I’m a great believer, especially with poetry, in grabbing the moment. Often poems arrive as if dictated and it can be critical to capture them. Dangerous too in the event you happen to be driving.”
How and when did you decide, or discover, that you were to be a writer?
From the time I was a young child, I was an eager reader and was also lucky to be encouraged by my father who read to me from Shakespeare, the Odyssey, Dickens, Kipling, Scott, etc. I began to write my own little stories. I think I always knew I would be a writer. In my day jobs, I’ve worked as a journalist, editor and teacher of writing, so it was always a focus.
Describe your writing process.
Process is such an individual thing that I don’t know that one person’s experience is valuable to another. I’m a great believer, especially with poetry, in grabbing the moment. Often poems arrive as if dictated and it can be critical to capture them. Dangerous too in the event you happen to be driving. I advise pulling over, but confess to scribbling down the gist of a poem while haphazardly steering. I tend to be rather prolific so generally I write daily. Of course, much of what one writes is expendable, so it is also important to put a piece on ice for a while before exercising one’s critical judgment.
What was the inspiration behind what you’ll be reading at Waterline?
The inspiration behind the Carnival poems was engendered by memories of the many carnivals and fairs that afflict our towns and counties every summer. After writing the first one the rest came in a rush. I already had a potential chapbook manuscript that I’d been working on which I was calling Invented Histories, poems that projected the futures of literary or mythical characters. Renaming that Sideshows made is conceivable to partner it with Carnival and then conclude with some circus poems.
What are you working on now?
I have a new book that won’t be available in the U.S. till January, 2018–the publisher, Presa Press, has a contract with a U.K. distributor that gives them a 6 month exclusive. The book is called Her Heartsongs–I have my contributor copies already and I have brought along some drafts of the P.R. that is going out.