Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? At what age did you start writing? Who/what first inspired you to begin? Who are some your favorite writers and artists (past and/or contemporary)?
I started writing poetry when I was about 27 (I’m 59 now) when I was a member of the Atlanta punk rock scene. I started writing poetry in bars while I was watching bands play. The music was my inspiration for the words. The music was what first inspired me to write. Eventually I had my own band, The MIkel K Band where I did spoken word with a band that did improvisational rock and roll and noise music. The words were usually the same, but the music was always different at each gig that we played around Atlanta. We put out two cds, Sober, and Don’t Say Hate.
Poets that I like are Sylvia Plath, David Bottoms, Thomas Lux, Emily Dickinson, Billy Collins and Charles Bukowski among others. Writers who I enjoy are Ernest Hemingway, Hunter Thomas, Mary Karr, Augusten Burroughs and David Sedaris. I especially enjoy memoirs and have written a bold and exciting one that chronicles my path from being an lsd alcohol soaked punk rocker to a sober father sitting in the little league bleachers cheering my son on. You can buy the memoir at www.lulu.com/spotlight/mikelkpoet
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 … flow?
For the longest time, I would carry a notebook and a pen with me wherever I went and write whenever a poem came to me, whether it be in the car at a red light, or in the living room watching tv, or at a coffee shop or a bar, back when I was still drinking. These days, I write on the computer, mainly when the poem comes to me. I have never been the type of writer who sets a time to write. I wait until the muse comes to me.
What does poetry mean to you, and has your idea of what it represents changed over the course of time? Where do you see it going in the future?
Poetry has meant a lot to me. It was the main thing that I did for a long, long time when I wasn’t at work or raising my kids.
It is still something that I spend a lot of time doing. I think it represents, now, what it has always meant to me in that it is a creative outlet that I must pursue. In the future I hope to have more books of my poems come out.
You’ve recently released a new book out into the world. Who is your publisher? What inspired the material in this collection?
The book is called, Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself, and it came out on Pski’s Porch Publlishing, a small press out of New York. It is a collection of poems from over thirty years of writing poetry and includes some new work. You can purchase it at
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
I post a lot of poems on Facebook and use Twitter to post shorter poems. You can find me on Facebook at:
and on Twitter: @mikelkpoet.
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 don’t currently belong to a writing group, though I have, in the past. I used to be a regular at a number of Atlanta open mic poetry nights. I recently did a reading at The Pine Lake Lodge that was very well received. As a result of reading out, I was voted Best Poet in Atlanta, three years in a row, by the readers of Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s weekly newspaper. Mainly, recently, I have been reading The Cortland Review, Five Points, Terminus and Rattle.
As 2017 continues rolling along, what are your expectations for the months ahead? Do you have any new projects in the works that you’re particularly excited about?
I expect to keep cranking out the poems, submitting them to poetry publications, and putting together books of poems to send out to publishers. Mainly, I want to continue to enjoy the process as I have for so many, many years.
What words of encouragement can you offer other poets who are trying to get their work noticed?
Just do it. Don’t wait around waiting for something to happen. Make it happen. When the muse hits you, as it will if you are receptive to it, get it down. If it is really in you, if poetry really means a lot, or everything to you, then never quit. Keep kicking it out. Keep spitting out and sweating out those words.
Mikel K is a poet and memoirist living in Atlanta, Ga.
He has a BS in English with a minor in Journalism from Georgia State University. He drank his way out of Florida State University one class short of a business degree.
Poetry by Mikel K has, recently, appeared in: Subtle Tea, Inbetwen Hangovers, Drown In My Own Fears, Your One Phone Call, Harbinger Asylum, Indiana Voice Journal, Dissident Voice, Dead Snakes, Horror Sleaze Trash, Poeticus, Anti-Heroic Chic, Section 8 Magazine, drown in my own fears, poetic diversity, Zygote In My Coffee, High Coupe, The Blue Lake Review, Swimming With Elephants, Ceremony, Visceral Uterus, High Coupe, Fragrance Poetry Magazine, The Piker Press, Vox Poetica, Napalm and Novocaine, Ceremony.