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.
One of Jordan’s collaborations with Dutch artist Marcel Herms
Jordan Trethewey is a writer and editor living in Fredericton, NB, Canada.
He is also a husband, father (to two kids, a black cat, and a Sheltie), beer-league softball player, and remote sensing analyst (by day).
What were the circumstances under which you began to write poetry?
JORDAN: I believe it was while struggling through my Bachelor`s degree. I was involved with the drama group on campus, and was trying to develop my voice through dialogue and stage plays. Poetry came onto my radar when I dove deep into the song lyrics of one of my favourite bands, The Tragically Hip. Gord Downie (lead vocalist) was unafraid to write about the unique aspects of his experience, country and region. That, and I fell in love with my future wife.
Who introduced you to poetry?
JORDAN: My mother, through nursery rhymes and children’s songs.
How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
JORDAN: The Dead White Guy Canon is still out there, but I don`t let it intimidate me. I refer to the greats occasionally, but refuse to feel like what I have to say is inferior.
What is your daily writing routine?
JORDAN: I try to scratch out something every day. If not, I am usually puzzling out phrases in my head while I walk my Sheltie Porter, or when performing monotonous tasks at work.
What motivates you to write?
JORDAN: Death. The fear of being forgotten.
What is your work ethic?
JORDAN: In most aspects of my life I have had to shut down my perfectionist tendencies in order to survive my anxiety disorder. My writing is a different story, however. I write a first draft, usually in a notebook. At the end of the day I transcribe it, producing a heavily-edited second draft. Then I usually seek out a few trusted readers, and make appropriate changes coming out of those interactions.
How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
JORDAN: I grew up on a healthy diet of Green Eggs & Ham. Then I developed an admiration of Shel Silverstein. Both Seuss and Silverstein were metrical geniuses. And Silverstein’s off-kilter and darker world view aligned with my own. Their work is a subconscious template in my mind.
I also read a ton of Hardy Boys and The Three Investigators mysteries. Those along with Anything and everything by Mr. Stephen King definitely influenced my instincts for world-building.
Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
JORDAN: I admire the poets I’ve met through some online forums and on Facebook over the past few years. People like: Ryan Quinn Flanagan, Rob Plath, Jenn Zed, Dan Flore III, Trish Saunders, Maria Mazzenga, Maggie Flanagan-Wilkie, Tom Riordan, RC James, and Paul Brookes, of course. Their tenacity, commitment to the craft, and prolific productivity is inspiring.
Why do you write?
JORDAN: So I can leave a piece of me behind for my family and friends when I finally kick it.
What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
JORDAN: Don’t second-guess yourself, or dismiss an idea before you write it down. I still refer to a quote by Mark Twain (which I wrote with a jumbo Sharpie on a small canvas, and hung above my desk), “Show up.”
Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
JORDAN: I am currently working with Dutch visual artist extraordinaire, Marcel Herms, on two collaborative poetry/art book projects.
I continue to work with UK artist par-excellence, Jenn Zed, on a speculative poetry/art saga called, SyncWorld.
As well, I am glacially picking away at an historical novel set during WWI in New Brunswick and France, while writing more poetry as a means of procrastination.
His wonderful.website at: