Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Carl Scharwath

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.

scharwath cover

Carl Scharwath,

has appeared globally with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays or art photography.Two poetry books ‘Journey To Become Forgotten’ (Kind of a Hurricane Press).and ‘Abandoned’ (ScarsTv) have been published. Carl is the art editor for Minute Magazine, a dedicated runner and 2nd degree black- belt in Taekwondo.

The Interview

1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

My journey of becoming a writer began eight years ago. One evening I went for a run near my home. It was very dark and cold and I just completed a 2 miler run. I usually walk a little afterward and as I began to cross the street there were no cars present. Half-way in the road, I heard two teens laughing and when I turned my head to look bright headlights were coming right at me. (this was a police car that pulled out from a school parking lot and had turned the lights on after turning onto the street.)

As I walked home shaken and having a strange feeling of maybe this was a dream and the car did hit me,I started to think about a short story concerning these ethereal feelings and wrote it as soon as I got home. I also wrote a poem immediately after the story. Upon submitting them to a few publications I was shocked when they were accepted and thus began my love of writing.
Running has been the inspiration for my art as most of my ideas happen during this solitary experience of being one with the road. I also am an avid reader of classic literature and poetry

As I look back on 8 years of writing, I know I am blessed to have almost 200 publications of not only my poetry but also short stories, essays, interviews, a play and many selections of my photography.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

Jennifer Link my long time friend always supported and loved my writing. She was the one who inspired me to write poems as she cared the most, always gave feedback and helped edit my short stories and plays before submitting. Sadly she passed almost 2 years ago. I am the art editor of Minute Magazine and in memory of her I am funding a no entry-fee, cash prize poetry contest. She also inspired me to help other poets as I have done poetry/photography collaborations with eight international and two America writers who use my photography for their poems. I am happy to say everyone has been published and a few were first time publishing credits for the poets. I love to support other artists in the way Jenny supported me.

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

When I first began to write poetry, I was not reading the other great poets. That changed quickly though and now in addition to my fictional reading I am discovering the joy of reading other poets. Currently I am reading and studying T.S. Elliot and Hart Crane. These are two of the most difficult poets to understand and this is why my studies are in-depth with these great writers. I love the online tools to analyze poets and to read their biographies. I also use YouTube for the great college lectures on poets and subscribe to Poetry and Tin House for the most modern writing. Finally every morning I read a poem before beginning the day.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

Sadly I do not have a daily writing routine. I currently have a career as a licensed financial adviser. After work most nights I run and work-out, I am also a grand father to two amazing grand children so during the week there is not any time to write. My time for writing is early weekend mornings when I am usually up at 6:30 and can write an hour or two. Many times while out on a run, new poems and stories flow through my mind and some lines are written when I return to home.

5. What motivates your writing?

Simply being out on a run. I love to run and think about poetry, short stories or a sentence that will begin the inspiration. Here is an example of one creation of an idea from a run. One summer morning out on a hot Florida run with the sun burning,I took refuge behind a medical building that cast a cooler shade. In a few moments a police car slowly passed me, took a quick look and continued on. The balance of my run had me thinking that I could have been behind that building to case the back doors or to steal something from the parked cars. I used this idea to start a short story called “Sinful Runner/.”

The story was about an unemployed father living in an exclusive gated community who could no longer meet his financial obligations. He took up running and eventually learned about every neighbor’s schedules while running and began to break into homes and stealing jewelry under the disguise of neighborhood runner. “Sinful Runner” has been published in three different literary journals and was my favorite short story to write.

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

I loved the first time I discovered Emily Dickinson. Her poetry spoke to me with its innovation and brevity. I have always written short poems, I love to compress words and sentences into short usually under 16 sentence poems. As far as a novelist ,Hermann Hesse and Phillip K.Dick influence my short stories as I love to write either philosophical or science fiction type what-if stories.

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

I prefer to read classic fiction and poetry from the 1890’s to 1970’s so unfortunately I do not read any best sellers. When I do read today’s writers I prefer non-fiction or fictional history. I love Eric Larsen especially The Devil In The White City, which I hope becomes a movie. In the same vain I also read David McCullough and just recently finished “The Wright Brothers.” My time spend reading modern poetry has been focused on poets to be discovered. Many of my friends on Facebook are writers and there is always a supply of great writing to discover. I also am a member of Facebook poetry groups and love reading new writers. As a photographer and through social media I have met and collaborated with other poets. We have had multiple publications with these Ekphrastic collaborations. The three poets discovered who have provided great new poems for my photography and multiple publications together are: Deborah Setiyawati. Sharon Dina Rose Regala and Nicole Surginer.

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

“Read, read read.” I would say first be a lover of reading, learn about your craft and begin your passion with a goal in mind. Find support, even if it is only that one person who understands your new talent and will give feedback. We all need that one muse that can inspire us. When you are ready, do not be afraid to submit your work and share with the world. We all have had rejections. Then one day comes your first acceptance and that is when the passion is truly lit. My favorite poet said my favorite quote; “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try;” Sylvia Plath.

9. Tell me about a writing project you are involved in at the moment.

Currently I am working on two different science fiction short stories. I always enjoyed reading science fiction when I was a young boy. One is a Dystobian story concerning government control of what the citizens are allowed to read. My second short story discusses a world controlled by men and the women revolt and bring a final forever peace. I was happy to be notified of an acceptance of my first 10 minute play being published. In the future I will shop this work to local playhouses and hopefully one day I can produce my play. Lastly I continue to write poetry often combining the poems with my photography.

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