“Global Harming” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

Stoked to have three poems featured in The Poet By Day in great company. Thankyou Jamie.

THE POET BY DAY

“This sweet virginal primitive land will metaphorically breathe a sigh of relief — like a whisper of wind–when we are all and finally gone and the place and its creations can return to their ancient procedures unobserved and undisturbed by the busy, anxious, brooding consciousness of man.”
Desert Solitaire, Edward Abby



BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL POEMS, A THANK YOU

Thanks for waiting patiently and courteously for this post to go up. I have returned to the world of the living after health complications and another protracted stay at Stanford Hospital (also know in my family as The Stanford B & B).  I am grateful for your understanding and for the concern, intelligence, and perseverance of my cadre of doctors and other professionals at Stanford. Though there has been a precipitous decline in my lung function and I am completely homebound now, there is some potential for improvement and certainly my…

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Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Wansoo Kim

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.

prescription

Wansoo Kim

achieved Ph. D. in English Literature from the graduate school of Hanguk University of Foreign Studies. He was a lecturer at Hanguk University of Foreign Studies and an adjunct professor at Incheon Junior College for about 20 years. He has published 5 poetry books, one novel, and one book of essays. One poetry book, “Duel among a middle-aged fox, a wild dog and a deer” was a bestseller in 2012, one page from the book of Letters for Teenagers was put in textbooks of middle school (2011) and high school (2014) in South Korea, and four books (Easy-to-read English Bible stories, Old Testament(2017), New Testament(2018) and Teenagers, I Support your Dream”) were bestsellers. Kim was granted a Rookie award for poetry at the magazine of Monthly Literature Space in South Korea, and in 2004, the World Peace Literature Prize for Poetry Research and Recitation, presented in New York City at the 5th World Congress of Poets.

* Wansoo published a poetry book titled Prescription of Civilization in America.(2019)

tinyurl.com/y856tb24

The Interview

  1. What inspired you to write poetry?

Preparing for the national exam for a diplomat while in university, I was extremely frustrated by the diagnosis that even modern medicine had no cure for my disease from the doctor at the best hospital in South Korea.

Finally I took a year off from university, went to my country home and struggled against disease being seriously tormented by the problems such as ‘why on earth does such fatal disease come to me?, what will happen to me after death? etc.’

Attempting suicide a few times due to the unbearable pain, I had the opportunity to meet God at the revival service of a neighboring church. Beginning a life of faith, I’ve got a challenging hope of life with the miraculous healing of my disease. Besides, forming the sense of value totally different from that before the incurable disease, I have opened the eye of a new vision on everything of life.

Entering a graduate school and majoring in English and American poetry after graduating from university thanks to the recovery of health, I began to write poems, fired with the strong desire to express my literary and philosophical insight formed by the wide knowledge of English and American literature and the Christian faith.

These days, I get inspiration about writing when I study the Bible or listen to the sermons.

  1. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I majored in English and American literature at graduate school. So I studied most of the important poets in the history of English and American literature.

3.What is your daily writing routine?

As soon as I get up at dawn, I usually write. And in the morning or in the afternoon when I have free time. I don’t write at night, because I can’t sleep well after writing.

4.What motivates you to write?

Many years ago, social injustice made me write. But recently prayers, listening to sermons and reading Christian books make me write, because I mainly write Christian poems and essays.

  1. What is your work ethic?

Essentially to me, it is based on common sense, conscience and God’s love. I don’t like wicked or obscene writings.

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

When I was at graduate school, I studied Shakespeare’s sonnets. I liked them very much. I learned the image development from him. I learned conceit and wit from John Donne. I learned harmony of opposites from his concept of imagination. I learned imagism from Ezra Pound. I learned fusion of thought and feeling, objective corelative from T.S. Eliot. The techniques of all these poets are very helpful to write poems.

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

I have been reading the poems of so many writers on the poetry sites recently. I don’t have the writers to admire in foreign countries, but I admire a few Korean poets and novelists, because their works are wonderful enough to get a prize of authority in a foreign country.

8. Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

I don’t write with a simple reason or as a hobby. I write with a mission to write. As a Christian writer, I write to express God’s love and plan for His people as well as my gratitude to Him. So writing has priority over everything to me. But writing is not a obligatory or hard burden. I am willing to write with the help of the Holy Spirit because I experience His presence, help, or guidance every day.

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

Continue to read the works of the genre you are interested in. Take a writing lecture. Join a writing circle. Have a great vision of being a writer. Write every week even though you are not good at writing.

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

I am going to publish a poetry book titled “Flowers of thankfulness” this year in America. And I am planning to publish an essay book titled “Heart of God” in Korea and in America next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Danielle Holian

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.

beautifully chaotic

Danielle Holian

is a poet, journalist, and photographer, born in the West of Ireland. She studied digital media of journalism and marketing in college and has since gained substantial experience in the media field branching off into poetry and photography. She flourishes her creative love through words and art. She continues her passion for words through her media work as a music critic of reviews and interviews. She documents her interests, sparks, and amusements as she captures moments she relives through her art.

On the release of her debut book, Danielle says, “Writing this collection was a journey I knew I needed to adventure on. From being in a dark place to find the light again. I discuss some heavy topics that are close to my heart that I hope to open conversations for the ones that were once me.”

 

 The Interview 

  1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but I began writing poetry in my teens. I used it as a way to express myself going through things where I found I couldn’t voice myself thoughts, feelings and emotions out loud. It was theraphetic and lead me to find my inner voice that I hope can inspire others. And writing has always been there for me through the good and bad times of my life.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I sort of just stumbled upon poetry one day and as they say the rest is history. There’s been many influences in my life both personally and writers I’ve come across through my time. I’m a creative individual with a constant urge to keep learning, evolving, and growing.

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

With the likes of Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde, I know they have an influence in today’s writing many years later. They made their mark and continuously inspire writer’s like me. I grew up loving writing in school, so certain classes I studied involved older poets which evolved my love for writing. The art of creating a story to share intrigues me. They showed me that it is possible once you believe.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

As well as being a poet, I am a music critic and songwriter. So, my daily writing routine differs each day. It keeps the spark and interest alive as something always catches me off guard and develops into something unexpected. But, I generally try to journal something daily whether it becomes something or not in time.

5. What motivates you to write?

Life. People. My everyday experiences. I cannot live through this life of mine without documenting, journaling, and finding new ways to express myself through writing. It gives me a purpose.

6. What is your work ethic?

I think I have a strong work ethic, with strong perfectionist tendencies. I am constantly testing myself to do better. I know nothing I do wastes my time, rather prepares me for something greater. Everything I do is a learning experience with some curves that do try to keep me off target, but it’s the motivation and love for art is what keeps me going. It has taken me a long time to find a perfect balance with my work, life and everything in between.

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

They gave me courage to pursue my love for the art of writing. I have found the strength to discuss heavier topics in my writing and without the writers before me I doubt I would have considered writing as an outlet.

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

At the moment, I would say the likes of Nikita Gill, Olivia Gatwood, Rupi Kaur, Lauren Eden, Taylor Swift, and Demi Lovato are my biggest influences. I prefer to connect with a creative and the stories they tell. So, these women inspire me to be my best self in a world so cruel yet full of love. Their unapologetic vibe and strength to share their stories makes me feel invincible. Without these people it would have taken much longer to find the inner strength to carry on through.

9. Why do you write?

I write for the child inside me that didn’t have a voice growing up. I discuss heavy topics in my writing that I know will help someone. Give someone a voice. So, that alone is enough for me to know what I do is worthwhile. It’s a way for me to express things I either bottle up inside or cannot voice immediately. Writing is my escape from life and a way for me to ground myself.

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

There’s no set rules. For me, it was as simple as picking up a pen and paper and writing whatever inspires me in that moment. I then began sharing my work with friends. . .which lead me to begin sharing my work online. It’s important to build up contacts when wanting to pursue life as a writer. And never give up on your dreams.

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

I have just published my debut poetry book, Beautifully Chaotic. It’s available through Amazon. Other than that, I am still reviewing music, songwriting, and writing to my heart’s content.

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Bruce Alford

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.

bruce alford

Bruce Alford

According to Mud Season Review 

“is a columnist, reviewer and creative writer. He has published fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry in journals such as the African American Review, Comstock Review, Imagination & Place Press. His first collection, About the Manuscript Alford’s Devotional and Guide to Poetry combines writing instruction, autobiography, devotional, and philosophy (based on the writings of Nietzsche and specifically on his philosophy of anti-pity). This book was his way of working through his mother’s death from cancer and his father’s death from West Nile virus two years earlier.”

https://bruce-alford.com/

The Interview

  1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?

I wrote my first poem when I was about eleven years old, but I didn’t know that it was poetry. I was simply playing with words. I’ve always been attracted to language and sound. I didn’t purposely pursue writing poetry until graduate school, and even then, I seemed to have fallen into it. I was awarded a fiction fellowship to the University of Alabama. My thesis was, in fact, a novel. After taking Introduction to Poetry (We called it baby poetry.), I continued to write verse and to attend poetry readings where I would listen to others and where I read my own poetry. I specifically am attracted to the genre because of my nature. I am detail oriented. In a way, poetry is similar to physics. You have to really think about the particles of language – little things such as periods, a syllable, a sound; you attend to and break language into fundamental parts. That appeals to me.

  1. Who introduced you to poetry?

That’s a tricky question. It’s taking me a while to think about it, but you know, my introduction to poetry came about without my realizing that I was reading and hearing it. Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church was the focal point of my early life. We read a lot of the Bible. About 75% of the Bible is poetry. The Psalms and Proverbs or primarily poetry. There’s the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs and of course, the long poem, Job. I was also influenced by a series of Baptist preachers who were skilled at using language. Those sermons were indeed poetic.

Reading the Bible, memorizing it’s language and hearing it chanted and sung – all of that combined to create my love for poetry.

  1. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I learned to have a conversation with previous generations through my training in graduate school and through teaching others. Education introduced me to various schools of poetry and to poetic theory. That gave me a way to recognize progression and to place certain aspects of poetry in certain periods. Speaking of “dominating presence”: will symbolism and surrealism ever go away? The primary characteristics of these poetries: juxtaposition, disruption of narrative and vagueness, seem to be the definition of contemporary poetry.

  1. What is your daily writing routine?

Honestly, I don’t presently have a daily routine. I am not working in academia now; although, I am looking for another university position. My current job doesn’t allow much time, and right now, I’m trying to negotiate my way through each day. I’m not doing any long forms. Before bedtime, or sometimes during the day, I will juxtapose words or practice meter. That’s all I have time for.

  1. What motivates you to write?

I want to speak to others. But if you submit works for publication then you know that, more often than not, what you write often isn’t heard or seen by others. So the motivation to write is deeply held.

Writing puts one into the present while ironically, simultaneously, removing one from that present. As when praying, you spend time with yourself. Writing allows me to discover what’s happening in myself. Also, there’s something about the simple pleasure of sound. (I am attracted to lyric.)

