Wombwell Rainbow Ongoing Book Interview: “The Knotsman” by Math Jones. Question 1.

The knotsman by math jones

-Math Jones

Tidying, not writing, Math Jones found a knot, began to unpick it, thinking, “what if, by untying this, I loosened the knot of worry and hurt inside, what if someone could do that?”
So using his years of writing and acting experience, a love of folklore and magic, he made The Knotsman, the life and times of a C17th cunning man.

Math Jones is a south Londoner now in Oxford, a former bookseller turned actor and poet. See also Sabrina Bridge, poetry from Black Pear Press, and eaglespit, Heathen spoken word.

Link to publisher, Arachne Press:

The Interview

Q:1. How did you decide on the form of poetry that makes up The Knotsman?

I kinda didn’t. The first thought had been a novel, maybe a fantasy novel such as I’d grown up with. But so far, I’ve never felt the stamina or application to manage a novel.

Later, over a few days or weeks, I found myself writing a number of short pieces: a flash fiction, something like a ballad, a rambling patchwork piece like scraps of notes, and a love poem. And they became the core, of the plot lines, of the man, of the people around him.

And as that initial piece was made of fragments, I approached the rest of the book in the same way. Characters, situations, events, almost tangential to the central thing. They became threads in a knot themselves.

As for form, it was then a case of trying different approaches: monologues, dialogues, nursery rhymes, satires, court transcripts, formal and informal, some tied to sonnets, some inspired by Old English alliterative verse. Some straight-forward prose and storytelling. Some concrete verse even. Often, what haven’t I tried yet? Sometimes emulating an earlier piece.

I didn’t really know where it was going, but I did know when I’d written the last piece.


More to come.

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