Poet Interview #70: JD DeHart

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 of your favorite writers and artists (past and/or contemporary)?
I am a writer and a teacher.  I started writing when I was a teenager, really when I was a child.  I used to make my own comic books in notebooks.  I think what inspired me to start writing was that I have always been a reader.  Some of my favorite writers (right now) are Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, and Billy Collins.  I also enjoy the writing I find around the web.
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? 
It depends.  Sometimes I write down an interesting combination of words that sound attractive to me.  I journal a lot about ideas, but I usually compose on the computer.  I like to see the formatting as I go.  I will go a month or two without writing, and then hit a creative surge.
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, to me, is the distillation of experience in words.  It’s all about life and interpretation.  My definition has changed as I have read and considered more.  I see poetry growing as people enjoy it in online spaces.  
Are you on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media? Does that fit into your writing life, and if so, how?
I used to try to maintain writer presences on socia media, and I find that I don’t have the time to anymore.  I have other things to work on, unfortunately.  I do blog every now and then, but that is also sporadic.
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 have a community of writers, necessarily, but right now I am reading some Neil Gaiman.  I just finished his book about mythology.
As 2017 continues rolling along, what are your expectations for the year ahead? Do you have any new projects in the works  that you’re particularly excited about?
I find that I am writing more selectively with poems now, returning to what I have written over the past few years.  I’m not going on flurries of creating new things as much as trying to find venues to feature some of the poems I like best.

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site 17Numa.wordpress.com where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott is a member of The Southern Collective Experience; he also serves as an editor for Walking Is Still Honest Press, The Blue Mountain Review, The Peregrine Muse, and Novelmasters.

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