  1. What is your work ethic?

My work ethic comes out of my Protestant upbringing. Also, I may be hardwired to feel that work is important, that is, that work is virtuous and that it builds character. This is a difficult question for me. Is it wise to link self-worth to work? What is work, what is art work? Sometimes, we interchange work and play.

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

When I was seeking representation for my novel, A Toy in Blood, some literary agents asked this question in one way or another. It made me take a step back and consider why I had written the story I had and why my poetry often assumes a particular tone and often a certain form. My poetic influences include Shakespeare and the Bible. Pop culture influences include Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, Thor and Pippi Longstocking.

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

The only contemporary writer that I consistently read is the novelist Anne Tyler. Her characters are authentic. I also suspect that she is not making them up. She seems to be writing about her own family. Different characters in different books suspiciously talk, act, and look alike. (Tyler may be both lazy and brilliant.)

  1. Why do you write?

I write because I like play. In addition, writing is a way to self-discovery, a way of making friends with yourself; a way to stop yourself from hiding or covering wounds; it’s a way of moving forward.

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

Well. I went to graduate school, but that’s not necessary. You can learn by taking classes or you can read books on writing or subscribe to trade magazines such as Poets & Writers or Writer’s Digest. Writer’s conferences are great places for getting inspired and for learning. A writer can also learn by submitting to journals: when a rejection comes back, I tend to see that piece in an entirely different light. I’ve also belonged to some excellent writing groups in which I received helpful feedback. In short, a writer does writerly things.

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

I have completed two new poem cycles: Both draw on biblical literature and language. Alford’s Devotional combines autobiography, devotional, and philosophy (based on the writings of Nietzsche and specifically on his philosophy of anti-pity).

Alford’s Guide to Poetry was my way of working through my mother’s death from cancer and my father’s death from West Nile virus two years earlier. I countered sentimentalism by creating a handbook based on my area of expertise as a creative-writing instructor.

Fiction (Currently seeking an agent or publisher)

Chosen by Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky as winner of the Rings True Contest, my novel, A Toy in Blood, is a revisioning of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This novel was also a finalist in the 2018 William Faulkner Contest sponsored by The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society.

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Hiram Larew

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.

undone

Hiram Larew

According to Oregon State University

“Distinguished” agricultural scientist, Dr. Larew is an accomplished and decorated poet.

From a recent interview with Grace Cavalieri,host of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”, she provides a synopsis of his work as follows: “Hiram Larew’s poetry has appeared in more than 100 journals and books such as Rhino, Ars Poetica, Poet’s Corner, and Innisfree. His poems have received numerous awards, including three Pushcart nominations and first prizes from Louisiana Literature, the Washington Review, and Baltimore’s ArtScape festival.””

Link to Podcast “The Poet and the Poem” from the Library of Congress hosted by Grace Cavalieri:

His fourth collection, a chapbook titled Undone, was published in 2018 by FootHills Publishing. He has written and revised poetry while at the Weymouth Center in North Carolina, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Rope Walk, the Catskills Poetry Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and he has organized a number of poetry events that feature the diversity of voices in the greater D.C. area.  He is a member of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Poetry Board, and his poetry papers are held in the Washington Writers’ Archive at George Washington University’s Gelman Library.”

He is on Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet and Poetry X Hunger

The Interview

  1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

In so many ways, I started writing poetry tomorrow. What I mean by that is that each time I begin to write a poem, the terrain ahead feels wholly new, untamed, a wilderness. Surely, I use tools that I’ve used over the years.   And, the internal motivation is a constant – to discover.

But, in so many respects, I’m a poetry first-grader. Tomorrow’s poem will re-teach me to write.

Rarely is the outcome or ending of a piece known at its outset or middle. I may begin with a phrase, a blink or a twist. But soon enough, the path becomes paths or meandering streams. All too quickly, I’m not so much in control as I am a hostage to the piece’s will. Pacing, tone, rhymes – even the structure – are all unknown, often daunting, at a poem’s start.

So, truly, with each piece, I’m a beginner.

Time being the wonderful critic that it is, I set pieces aside for a while to make sure that my initial compositional burst of warm enthusiasm seems worthwhile in later’s calm, cooler mode.

As mentioned, over the years, I’m in love with poetry for discovery.   If, as a result of encountering a poem – someone else’s or mine – I’m changed even a smidgen, then yes, my partnership with poetry becomes that much more fulfilling.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

My paternal grandmother wrote poetry and shared her work with me when I was a kid.

3. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets? Many of the poets who came before are ever-present in my work. For example, I’ve said that if I could just be one of Emily’s dashes, I’d be happy. I tend to especially enjoy those poets who wrote poems that nearly sing with sound, and those who, by their work, showed me what is possible in poetry with unexpected loops, leaps and twists.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

I tend to write before heading to bed. Or when I’m on a subway (I live in Maryland, outside of Washington, DC.) Or, when (if I’m so lucky) I’m in Ireland!

5. What motivates you to write? Coffee. Surprises. Walking at night. Hearing a wonderful speech or sermon. And, broad vista landscapes.

6. What is your work ethic? Now that I’m retired, I work on those things that make me grin. These include not only writing poetry, but reading it, sharing it, commenting on it, and organizing activities around it. Of late, I’ve launched Poetry X Hunger (on Facebook) to advocate for poetry that responds to the scourge of hunger in the U.S. and around the world.   And, to increase the visibility of poetry, I developed the Poetry Poster Project that displays poetry by a diversity of wonderful nearby poets as framed artwork.

7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today? Poets who blazed trails by leaping from a stanza here to a stanza way over there showed me early on how poetry can, in fact, connect disparates, and as a result, surprise with amazingly powerful insights. Poets who suggest of imply, rather than lead or declare have also left their mark on me.

