Poet Interview: Leena Prasad

Standard

Interview #60, with the sassy, girly and geeky: Leena Prasad!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

leena prasad

sassy, sexy, goofy, girly, geek

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

notexactlyhaiku

gaza
on tv, the gaza conflict
outside my window
a bird chirps

happiness
happiness is a
decision, unfortunately
i’m indecisive

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

I don’t have a favorite poet but I read Robert Frost’s Mending Wall in my teenage years and it made a lasting impression.

Here are the first four lines —

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.”

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

When I was 13, I started writing sappy love poems about hopeless crushes on boys.

I’ve probably done that at least a couple of times myself ;) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

It’s a way for me to journal and to comprehend my emotional and intellectual life.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Don’t be afraid to write a poem because even a “bad” poem is an entry into a thrilling new world.

ITA. Your websites/blogs/etc:

Website: NotExactlyHaiku.com

Twitter: @notexactlyhaiku

Amazon: not exactly haiku

* * * * *

Much thanks to Leena Prasad for stopping by! Be sure to check out Not Exactly Haiku, where Leena’s haiku book is available as an iPhone app. You can also follow her latest haiku, senryu, and haiga via Twitter :)

Advertisements

Poet Interview, Amber Decker

Standard

Interview #58, with the funny, blunt and nerdy: Amber Decker!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Nerdy
Industrious
Romantic
Funny
Blunt

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

amberdecker_lostgirlsbookcover

True Beauty (excerpted from Lost Girls)

Her dead father once told her
that dead things are beautiful
because they have given of themselves
and in their death show the living
the truest form of beauty.

Once, she fell in love deeply enough
to let a boy stretch himself through
the wilderness of her body.

When he surfaced as if from under oceans,
he licked her nectar from the flowers of his fingertips
and told her she was beautiful.

And when she opened her mouth to reply,
only dead things fell out.

That’s deep — well-done! Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Bluebird (by Charles Bukowski)

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

Honestly, I’m not sure. I’ve been writing since I can remember, but I think I really started to take poetry seriously in high school. Someone gave me a copy of Verses that Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the POEMFONE Poets, which was the first poetry anthology I’d ever owned up to that point. Before that, I hadn’t experienced much poetry outside of an English class — mainly Whitman, Poe, Frost and Dickinson.

Verses showed me what poetry could accomplish and how it could be used to take snapshots of places, people and experiences. It taught me about abstract images and how to open up worlds with fresh new language. After that, I was reading anything poetry-related I could get my hands on, and suddenly I was writing my own poetry. Now I can’t seem to stop.

Oh yes, Poe and Dickinson ;) Good thing the Verses anthology somehow founds its way to you. What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My main goal is to take my readers into a moment, to create images that stick in their minds even after the poem is finished. I also try to be as relatable as possible. I don’t want to be one of those elitist, academic poets with no clue how to talk to or write for people who are not also academics. I believe that poetry is like good fiction; it’s meant to be enjoyed — not decoded.

Yes, the best type of art is perhaps memorable as well as accessible. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

If you want to write poetry (and do it well), you need to READ poetry. There are many fledgling poets out there who just don’t do this…and I’m afraid it’s pretty obvious when a poet hasn’t done their homework. Also, while I think that the classic “master poets” were (and still are) quite fabulous and should certainly be added to a list of poetic “must-reads”, remember that a lot has changed since these poets were alive and writing. POETRY has changed..a lot. Read contemporary journals. There are tons of them out there, and the range of the poets published in those journals is amazing. Try different forms, experiment, and find your own unique voice.

