Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Phil Knight

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.

IMG_20181009_112036

Phil Knight

is a poet from Neath in South Wales. He has been published in ‘Red Poets’, ‘South’, ‘Earthlove’, ‘Poetry Wales’, ‘Dail 174’, ‘Planet’, ‘The Journal’ and many other publications. He has brought out three collections of poetry; ‘The Old Bolsheviks’ (Green Arrow 2011), ‘Dylanation’ (Green Arrow 2014) and ‘You  Are Welcome To Wales’ (Red Poets 2015). Phil is the Chairperson of Neath Writers Group and he is a member of the Cheval Trust which runs the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Awardhttps://chevalwriters.org.uk/index-m.html Phil is a regular reader with the Red Poets and he is MC of Neath  Poems And Pints (7:30pm first Thursday of the Month at the Cambrian Arms, Melyn, Neath) which rises funds for the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award.

The Interview
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
I caught the poetry bug back in 1995 during the Year of Literature Festival in Swansea, I saw the amazing Adrain Mitchell reading his poems and I was blown away. It was the way he connected with his audience and he put into words what he were all feeling. That is great Poetry. That inspired me to try and write poetry.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?
I joined Neath Writers Group and I did number of courses through Swansea University’s DACE program. The poet and playwright Peter Thabit Jones was just one of the brilliant teachers I had . But I believe a poet never stops learning.

3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
As we as Adrian Mitchell I also had the privilege of hearing two great Welsh poets read their work. Terry Hetherington and Nigel Jenkins both had wonderful deep, rich voices. I also bought their books and still read them decades later. Terry and Nigel were both very encouraging to new writers.

4. What is your daily writing routine?
Try to write something every day, even if it just a note, an email or a comment on social media, it keeps the writing muscle going. You never can tell what will grow into a poem.

5. What motivates you to write?
Injustice, war, poverty, the weather, Wales, the splendid beauty of the Vale of Neath. It can be anything. I try to be open to the universe.

6. What is your work ethic?
If I thought of writing as work I would not do it. I write because I enjoy it and makes me happy. If it was work it would make me feel a slave. I write because I want to, and sometimes because I feel I must.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I love Dylan Thomas, to me he is the Master. But I hate the whole “let’s put the drunk ahead of the poet” Dylan Thomas industry and that was the subject of my second poetry collection “Dylanation”. Harri Webb, Idris Davies, Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas and Siegfried Sassoon are among the poets I return to again and again. But the influence is more through their passion for words, and not trying to write like them. Too many poets now are over influenced by their teachers and that is why a flat American style of dull unengaged free verse is so wide spread, because that is the house style of many university courses. A poet should write in their own voice.

8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most
and why?
Mike Jenkins, the editor of Red Poets Magazine and Tim Richards who published my first poem in “Y Fanner Goch”, have been been important influences on my own writing. In that they both write about Wales and their home towns and their set their poems against the backdrop of the real world, with its pain and passions. Among living writers I enjoy are Paul Henry, Christine Thatcher, Huw Pudner, and many others.

1. Why do you write?
Because I must.

2. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Write for yourself, write if it wants you happy, if it does not what’s the point.

1. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
Just take each day as it comes and write if I feel like.

Bio
Phil Knight is a poet from Neath in South Wales. He has been published in ‘Red Poets’, ‘South’, ‘Earthlove’, ‘Poetry Wales’, ‘Dail 174’, ‘Planet’, ‘The Journal’ and many other publications. He has brought out three collections of poetry; ‘The Old Bolsheviks’ (Green Arrow 2011), ‘Dylanation’ (Green Arrow 2014) and ‘You Are Welcome To Wales’ (Red Poets 2015). Phil is the Chairperson of Neath Writers Group and he is a member of the Cheval Trust which runs the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Awardhttps://chevalwriters.org.uk/index-m.html Phil is a regular reader with the Red Poets and he is MC of Neath Poems And Pints (7:30pm first Thursday of the Month at the Cambrian Arms, Melyn, Neath) which rises funds for the Terry Hetherington Young Writers Award.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s