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

As an active listener, I thoroughly enjoy hearing poets read their work – online or in person. And so, some of those who I admire most are those who contribute to community-based readings or showcases.  Rick Lupert comes to mind. I also admire news accounts, thoughtful radio programs such as On Being, and compelling histories and biographies as they all provide important prompts.

9. Why do you write?

I write to ask questions. Not so much to answer them, but to ask them.

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

The fundamental question is Why should I become a writer? If the answer compels you with insistence, then the How do I become a writer? will pretty much follow.   And, by watching, listening to and learning from other writers, most aspiring writers will find their own path.

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

In recent months, I’ve been teased by a strong sense of gratitude. And so, while not deliberately working on pieces themed to gratefulness, I’m freely allowing expressions of gratitude to pop up in my work with the notion that a collection of such grins might one day result.

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: K Weber

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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K Weber

makes poems happen from her perch in the midwestern United States. She has self-published 4 books of poetry in PDF and audiobook formats since 2003. Her poetry has most recently been featured in Writer’s Digest and Memoir Mixtapes, with more forthcoming in 2019. Her photographs have been included in 2 issues of Barren Magazine. K is a contributing writer for the Memoir Mixtapes song recommendations blog as well. More writing credits and projects can be found on her website!

Website: http://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/midwesternskirt

HER ONLINE POETRY BOOKS (PDF AND AUDIO)

cling as ink (2018): https://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/cling-as-ink-2018/

i should have changed that stupid lock (2014): https://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/i-should-have-changed-that-stupid-lock-2014/

bluest grey (2012): https://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/bluest-grey-2012/

midwestern skirt (2003): https://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/midwestern-skirt-2003/

A FEW PUBLISHED POEMS

(full publishing credits available at https://kweberandherwords.wordpress.com/about-k-weber/)

– “…and I guess I just don’t know” https://mockturtlezine.com/past-issues/issue-16-fall-2017/#jp-carousel-2511Mock Turtle Zine, Issue 16/Fall 2017

– “When this world is trying its hardest” https://memoirmixtapes.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/18.-K-Weber.pdfMemoir Mixtapes, Vol. 7/2018

– “postural pastoral” https://hornypoetryreview.com/2019/01/03/postural-pastoral/horny poetry review, January 3, 2019

– “Unevensong” http://wordsdance.com/2016/06/unevensong-by-k-weber/Words Dance, 2016 (includes audio)

The Interview

1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?

I had interest in writing poetry somewhere around age 8. In general, words interested me and I liked the idea of playing with rhyme. I liked to browse the dictionary and I enjoyed spending rainy days at my grandparents with paper and pencils and singsong ideas. I didn’t always keep poetry in the foreground but would really start finding my niche in high school during those few, short months of my first love. I also enjoyed being a part of literary magazine staff and submitting my work. In college I took advantage of most any creative writing opportunity possible, edited, developed more of my written voice and pushed myself in new directions form-wise and theme-wise. Once I was in the workforce, writing poetry was something I could lean on outside the usual routine and remind myself of myself.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

I have been introduced and re-introduced to poetry many times throughout the years. Originally, family, grade school teachers and librarians exposed me to a variety of children’s poetry. In junior high there were more opportunities to write poems for homework and do special projects and book reports involving the research of poets. High school definitely gave me a glimpse into the classic, mainstream poets. At the college level I learned more about contemporary, modern, and experimental poetry and French poetry. Since graduating college I have been reading more independent and small press poets.
3. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?

My awareness of poets before my time from John Milton to Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Paul Laurence Dunbar to Dickinson to Gertrude Stein to Keats to Sylvia Plath to Shakespeare to e e cummings to Langston Hughes to Homer and all points in between and all over that map were really all I knew in my earliest education in poetry. When I sang in the chorus from grades 6 through 11, it was not uncommon to perform a choral version of poems by Poe (“Annabelle Lee”) or Frost (“Stopping By Woods…”). Those classics will always remain in my memory. But I treasure that I had the chance to be taught by poets at Miami University (Annie Finch and David Schloss influenced me greatly) and go to readings by contemporary authors (Alice Walker being a highlight) in the craft. Through workshops, online communities, open mic opportunities and more recently, social media, I have become a fan of many who are writing and publishing at a similar level as I am. Our goals and themes may differ but it is incredibly rewarding to have such an eclectic poetry community thriving. I can’t even name one modern poet who I was aware of circa junior high 🙂

4. What is your daily writing routine?

In all honesty, I deal with anxiety and not very well. I have tried numerous ways of setting up a writing schedule but it never seems to click. I utilise prompts when I am not feeling immediate inspiration but want to get ideas down. Otherwise, I try to make lists of ideas that come my way and use those as starting points for new material. It is also so important to sit down with poems that need revision and work on the best and most comfortable ways to approach revising. I like knowing that when I make time to write, I have different aspects I can focus on from brand new poem development to heavy editing and revising or researching and preparing for submitting.
5. What motivates you to write?

I get inspired by other writers – especially my peers who write. Having hobbies beyond writing also motivates me and influences the subjects I incorporate. I enjoy so many subjects, have worked and volunteered in a variety of areas, and relationships and strangers inspire me. I don’t always have an end game with a poem or collection. I like to occasionally submit but I am not prolific there. Sometimes writing is simply free therapy for me or a compilation of works that I may or may not figure out their fate until later. I do like creating audiobooks and recording my poems. I have an upcoming piece that features my voice and sounds I have layered. I get motivated by trying poetry from new vantage points. My recent book, cling as ink, is a collection of poems sharing the titles of work featured in Inklings, a magazine I edited 20 years prior in college. Having a unique project in mind helped me produce not only a new book of my work, but enabled me to reach out to my college professors and the writers, artists and staff involved in the original magazine’s creation. I never regret seeing my unusual or seemingly lofty ideas through when it comes to poetry.

