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.
Juliet Cook’s poetry has appeared in a small multitude of magazines. She is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks, recently including a collaboration with j/j hastain called “Dive Back Down” (Dancing Girl Press, 2015), and an individual collection called “From One Ruined Human to Another” (Cringe-Worthy Poet’s Collective, 2018).
Cook’s first full-length individual poetry book, “Horrific Confection”, was published by BlazeVOX more than ten years ago. Her more recent full-length poetry book, “A Red Witch, Every Which Way”, is a collaboration with j/j hastain published by Hysterical Books in 2016. Her most recent full-length individual poetry book, “Malformed Confetti” was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in late 2018
Cook also sometimes creates semi-abstract painting collage art hybrid creatures.
Find out more at http://www.JulietCook.weebly.com
Feel free to peruse and/or acquire some of the poetic/artistic creations of Juliet Cook and others via her Blood Pudding Press shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BloodPuddingPress
You can acquire your own copy of Malformed Confetti from Crisis Chronicles Press, HERE -https://ccpress.blogspot.com/2018/10/Cook102.html
Or from Amazon, HERE -https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1640929738/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_myi?m=AXH8DEUFPPU2O
Or directly from the author’s own Blood Pudding Press shop, HERE – https://www.etsy.com/listing/641070988/malformed-confetti-by-juliet-cook-2018?ref=shop_home_feat_1
1. What inspired you to write poetry?
Other poetry and my own creative impulses mixed with my own communicative impulses. I’ve been writing my own poetry for over 25 years now so I’ve been drawn to poetry as a form of creative expression for more than half my life. I know there are people who don’t understand or relate to my poetry, but I also know that over the years, many other people’s poetry has inspired me, wowed me, moved me, strangely disturbed me, elicited thoughts/feelings/strong emotions/artistic impulses – and I hope my poetry does those kinds of things to a few others.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
As far as contemporary poetry goes, I think I initially introduced myself by semi-randomly stumbling upon a book at a semi-random bookstore and thinking, “Oh my gosh! Poetry can speak like THIS?”. That was sometime when I was in high school. Prior to that, I had been exposed to some poetry in high school English class, most of which had seemed old-fashioned in terms of language and some of which I had been strongly interested in and enjoyed, such as E.E. Cummings. But at the time I was in high school, none of the limited amount of poetry they shared in high school English class seemed up to date enough for a teenager. So when I semi-randomly discovered a more contemporary poet and then more and more and more, I began to realize you can create your own creative voice, however you choose. Granted, it took me a while to get mine to come out the way I wanted it to, but that’s another story.
3. How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I think my above answer kind of insinuates this. When I was in high school, most of the writing we were taught was outdated. I didn’t dislike it, but it probably turned a lot of people off to poetry right away when a lot of what you’re reading in your teenage years is in a style of speech and subject matter that differs from the present day and age. Also, pretty much all the writers we were exposed to were old dead white men. Fortunately, that changed when I was in college and was surrounded by a larger library and more diversity and uniqueness. Hopefully, these days, high school English is more broad and inclusive too. Also these days, one can discover for themselves online.
4, What is your daily writing routine?
I don’t have the same routine every day, but my mind is focused on writing and poetry and art every day in one way or another, from thinking about it to reading it to writing it to revising it to submitting it to publishing it to promoting it to the way I think and feel and speak.
5. What motivates you to write?
Mostly my own thoughts and how my brain responds to life experiences, emotions, art, and other writing. Also, in a more indirect way, I’m sometimes creatively inspired by horror films, the psychological, the supernatural, and the political.
6. What is your work ethic?
To try to stay focused on some sort of creative expression in one way or another, whether personal communication, reading, writing, revising, submitting, being published, publishing others, working on art. To maintain my own unique and individual creative passion.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
For me, I think it’s more the fact that I was reading lots of different kinds of contemporary poetry when I was young, was exposed to lots of different styles, and was thus made aware that my poetry and my style should be my own. I never wanted to be like anyone else, but I did ideally hope to move people as strongly as some of my favorite poets moved me when I was younger.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
I find it impossible to narrow my admiration down to one or a few writers. What I admire most about writers, in addition to their own unique poetic style, is maintaining their style(s) for their own reason(s), maintaining their own passion, staying true to themselves while continuing to grow, and remaining open to considering the creative work and viewpoints of others.
9. Why do you write?
To express myself my way. Poetry has been my favorite form of creative personal expression for many years. It captures parts of me that might otherwise disappear. I can re-read an old poem of mine and remember/re-live/re-connect with and/or re-examine various aspects of my past mind. I can write a new poem and explore my present mind.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
You need to maintain your own passion, work at your own pace, and set your own goals. You need to be true to yourself, but also try to develop and grow as a writer. You need to have your own personal definition of success as a writer, but you can’t expect success to happen with a few clicks of your fingers. You have to keep working to achieve your goals.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
First and foremost, ongoing reading and writing (with bits of revising, submitting, and publishing in between).
In the middle of 2018, my poetry chapbook, “From One Ruined Human to Another” was published by Cringe-Worthy Poet’s Collective – and closer to the end of 2018, my second full-length poetry book, “Malformed Confetti” was published by Crisis Chronicles Press – so I hope to promote those two collections a bit more this year – and I have a few poetry readings lined up.
Sometime this year, I have another poetry chapbook, “Another Set of Ripped Out Bloody Pig Tails” forthcoming from The Poet’s Haven. I also have another poetry chapbook manuscript, “red circles into nothing” circling around the poetry universe. I’m in different stages of considering and working on the creation of various other creative projects too.