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 first started writing when I was about 11 or so, I guess. Began writing seriously in May 2014, at the age of 22. At first, I was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe and the general…difficulty, I suppose, of life in the ghetto as a chubby white kid named Roach. And as I’ve grown and soaked up all the poetry I can, my favorite poets now are by far Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg.
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?
It usually starts with just a single line or a phrase that I think of or hear or organically say in conversation. If it occurs to me that it’d be a good foundation for a poem, I sometimes hammer the thing out right away or tuck it away for a little later, when it can be given the attention it deserves. But when it’s time, it rarely takes me longer than 10 to 15 minutes to write a poem.
Are you on Facebook or Twitter or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
Yes, yes, I do the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram thing. I’d say it plays a major part in what I do, especially the “Mike Roach – poet” Facebook writer page. I’m also in a band called blood like wine. (yes, stylized in lower case letters with a period) and we’re on Facebook and Bandcamp.
Do you have a writing group or community of writers you share your work with? Who are they? What are you reading right now?
I share my work in A LOT of Facebook groups. Too many to name them all but my favorites are probably The Wingnut Brigade and Wordsmiths with Lizard Skin. Right now, I’m reading (my favorite contemporary poets) Adam Levon Brown and Nikki Anne Schmutz, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, and I’m about to finally attempt tackling The Collected Poems of Allen Ginsberg: 1947-1997.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Facebook groups. Journal/mag/lit site submissions. And don’t exist solely online. Put out a book. Get out and take your poetry to the people. PERFORM (my favorite part of this and something I haven’t done in over a year; need to get on that again). Never let yourself become discouraged. And always have something to fucking say.