6. What is your work ethic?

I consider any writing I do to be good practice. If I dislike something I wrote I try to keep it and focus on some descriptions or lines that might be salvageable later and used in a new poem or revision. I try not to have assumptions or put restrictions on my writing except that my rough drafts should never be final drafts. Also I try not to compare my writing schedule or awards (or lack of) or number of poems or especially my work ethic to others. Everyone’s ability is so unique but having many or few writing credits should not be a measurement of poetic prowess or a deterrent from taking your writing as far as you’d like it to go.

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

Such a fantastic question! As a child, I read a lot of Beverly Cleary books. I also was endlessly fascinated with a set of science encyclopaedias I had. Shel Silverstein’s poems felt so brilliant and unusual. I guess if you add these together it sort of represents my underlying aesthetic which seems to involve accessing the variety of ideas and experiences I have lived and let them engage inside my poetry. I still have the mischievous Ramona Quimby peeking over my shoulder as I write. Silverstein’s absurd-yet-profound poems still inspire me to stretch through my go-to images and themes and explore wildly. Those science encyclopaedias took my mind to so many places I still haven’t and may never see in this lifetime. I often struggle with unknowns in my writing but rather than give up I treat those uncovered territories as an important mission. I feel very fortunate to have remained curious and a quiet observer all these years!

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

Jenny Lawson’s nonfiction writing resonates deeply on both personal and comedic levels. While not a poetry writer, her personal writing on mental illness is tinged with sadness but mostly the fight to persevere by laughing through the reality of life’s battles. “Furiously Happy” is such a stand-out book about holding the very best parts of yourself together when it feels impossible. I also really admire Pema Chodron for her ability to write on such difficult topics so beautifully and easily for everyday understanding. The mindfulness components and applications can be life-changing. I realise I haven’t mentioned poets here and honestly I am not extremely versed in the more well-known modern-day poets and the ones I am thinking of do not resonate as much with me. A major exception here is a fairly recent book of prose poetry I have read more than once. “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson is such a masterful, often emotionally overwhelming book. It is a YA book filled with reality. No sugar-coating. Life in this story is presented in its joys and tragedy; carefully but also as close to real life as we can touch. All the glimmers of good feel exceptional. Some of the more indie poets I enjoy reading and watching their writing grow are many but include Kristin Garth, Barton Smock, Robert Lee Brewer, Tzynya L. Pinchback, Noah Falck, Darren C. Demaree, and Allie Marini. So many more…

9. Why do you write?

While I don’t feel the urge to write every day or even every week, poetry does not judge my timeline. I write because it feels just right to get the words down when they come to me or more often, as I fit them together from thin air into the start of something. I love the feeling of a good line or line break… it feels like a new invention. I enjoy the challenge of constructing poems that really fit my voice and the subjects and imagery I want to portray. I enjoy wordplay (the first time I discovered Heather McHugh, Bernadette Mayer and Jean Cocteau set this appreciation in immediate motion!) and working with prompts to keep my writing fresh and examining new territory. Writing poetry has lead to writing my books, editing projects, being published, has forged many friendships and romances… and good or bad I can still write about these things 🙂

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

Although I started writing fairly young with poetry and writing and have a degree in creative writing, I have found that the best advice came much later. “Write what you know” transcends genre or education in the craft. It doesn’t mean to forget what you’ve been taught or deny your assumptions about writing. It also doesn’t mean you must bare your soul on the page. The idea is for a writer to avoid grasping at overused ideas and dig deeper to begin recognising the practice, style, and time commitment that works best for them. I like to share this advice as much as possible because new writers sometimes think they need to write in the style of well-known poets or they have to write in a particular form or that writing has a formula or rules in general. Write what you know and the logistics and structure will fall into place in time.

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

For the first and probably the last time, I wrote over 300 poems in 2018. I am selecting some of the pieces I like most and revising them. Hoping to submit to a few more journals this year. I continue to contribute song recommendations to Memoir Mixtapes. I have a poem, an audio poem/sound collage, and some other writing coming soon in a few online literary magazines. I am mostly just very happy to be here and writing, submitting, revising, and enjoying these opportunities as someone who once thought I would not enjoy writing after a few years of not writing much!

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: William Oxley

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.

oxley

William Oxley

was born in Manchester. A poet and philosopher, he has also worked as accountant. part-time gardener, and actor. At present he divides his time between London and South Devon. His poems have been widely published throughout the world, in magazines and journals as diverse as The New York Times and The Formalist (USA), The Scotsman, New Statesman, The London Magazine, Stand, The Independent, The Spectator and The Observer. Following the publication of a number of his works on the Continent in the ’eighties and ’nineties, he was dubbed ‘Britain’s first Europoet’ He has read his work on UK and European radio and is the only British poet to have read in Shangri-la, (Nepal). Among his books of poetry have been Collected Longer Poems (Salzburg University Press, 1994), and Reclaiming the Lyre: New and Selected Poems (Rockingham Press, 2001). A former member of the General Council of the Poetry Society, he is consultant editor of Acumen magazine and co-founder of the Torbay Poetry Festival. In 1995 he edited the anthology Completing The Picture for Stride. The founder of the Long Poem Group, he co-edited its newsletter for several years; and in 1999 his autobiography No Accounting for Paradise came from Rockingham Press. He was Millennium Year poet-in-residence for Torbay in Devon. A limited edition print employing lines from his epic, A Map of Time, was chosen by the Dept. of Cartography, University of Wisconsin to use, with appropriate illustration, in their Annual Broadsheet for 2002. Another of his long poems, Over the Hills of Hampstead, was awarded first prize by the on-line long poem magazine, Echoes of Gilgamesh. He has co-edited the anthology Modern Poets of Europe (Spiny Babbler, Nepal 2004). In 2004, Hearing Eye published Namaste his Nepal poems, and Bluechrome published his London Visions in Spring 2005. A study of his poetry, The Romantic Imagination, came out in 2005 from Poetry Salzburg. A fine, limited edition of his Poems Antibes, illustrated by Frances Wilson, was launched in Antibes, Côte d’Azur in December 2006. In 2008 he received the Torbay ArtsBase Award for Literature. His latest collections are: Sunlight in a Champagne Glass and Collected & New Poems (Rockingham Press 2009 & 2014); Walking Sequence & Other Poems (Indigo Dreams Publishing 2015). In 2018 Rockingham Press published his prose anecdotes On and Off Parnassus. His work is featured on various websites, including, from its beginning, Anne Stewart’s prestigious www.poetrypf.co.uk and www.creativetorbay.com.

