Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Ted Jonathan

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.

9781630450236_cover.ai

Ted Jonathan

is a poet and short story writer. Born and raised in the Bronx, he currently lives in New Jersey. His poems and stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, most recently: Paterson Literary Review, Hiram Poetry Review, and Open Minds Quarterly. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize twice. His chapbook Spiked Libido was published by Neukeia Press. His full-length collection of poems and short stories, Bones & Jokes, was published by NYQ Books (2009). His poetry collection RUN was published by NYQ Books (2016). Books are available on SPD and Amazon. Link provided is to SPD where one can click “Peek Inside” (below image cover), and read a few of the poems. Contact: theodorejon@yahoo.com

https://www.spdbooks.org/Products/9781630450236/run.aspx

The Interview

1. What inspired you to write poetry?

Feeling sure I had something to say. And the hope I’d be able to do so distinctively. Mostly though, I was looking for redemption.

2. Who introduced you to poetry?

In sixth-grade we read “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” then the teacher, Miss Pakula, read it aloud, and I was drawn into the mystic. Decades of a life derailed followed, during which a friend introduced me to Bukowski. Later in life, I decided to pursue night classes. My search for a serious teacher led me to the great writer/scholar/editor William Packard, who also provided sorely needed validation.

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

I’ve long been aware, have read many of the late greats. As for older “dominating” poets, I have next to no interest in academic poetry. I like work that cuts to the bone, and sounds good aloud (or in my head). I especially appreciate organic black humour, something that’s not ordinarily associated with poetry.

4. What is your daily writing routine?

Mornings are always best.

5. What motivates you to write?

Ego.

6. What is your work ethic?

I might write all day, or not at all.

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

Not at all.

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

Tony Gloeggler, Rebecca Shumejda, Angelo Verga … Poets with unusual, or at least, musical, names. Seriously though, there are lots of real good small press poets, Michael Flanagan, Bunkong Tuon … Narrative poets who are frank, truly in touch with their own humanity, and have mastered their craft.

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

It’s a solitary activity.

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

I can only speak for myself. I don’t feel qualified to answer that question.

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

I’m getting closer to getting a manuscript together for a third book, including poems, stories, and possibly, other assorted pearls of wisdom. I hope to again work with editor/publisher Raymond Hammond, who published my two full length collections, Bones & Jokes (NYQ Books, 2009), and RUN  (NYQ Books, 2016).

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