
because I didn’t want it

    because we didn’t need it
and because he was happy
he started to cry
right there in aisle
five so when we
got it home we
put it in the middle 
of the kitchen table
and sat on either
side of it and began

    to consider how
to get inside of it

    From Bending the Notes (Main Street Rag, 2008).

    And if you are still reading.

    “maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day
and maggie discovered a shell that sang

    so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,

    milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five
    languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing

    which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:

    may came home with a smooth round stone

    as small as a world and as large as alone.

    For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”

    -E.E. Cummings, “maggie and milly and molly and may”

    Even though there are so many more I want to share, this is it, time to stop.

    Recipes? It would take pages for those as well, but how about – fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, some fresh green onions and a a clove or two of garlic, all chopped together and then piled onto some good thick slices of a favourite crusty bread that has been dried out a little in a low oven. A glass of iced tea, a book and a chair on the deck. Heaven:)


  4. Alexis says:

    Hi Jamie,

    This was so inspiring. I recently combined my love of writing with my passion for mental health into a blog. Gulotta’s blog reminds me of my humble beginnings. The blog is titled A Mile a Minute, if you want to read it. I will definitely explore her site more later. Alexis

  5. swanofdreamers says:

    Hi Jaime,

    I really enjoyed the podcast. I was raised by my mom to use my intuition. Yes, it has really been a great friend and asset to me in my creative life.

    I love poetry! So many that I adore. Here are my top three.

    I love Sonnet 43 by Shakespeare

    When most I wink, then do mine eyes best see,
    For all the day they view things unrespected;
    But when I sleep, in dreams they look on thee,
    And darkly bright are bright in dark directed;
    Then thou, whose shadow shadows doth make bright,
    How would thy shadow’s form form happy show
    To the clear day with thy much clearer light,
    When to unseeing eyes thy shade shines so?
    How would, I say, mine eyes be blessed made
    By looking on thee in the living day,
    When in dead night thy fair imperfect shade
    Through heavy sleep on sightless eyes doth stay?
    All days are nights to see till I see thee,
    And nights bright days when dreams do show thee me.

    Wild Nights – Wild Nights by Emily Dickinson (She is one of my absolute favorite poets.)

    Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
    Were I with thee
    Wild Nights should be
    Our luxury!

    Futile – the winds –
    To a heart in port –
    Done with the compass –
    Done with the chart!

    Rowing in Eden –
    Ah, the sea!
    Might I moor – Tonight –
    In thee!

    Longing by Matthew Arnold

    Come to me in my dreams, and then
    By day I shall be well again!
    For so the night will more than pay
    The hopeless longing of the day.

    Come, as thou cam’st a thousand times,
    A messenger from radiant climes,
    And smile on thy new world, and be
    As kind to others as to me!

    Or, as thou never cam’st in sooth,
    Come now, and let me dream it truth,
    And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
    And say, My love why sufferest thou?

    Come to me in my dreams, and then
    By day I shall be well again!
    For so the night will more than pay
    The hopeless longing of the day.

    My favorite recipe is the banana bread recipe I bake for my five year old son, Jacob. I do this by hand.

    1 and half cup of flour
    a pinch of salt
    Teaspoon of baking soda
    Half a cup of sugar
    Two or three very ripe bananas
    2/3 stick of butter
    A dash of Vanilla
    Half a bag of chocolate chips ( that’s optional, a must for Jacob)
    1 egg beaten
    Mash bananas well, put the sugar and butter, then the egg, vanilla, Now, throw in all the dry ingredients. Mix well then throw in the chips. Pour it all in your well greased pan. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Let the banana bread cool completely before devouring.

    Until writing this, I had no idea I had committed it to memory so well.

    Hope this wasn’t too long. Take care.

    Best wishes,

  6. Lynda says:

    My favorite poem is “If” by Rudyard Kipling. My favorite recipe is chicken soup. No recipe, actually. Just. chicken, vegetables and love!

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