The Interview

Paul Brookes: What inspired you to write poetry?

William Oxley: Falling in love when I was seventeen years old. Then joining a Shakespearean drama company in Manchester and being transported imaginatively by the poetry in Shakespeare’s plays. I never had really major parts but because I was mostly ‘in the wings’, so to speak, I had hours and hours of rehearsals to enjoy the words of the Bard: mostly uttered by my fellow actors. I think a third factor was that my father was fond of the work of many poets, and he communicated the love of them to me.

PB: Who introduced you to poetry?

WO: Shortly after first going to school around age five, I became seriously ill with rheumatic fever. I spent many months in a children’s ward in hospital. The fever eventually receded and I left hospital. But it suddenly came back and I found myself incarcerated in hospital again. Fortunately for me, penicillin had just been released to the NHS after the end of the Second World War, and I was permanently cured. However, the illness had left me with a damaged heart valve, and I was strictly forbidden all excitement or violent exertion. But I still had to be educated and I had a retired headmistress as a tutor. Her name was Miss Cawthorne, and she it was who first introduced me to poetry. This she did rather cunningly. As I had been forbidden any sporting activity, it was inevitable that all I ever wished to talk about was cricket and football, especially the former. So, cleverly, she had me read poems aloud that were about sport. The one that I best recall was about cricket and was called ‘King Willow’. It began something like this:

‘King Willow, King Willow thy guard hold tight!

Trouble is coming before the night:

Hopping, galloping short and strong,

Comes the Leathery Duke along…’

Not only did such poems as this inspire me to love poetry, but in my late teens and twenties – when I was no longer under medical supervision – I became a fast bowler in cricket.

PB: How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?

WO: After I moved to London with my wife, I read more and more poetry. Poets of the past like Milton, Tennyson, Chaucer, and the main Romantics – Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats et al – became dominating presences in my life. My father had a great fondness for the South African poet Roy Campbell, and he passed this enthusiasm on to me. I repaid the compliment with Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, the great Modernists, and they loomed over me for several years. I also took on board the Irish poet W.B. Yeats and the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Among the younger poets, then active and publishing new work, I was drawn to Hughes and Plath, Thom Gunn and Philip Larkin; and Robert Graves was still alive into the 1980’s, and I was very keen on his poetry and life story. There were others, too, who could be said to be dominating presences like W.H. Auden and the Scots’ poet Hugh MacDiarmid. Then, too, in the 1970’s I encountered the work of Rilke, especially his great ‘Duino Elegies’, and was in the vernacular ‘blown away’ by the Leishman translations of Rilke.

PB: What is your daily writing routine?

WO: I don’t have one. I’ve never had one. At most I’ve just been at the mercy of what is called ‘Inspiration’ – and that can strike at any time, any place. I even wrote a poem once that I called ‘Waiting for Inspiration’!

PB: What motivates you to write?

WO: I’d like to give the novelist’s reply: money. But there is no money in poetry. I would hazard a guess that there are two motives for writing poetry – and indeed for all art – personal suffering, pain; or praise of life. My long childhood illness put me off suffering and its frequent concomitant of self-pity. So, mostly, I praise being alive in this, often beautiful world. My poetry shows my obsessions with love and truth.

PB: What is your work ethic?

WO: Love and truth, as I have said. Successful poetry is the art of utmost honesty. This also embraces technically and ethically the wish to write poetry that is as accurate as possible and as cliché-free as possible; and which has some musical-rhythmic-metrical form about it.

PB: How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?

WO: I think I’ve explained the role Shakespeare has played in my life. Other writers and playwrights like Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and the likes of John Milton, Rupert Brooke, Dylan Thomas, Robert Graves (and other First World War poets), Dante shaped my instinctive style. Eliot more than Pound – among the less traditional, more innovative poets – helped me to explore and write about the impact of urban, city experience in a world dominated by technology. My first long poem ‘The Dark Structures’ was my ‘Waste Land’, and all the many long poems I subsequently wrote can be said to have sprung from that first Eliotesque effort. But the more traditional poets whom I loved kept my shorter poems within the earlier lyric mode. I remember giving a reading in my early poetic years to a Sixties’ audience at a pub in Covent Garden and, afterwards, a poet came up to me and said ‘Your poems are too lyrical – there’s no audience for that sort of writing these days. Poetry today has to be more experimental.’ The poet in question wrote supposedly innovative, experimental poetry. He also founded an avant-garde poetry publisher which lasted for many years after the 1960’s. I have never forgotten what he said after that reading.

PB: Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?

