2 minutes and 40 seconds with Erin Duffy

I have known Erin online for quite a while, and what I liked most about her before I started reading her blog was one thing we have in common: a love of poetry! I loved her poems, and I loved her passion for science as well. When she contacted me for an interview, I didn’t hesitate to have her on board. Erin posts her poetry at Tralfamadorable.

I am a 25-year-old PhD student of physical chemistry, a mediocre poet, an expert procrastinator, a pasta enthusiast, a peppermint mocha addict, an unapologetic potty-mouth, and a lover of monkeys and apes of the plush and live varieties. My hometown is in New Jersey, but I did a brief stint in Upstate New York for my Bachelor’s degree before moving out to Wisconsin for my doctorate. My career goals lie in science publishing or teaching, and I hope that leads me to a location with more than two seasons: Winter and Construction.


If you could consume – without any harm – one element on the periodic table that has an atomic number greater than 35, what would that be?

Ruthenium. It’s currently the bane of my existence. :) Do you even know how many isotopes that stuff has?

Go ahead, what element would you invent and add to the periodic table yourself?

Yumyumium. And then I would eat that, because it’s probably delicious.

Pick a colour, and the last restaurant or food chain you ate a meal away from home. Now pick a mode of transport. You are travelling in this mode of transport to this place, and wearing something of the colour you just picked. What are you wearing, and where are you going?

I’m wearing aqua, and I’m going to this place called Cooper’s Tavern. It’s very interesting because I’m traveling by train somehow, when there are no passenger trains in this city. There are train tracks for freight trains, though, which actually do pass through the city, so I guess I’m hitching a ride on one of those. It sounds dangerous.

What is your favourite day of the week and why?

Probably Friday. It’s better than Saturday because I definitely get out of the house because of work, but afterward I also get to stay up or stay out as late as I want! These past couple years, Friday night has also meant Board Game Night, so I always have something social and fun to do with my friends.

If you could drink shampoo, what do you hope it tastes like?

I hope it tastes like candy. Lots of shampoos smelly fruity so I hope it tastes like Skittles or Starburst or some other “fruit-flavored” candy.

What food would you gladly eat for a day?

I actually thought about this yesterday, and my answer is bagels. Bagels are enjoyable for all meals.

Travel mug or drink bottle?

Drink bottle, mostly because I use one more. Water all day, e’ry day.

Warm woolly blanket or long dressing gown?

WARM BLANKET! I can become a burrito or make a tent over myself with a giant warm blanket. I do this regularly because it is winter about 70% of the year in Wisconsin.

Chewable vitamin C or non-chewable vitamin C?

Chewable vitamins are the best. They make me feel like a child again.

Gloves or no gloves when washing dishes?

Considering I rarely even wear gloves to wash glassware in lab (not always a good idea), no gloves when washing dishes.

Assuming you hate this interview and would rather do something else, what would you be doing?

Eating breakfast. A bagel, preferably.

Imagine you own a hundred plush monkeys and named them all. What would you name them after?

I actually had over a hundred plush monkeys when I was younger. Many of them were named after what they looked like. Others got the names assigned to them on the tags they came with. Some names are very uncreative. I have a stuffed gorilla named Gorilla.

Assume someone evil has turned your plush monkeys into plush donkeys. How would you feel?

I’d be shocked and horrified, and I might even cry.

Write a poem with two stanzas of three lines each. The topic needs to be blue coloured pasta. Go!

this fluorescent-blue rotini
covering the entirety of my plate
is probably blueberry-flavored.

i hope it is birthday cake flavor,
instead, like the bright blue stuff
at the local ice cream shop.

If you had to name this poem something completely unoriginal, what would you name it and why?

“Goodbye Blue Monday” – That’s the (alternate) title of a Kurt Vonnegut novel, Breakfast of Champions. My food is blue, and I imagined it as breakfast food, so really it’s the perfect title.

You can catch Erin at:

Comments on this post

I would like some of that Yumyumium too please.

I loved this interview. Erin sounds like a really interesting person (and is adorable). ♥