Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Richard J. Cronborg

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews

I am honoured and privileged that the following writers 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.

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Richard Cronborg

I have published four books…”The Journey, Memoirs of a south side Chicago kind of guy”…”A Spider in the Corner of my mind”…this is a book of short stories and poems….”Chicago Stories and other…
Public Speaker
2003 to present
Volunteer work
Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers
Jun 1967 to Nov 2005
Ran cranes on high rises in Chicago…Participated in the Deep Tunnel Project for 12 years…Enjoyed bulldozing and loading trucks with CAT earth movers. Retired and union proud!

The Interview

1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

I started writing poetry in 2007

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I was introduced to poetry in a high school English class, by an erudite instructor.

3. How aware are you of the dominating presence of older poets traditional and contemporary?

I first got interested in traditional poets such as Walt Whitman, but really was influenced by the work of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Alan Ginsburg and my favorite, Charles Bukowski

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I read and write every day. I have no set routine. I wait for a word or an idea, then extrapolate on it.

5. What motivates you to write?

I wait for a word or an idea, then extrapolate on it.

6. What is your work ethic?

I have no work ethic, but rather depend on a flow of consciousness type style of writing.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

I had a great background in reading the classics. Moby Dick by Melville, the works of Dostoevsky, Invisible Man by Ellison, Huxley, Jack London, Hemingway, etc

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

My new favorite in today’s market is Karl Ove Knausgaard. He’s an excellent writer who has written the longest autobiographical novel, titled: “My Struggle”. It’s breadth is 4,500 pages. It’s a writer’s book, a fantastic work. It’s epic.

9. Why do you write?

I write because it’s an obsession. It defines me and helps me to think.

10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”

One becomes a writer by reading throughout one’s life time. Living a life full of wide and variegated experiences leads to good, solid writing. A university education in the liberal arts doesn’t hurt the process.

11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.

I just had my 7th book published, “Thug Life”, by Alien Buddha Press. I write every day, so invariably #8 will be on its way sometime next year.

Amazon blurb on “Thug Life”

“I am a product of the 1960s. I grew up in a working class neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Luckily, I had a university education and broke out of the mode of biased, racist and xenophobic thought that was common to my peers. This compilation of poems and mini-stories is a collection of my daily thoughts. I always felt myself to be an outsider type. I never did well in groupthink. I never saw myself as one who fits in. As a young man, I thought there might be something wrong with me. Now that I enter my 70th year on this earth, I feel pretty much whole. This is my “thug life”. We thugs lurk in the shadows, observing and thinking. The wheels always are turning in our brains.”

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