WO: I still read voraciously the various poetry magazines that come my way as a result of being a consulting editor and interviews’ editor of Acumen Literary Journal : to give the full title of my wife’s magazine, now 34 years old. I have also done a great deal of book reviewing at the behest of her book reviews’ editor, a retired academic from Swansea University. In the Nineties I co-founded The Long Poem Group and its newsletter with the late Sebastian Barker. He and I had a common interest in the long poem: I having published my longest poem A Map of Time and he subsequently The Dream of Intelligence: on which latter poem he consulted me at the manuscript stage. I certainly admired his work in the field of the long poem. Then I got to know the Welsh poet Dannie Abse, and for thirty-odd years until his death we regularly discussed each other’s poems in draft. I particularly admired Dannie’s grasp of what I would term ‘verbal texture’. Like Robert Graves, Dannie was a great reviser of his poems – even after they had appeared in published form in many cases. Then I seem to have kind of grown up with the poems of Danielle Hope, since I first encountered her when she was a student in Nottingham editing a small magazine called Zenos. We have helped each other for many years editing collections of our work published by the Rockingham Press. Another poet whom I was especially drawn to was Ken Smith, the first poet ever to be published by Bloodaxe Books. Ken Smith, a northerner, was regarded as the doyen of the so-called New Generation of poets of the Nineties, a kind of father figure who wrote what was termed a ‘gritty’ sort of verse. I liked his work and enjoyed his company. I suppose I ‘admire’ the poets I admire because they offer me different work from my own: taking me along different, unfamiliar routes than those I am used to. Part of poetry’s attraction is it is a learning process. A road to greater enlightenment.

PB: Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?

WO: If you were to consult my autobiography No Accounting for Paradise (Rockingham Press, 1999), you would have your answer. I have done various jobs in my life, from Office Boy to Chartered Accountant. I gave up my fulltime profession in the City of London because I preferred using words to figures. I wasn’t bad at figures but the use of words excited me more. I have always been more of a contemplative than of a practical disposition, and that led me to a fascination with thought and word, viz, poetry.

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

WO: Read writings of the past and present in prose and poetry. And read as widely as possible: from Homer to Dante to Milton to Wordsworth, et al. Read the great epics of the West like The Iliad and The Odyssey; and those of India like The Mahabarata and The Ramyana. Read the great novels of Hugo, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert and others. It all helps with the process of maturing your talent. And if you feel it will help, try a creative writing workshop or two, but don’t get bogged down by too much of the communal teaching that imbues workshops and creative writing courses.

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

WO: This interview.

 

The Shahanshahnameh, an epic poetry collection by Ahmad Tabrizi

Intriguing

Poemedicine

mahshid

Recently, the Ahmad Tabrizi’s Shahanshahnameh has been edited for the first time by the editors, Mahshid Gohari kakhki and Javad Rashki, and published in December 2018 in Iran by Mahmoud Afshar Foundation & Sokhan publication.

In the Mongolian and Timurid era, writing the historical books flourished in Iran, and a large number of historical poems were composed in this period of time. The “Shahanshahnameh”, an epic-historical poetry, composed by Ahmad Tabrizi, is one of the collections written in the Sultan Abu Said’s court (8th century A.H.). In this poetry book, the stories of Genghis Khan, his ancestors and his successors have been narrated. The Shahanshahnameh, which was written in the style of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, consists of 16,419 verses. This book has edited for the first time and published in december 2018 in Iran.

The only available copy of the Shahanshahnameh is kept in a single collection along with three other…

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Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Guy Farmer

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.

guy farmer

Guy Farmer

writes evocative, minimalist, modern poetry about the human condition. Visit him online at Unconventional Being, https://www.unconventionalbeing.com/.

Unconventional Being: Poems by Guy Farmer

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Unconventional-Being-Poems-Guy-Farmer/dp/1722369477.

The Interview

  1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?

I studied poetry in college, but it was over ten years later when my mother was terminally ill that I started writing poetry seriously. I wrote some poems for her, expressing how I felt, and it planted the seed that led to immersing myself in writing.

  1. Who introduced you to poetry?

A good friend of my family who was an English teacher would recite poems and it always stirred something inside me. I also had professors in college who kindled my interest.

  1. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I think poets from different periods and styles influence my writing. I use their legacy to inform my writing rather than dictate it.

  1. What is your daily writing routine?

I take the time to acknowledge and connect with whatever is swirling inside me and write about that.

  1. What motivates you to write?

I love sharing who I am with the universe.

  1. What is your work ethic?

I write daily and fill my day with poetry-related tasks that help me get the word out about my writing.

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

I’ve been particularly influenced by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, E.E. Cummings, Langford Hughes, Walt Whitman, and many others. I take bits of each of their styles and amalgamate them into mine.

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

I admire many. I just finished reading We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo. I appreciate her ability to deal with even the most difficult topics with clarity, honesty, grace, and wisdom. I love work that is deeply introspective and also grapples with the human condition at many levels.

  1. Why do you write?

I write poetry because it’s who I am and what I do.

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

Sit down and write about what you love and let people know you do it.

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

I’m working on a book of social justice poems and I also share my work on my website, Unconventional Being, www.unconventionalbeing.com.

