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.
Daniel Edward Moore
Isthmus Review, The Meadow, Bluestem Magazine, Coachella Review, Faultline, Slipstream, Barren Magazine and Jenny Magazine.
1. When and why did you begin to write poetry?
I began writing poetry in 1989 after buying a copy of Plath’s “Ariel,” at a garage sale.
I had been journaling for years, but had never been exposed to such radically honest,
and beautifully dark language that felt so cathartic. It struck something very deep in me,
giving me permission to be more human than I’d ever been before. I started wring my life into the world, one poem at a time.
2. Who introduced you to poetry?
Reading Sylvia Plath and then eventually other confessional poets like Lowell, Sexton, Berryman and the gang. The most serious turning point occurred at a Writers Conference in the early 90’s when a Featured poet said to me that I had to read Mark Doty, because she heard how our voices resonated for her. I had no idea who he was. I took her advice and read ‘Bethlehem in Broad Daylight” and nothing was ever the same again. From that moment on every poem he wrote I hung in my mind like a piece of art on a museum wall.
3. How aware were and are you of the dominating presence of older poets?
I’m more aware of contemporary poets my own age, and the new breed of younger poets who have so much passion and beauty in their work.
4. What is your daily writing routine?
I’m up at 4:00 every morning, even on the weekends and I begin with a 20 minute mindfulness meditation. Then I check my email, finish all poetry business related work, look at my submission page, respond to my website and Facebook, and then dive into working on new drafts and do a few new submissions before heading to the office at 6:30.
5. What motivates you to write?
Too many things to list here. But mainly what I call the “Politics of Intimacy.” I’m obsessed with how people connect and break in relationship, how they are healed and broken at the very same time. For me, poetry is a gift I have to explore the realms of that place and those people, and of course the inner terrain of my life. Rarely, do I write from the outside in, most of my work is born from listening to an internal conversation and being invited to join in.
6. What is your work ethic?
To be as truthful as possible, to practice right speech, to be fearless and fierce in my work.
7. How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
Greatly, as I said before the “Confessional Poets,” birthed me.
8. Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Carl Phillips work and voice has had the most powerful influence on my life and work.
For me, he is the purest embodiment of how flesh, language, emotional syntax, non-duality and radical courage can re-create people’s minds and hearts in a dark and suffering world.
Other poets such as Sam Sax, Louise Gluck, John Sibley Williams and Forrest Gander always inspire me to stop, pay attention and learn to serve the poem.
9. Why do you write?
Living would not be a possibility.
10. What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
By reading other poets. By listening in silence to the sound of your thoughts.
By loving your life with words.
11. Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I am honoured to have two books coming out next year.
My chapbook, “Boys,” will be published by Duck Lake books in February 2020,
and my first full-length collection “Waxing the Dents,” was a finalist for the Brick Road Poetry Prize and will be released in April 2020.
I am also near completing my next poetry book, “Dear Elegy,” which will be going to some private Editors soon for its final revision stages, then hit the streets looking for a home by the first of the year hopefully.
Also, my chapbook, “Glass Animal,” which is out looking for a publisher has been getting some seriously kind responses and I anticipate it coming out soon as well.