Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Have you always written poetry? Who/what first inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite poets?
I started writing poetry in my early twenties as a way to cope with the mental and emotional distress an episode of semi-heavy drug use had left me in. Though my world seemed to have been clouded in confusion, writing poetry helped me to express it with clarity. From then on, the love for writing stuck with me. I’ve always been a fan of Edgar Allen Poe and Pablo Neruda.
How do you first start writing a poem? Does it come to you out of the blue, or do you have a set time where you meet with your Muse each day and let the words just … come? Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poetry?
The inspiration to write certainly comes when least expected, and the opportunity to transfer the content from mind to paper is often a limited window. I’ve found that my most powerful poems are the ones written in one uninterrupted setting as opposed to ones that I’ve had to return to periodically; because, then, the inspiration may not be as strong.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
I have a Facebook page called Psalms and Psychoses. It certainly helps with promoting new material and also acts as sort of a reminder to keep my creative flow consistent, which is something I often need help with.
Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?
There are some Facebook and LinkedIn poetry groups that I’ll occasionally participate in. “Poetry In Motion” and “Poetry and Literature” are two that I’ve frequented. I’ve also found a few websites that were useful. Allpoerty.com and writerscafe.com are two great ones.
Right now I’m reading a book called “The Spiritual Man” by Watchman Nee. It’s about how the Bible distinctly divides man into three parts: spirit, soul, and body, and gives a detailed description on how each one functions. The book itself is not exactly poetry related but Im certainly using it as inspiration for future writings.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Believe in what you write. Avoid pretension. Avoid fancy words for the sake of sounding fancy. Be real. Every word that comes out should have a reason to be there. You don’t necessarily need to know why it needs to be there but you should feel as though it needs to. Also, I may have said in the previous question that most of my inspiration comes unexpectedly, but that’s not always true. That’s just when it’s the easiest. As someone who loves to write, the inspiration is always going to be there. Don’t be lazy like me and wait for inspiration to come. You can train yourself to become more familiar with your creative flow so that it becomes more in tune with your writing routine. Oh yeah, and don’t neglect your left brain. Marketing yourself is a huge part of a poetic career. There’s just no way around it. Duotrope is a great tool. Network with other poets.