Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Samuel Guest

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.

The Radical Dreams

Samuel Guest

writes on his blog:

I have made it my mandate to serve those who have fallen in and out of love. This blog is also for the lovers who have stuck it out and made a happy life together.  I am a Canadian author based in Toronto, Ontario.  My poetry book “The Radical Dreams” was published back in April, 2018. The book is also available on Kindle. Some of my poems have appeared in Half a Grapefruit Magazine and Montreal Writes.

Samuel Guest Writes – Fiction that goes beyond the screen.

Follow him also on Instagram or Twitter: samuelguest123.

The Interview

1. When and why did you start writing poetry?

Other poets inspire me. Sometimes it is the work I read, while other times it is how they perform live. For some reason their inspiration turns into a different kind of inspiration for me.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

My grade six teacher introduced me to poetry. As a class we merely touched upon it, but that was enough to get me started.

2.1. What poets did your grade six teacher introduce you to, and why did they get you started?

My grade six teacher focused a lot on Emily Dickinson while also mentioning Rumi and Edgar Allen Poe. She got us to work on writing one poem as an assignment, and so that is what we did as a class.

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

Growing up I had no idea who the big wigs were, except for the ones that had already past away long ago. It is only within the last three years that I have really started to focus on poetry. Now I ingest as much as possible, and go to readings and launches as often as I can.

3.1. What prompted your refocus on poetry three years ago?

What prompted me to refocus on poetry was the fact that I had wanted to write a novel for many years, but never found much enjoyment in it. At the advice of my girlfriend, I started reading and writing poetry, and began to put a real effort toward it instead of bits and pieces every three or four years. It has really paid off. I wrote I self-published my first full-length collection last year, which got rave reviews from the likes of Kirkus indie as well as other online reviewers. Kirkus even put their review of my book into one of their print magazines. This happens to less than ten percent of the books that they review.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

My writing habits are sporadic throughout the day. If I’m lucky it can accumulate to an hour.

5. What motivates you to write?

My motivation stems from a love of nature and the important people and animals in my life. I feel love for my girlfriend of four years. I feel love for my cats. Family. Landscapes. Anything that flies

6. What is your work ethic?

Read, read, read. Write. Read, read, read. Write. More reading than writing

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

The writers of past that influence me today are Izumi Shikibu, Matsuo Basho, Ono No Komachi, and Rumi. When I am stuck on a point, they take me back to where my heart is.

7.1. How do Izumi Shikibu, Matsuo Basho, Ono No Komachi and Rumi influence your writing today?

Back in their day, Izumi Shikibu, Matsuo Basho, and Ono No Komachi wrote haiku. Good haiku poems are extremely understated, and although I do not write haiku, I like to try and keep my work concise.

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

Louise Gluck, Jeff Kirby, Robert Frede Kenter, Shannon Bramer, Robyn Sarah. Charles Simic, Mary Oliver, Greg Santos, Anton Pooles, Chuqiao Yang, and Edward Anki. What do all these poets have in common? When I read them I feel their connection to nature and human nature is that of my own. The majority of these poets are understated, and powerfully so. They help me to keep things quiet in my head, yet meaningful.

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

I write because it soothes my mind. Writing takes me far away from everything else.

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

Write every day. Even when there is nothing logical coming out of you. Even if it feels like the writing will never get to where you want it to go. Fight through that. Do not try and write like anyone else either. Be yourself. At the end of the day you can throw that paper away. No one else will see it unless you want them to

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

I am editing a chapbook right now. Not sure where it’s going but I know where I want it to be.

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