 

Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Steven J. Fowler

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.

calligramms

SJ Fowler

is a writer and artist who works in poetry, fiction, theatre, film, photography, visual art, sound art and performance. He has published seven collections of poetry, three of artworks, four of collaborative poetry plus volumes of selected essays and selected collaborations. He has been commissioned by Tate Modern, BBC Radio 3, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Britain, the London Sinfonietta, Wellcome Collection and Liverpool Biennial. He has been sent to Peru, Bangladesh, Iraq, Argentina, Georgia and other destinations by The British Council and has performed at festivals including Hay on Wye, Cervantino in Mexico, Berlin Literature Festival and Hay Xalapa. He was nominated for the White Review prize for Fiction in 2014 and has won awards from Arts Council England, Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Creative Scotland, Arts Council Ireland and multiple other funding bodies. His plays have been produced at Rich Mix, where he is associate artist, and his visual art has been exhibited at the V&A, Hardy Tree Gallery and Mile End Art Pavilion. He’s been translated into 27 languages and produced collaborations with over 90 artists. He is the founder and curator of The Enemies Project and Poem Brut as well as editor at 3am magazine and executive editor at The European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture (Versopolis). He is lecturer in creative writing and english literature at Kingston University, teaches at Tate Modern, Poetry School and Photographer’s Gallery. He is the director of Writers’ Centre Kingston and European Poetry Festival. http://www.stevenjfowler.com

The Interview

  1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?

In 2010. I began because I embraced the chance entry of poetry into my life and needed its incursion. I was just old enough to recognise that I needed something entirely intellectual that wasn’t theoretical but immersive. Something I took to be best when obscure, hidden, ludic and requiring a grand active application of the individual. And I realised, being hyper verbal, poetry, which was given to me, might be that thing.

  1. Who introduced you to poetry?

I bought some poetry books in a charity shop. In Paddington, London. So the charity shop system of England introduced me.

  1. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?

I actually have never felt dominated by older poets. Maybe because, also by accident, I found myself, early on, in a very specific tradition in the UK, what we might see as the British Poetry Revival and the older poets were really supportive and generous. More than poets my own age, but they were pretty grand on the whole too. But poets like Tom Raworth, Maggie O’Sullivan, Robert Sheppard, Iain Sinclair, Allen Fisher, Tony Lopez, Anselm Hollo and Tomaz Salamun, I can point to distinct moments with each of them when I had barely written / done anything and they took the time to encourage me. And poets a generation younger too, a generation on from me – Carol Watts, Jeff Hilson, Tim Atkins, Philip Terry, Peter Jaeger, they were also very very supportive. In fact I would say now this is something I take to be a responsibility. To teach the works of these older poets, to share them outside of the UK and to connect my students, those a generation younger than me, to the poets who have lived the life they might follow.

  1. What is your daily writing routine?

Completely changeable, I have no routine. Often I write while travelling, in London or beyond. Often while reading something. I like it this way. I take it to be a symbol of the freedom of time I have worked for. Years ago, when I worked jobs with very rigid shift patterns I promised myself I would earn the right to set my own schedule and routine and would do something different everyday.

  1. What motivates you to write?

I often ask myself. I don’t feel easy with the notion of catharsis, I think this is mostly a false and self-serving approximation by poets. I know it’s not for repute or money (well not entirely anyway, as much as one can control these instincts), or I would’ve chosen a different field. I think now, probably out of familiarity and desire to learn, to use poetry as a vehicle for increasingly the possibility of contentment, for meeting other human beings, for creating abstract and mysterious connections between my confusions and still being alive.

  1. What is your work ethic?

I enjoy working as I work now. I have spent years trying to fashion a work environment where I like what I do, working hard to get that, and now I have it, so I work harder, as it doesn’t feel like work. Both my parents were working class, they grew up in Liverpool during WWII. They grew up without education in bombed out buildings. They worked incredibly hard and taught me their ethic.

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

I didn’t read when I was young. But when I discovered poetry, I was about 24, there were poets then who startled me, shocked me into a renewed awareness of reading, and writing, and seeing, and I’ve revisited some of them recently, after nearly a decade, poets like Mayakovsky, Herbert, Salamun, Pizarnik. They retain their power over me.

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

I read backwards. I try to read around 100 books a year, more, I have a system even, and I’m still in the past, trying to catch up. So those I read from now are those I work with, collaborate with and whose poetry ends up in front of me through the computer or with a book generously put in my hand. I can say poets like Harry Man, Maja Jantar, Ailbhe Darcy, Prudence Chamberlain, Ross Sutherland, Christodoulos Makris, Hannah Silva, have my admiration because they are genuinely remarkable, original, leave me wanting to copy them and all share the distinction of being warm and generous human beings while investing so much into their work.

  1. Why do you write?

I’ve started now. And if I can expand on what I said in the ‘motivates’ question, I don’t know really. Every week I think why do I do this? It’s useless and stupid and no one likes my work and I don’t even like it and there’s something wrong with me. This performance reveals how I feel.

But I also remember a John Steinbeck quote – “A writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to his illusion even if he knows it is not true.” Yeah well, easier said than done. My stuff isn’t that important at all.

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

I would say it depends on them, who they are, where they are from, what kind of writing, to what end… There is no one answer, and if I’m honest if someone asks me that, without context, I’d ask them why are you asking me?

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

I’ve a few. Well, to keep it succinct, I have a series of new publications arriving in 2019. Many not quite ready for public declaration yet but I’m happy to have a collection with Dostoyevsky Wannabe coming later in the year, it’s a book about neuroscience and poetry, all poems though. And I’ve a new art poetry book coming with Hesterglock Press called Memoirs of a Hypocrite. And a pamphlet with If a leaf falls press as well, called Reading List Massage. I’m a lucky bastard to be able to keep up this rhythm of publications which suits me so well, my own speed of writing, or mulching, churning, moving language, which I spent years resisting, feeling embarrassed about, feeling I released too much, until recently when I accepted it was a genuine expression of my internal mechanism for poetry. Like Schopenhauer said, we can chose what we will but we cannot will what we will.