Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following poets, local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Mark Antony Rossi
Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of fifteen titles ranging from poetry to future science. His seminal book on writing “Waking the Lion: Inside Writing 1984 to 2017” is a popular ebook meant to help writers with essays on poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. He is the Editor in Chief of the international online literary journal Ariel Chart. Most of his writings can be purchased at the site http://www.somapublishing.com
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
At first it was the brevity. To pack so much into so little space was enjoyable.
Later it was about rearranging language. Still further poetry become my foundation to other forms of writing. It’s not hard to notice my flash fiction style which has been called “Crash Fiction” is indebted to a poetic flow.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
I was introduced to poetry through Edgar Allen Poe. Once I heard his “The Raven” I was hooked to something I haven’t stopped in forty-five years. Poetry, more than any form of writing, has a powerful to captivate the imagination. There are poems literally surviving the epoch of time from the days of King Tut. The Psalms from the Bible are thousands of poems meant to be sung, repeated, used as a form of healing to people moving around in search of a home.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I liked what Robert Frost, ee cummings, Alan Ginsberg, did with their work.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
My daily writing routine has changed with the times. I used to carry a pen and pad and jot down notes everywhere and then later assemble them into various forms of writing. Now as a husband and father –time is shorter and therefore I used mostly on the notes of my smartphone. I have literally written the last two years of my column “Ethical Stranger” for Indian Periodical on the iPhone. If you are careful technology can be a partner in writing. But you have to remain in control and be the writer.
5. What motivates you to write?
Disappointment with the stupidity of the world.
6. What is your work ethic?
The open secret to writing is rewriting. Sometimes rewriting several times. I once wrote a flash nonfiction piece twenty six times before I thought is was right. I average about seven times. For those who believe rewriting is too much work I say they have no work ethic because writing is work. And when I hear a writer speak about the joy of writing I know that’s a fool who won’t go far. Writing is a torturous calling meant to extract art, truth and humanity in an unappealing manner. Confession.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
Aldous Huxley has greatly influenced most of my futurist writings about the dangers of overreliance on technology. How it threatens human values and even the organs of democracy. Yet strangely writers of the past or present only strike me in the arena of ideas but where it concerns style or structure I’ve had to create my own way forward. Thus my innovations of “Concrete Poetry” and “Crash Fiction” are my vehicles to carry my message.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I admire a number of writers whom I have had contact with over the years such as Peter Magliocco, Linda Imbler, A.D. Hurley, Karlo Sevilla, Lailah Saafir, Wayne Russell, Mike Griffith,
Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Eva Wong Nava and John Patrick Robbins.
9. Why do you write?
I physically feel it is a calling. I see and hear things in my thoughts that start organizing for something creative to put out in the world.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
I don’t believe a person can “become” a writer. You either know you are or you should look into some other field. All too often the average writer is a journalist stuck piecing together car accidents or drunk domestic violence. You can teach that to people. I am not convinced you can truly teach poetry or fiction writing to people who don’t feel anything but fame and foolishness.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
“The Rossi Reader: Essential Writings” will be released by Soma Publishing in October. It’s a selected works project curating some of my better work in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, criticism and screenplay. I am blessed to have a lengthy foreword by Hugh Cook.