ITA — language is something that evolves along with the human species (for better or worse). Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://roughverse.wordpress.com

* * * * *

amber decker

[Sweet Relish, by Amber Decker]

Much thanks to Amber Decker for stopping by! Be sure to check out Rough Verse, where she talks about life and poetry :)

Poet Interview, David Greshel

Standard

Interview #57, with pop-culture junkie, David Greshel!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

David

Creative, Dreamer, Listener, Pop-Culture Junkie.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

watch the silhouette fade away to the inside of a distant shadow as we creep along the expanse of this haunted night…..footsteps tread lightly as we walk among the dwellings of the left behind….tension dimly lit by the last sliver of a dying moon….will the past undo the things we’ve often hoped for with their whispered resolutions and uncertain dreams….troubling this sleep we often never rest…compelled we wander on…..not quite lost but never really found…

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Sirens

Midnight
criminal metabolism of guilt forest
Rattlesnakes whistles castanets

Remove me from this hall of mirrors
This filthy glass

Are you her
Do you look like that
How could you be when
no one ever could

Jim Morrison

We just featured Matthew Andrako the other day who’s greatly inspired by Jim Morrison! Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

I think it was a bit of both really. My grandmother wrote poetry and she used to read some of them to us when we were kids. I think that was my first real exposure to the form, but I didn’t get the desire to write my own until much later on. That came from a Jr. High English assignment, and I discovered that I really enjoyed reaching inside myself to pull out these ideas and emotions that I had a hard time really getting out in other ways.

That was kind of like what I experienced with journal writing :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I think more than anything I want it to mean something. Not just to me, but to everyone who takes the time to read them. I want everyone to take a piece of it with them because it speaks to them, maybe in more ways than I even consciously intended. I remember reading Morrison’s work outside of The Doors, and also works by Rimbaud, William Blake, Baudelaire, Bukowski and Kerouac and being completely moved by them. They spoke to me on many different levels and enlightened experiences that I might never have but could somehow relate to. Those are the same things that I aspire to. Money and Fame might be nice, but Poets are generally not famous until after death and the last bookstore I was in had their Poetry section reduced to four shelves in the corner by the bathroom so record sales figures are clearly not there.

Yes, I do sometimes think that commodity production is costing society its soul (and its ability to appreciate good things like the arts). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Don’t be afraid of your influences. It’s ok for those to shine through your work as they helped you develop and aspire to the work you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to grow beyond them either and become your own voice. Don’t let the fact that Publishers aren’t knocking down your door to promote your work stop you from putting it out. If you’re happy with it, there are plenty of DIY options available to help you share your dream with the world.

ITA — that DIY aspect is one of the best things about the Internet era. Your websites/blogs/etc:

* My book on Amazon

* My Blog

* * * * *

Much thanks to Dave for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Edward G. Brown

Standard

Interview #56, with Edward Giles Brown, who wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

edward_brown

Patient Industrious Stubborn Impulsive Curious

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

365 Days of Verse
(365 Days of Verse: Volume II | Book Cover)

From Volume 1:

Good it does breathing the provincial air,
While wet bullets plunge from the well-armed line,
And spent shells run slick under foot, downhill;
Canopies of green hover on ridges
When no mist grows thick around their borders,
In every season, envious they bloom;
And when no white eclipses heaven’s edge,
Myriad ancient signals make their way
Across an infinite span to meet me,
Each flicker never to be repeated,
New and fragile and then at once dispatched
Through the glory of eyes and intellect.
Many pleasures and sweets in city lights,
But none compare to these rustic delights.

— Copyright 2005-2011 Edward G. Brown

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

From W.H. Auden’s The More Loving One

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,

Though this might take me a little time.

— Copyright 1960 W. H. Auden

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

When I was in high school I used to sit under a tree in the back yard and read Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There were many times when reading the poetry transformed my experience of life. It taught me to observe and truly see what was around me. Writing poetry always puts me in touch with that kind of experience and I began to crave it. So in a sense, both.

Nice :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I always endeavor to capture some sense of truth in my life, and to do it in a way that isn’t trite or shopworn. It’s a huge challenge, especially when working on a project that requires output every day. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t hate a bit of recognition for my efforts. I’ll keep at it regardless because writing is its own reward in many ways.

Yes, the work itself has to bring satisfaction (along with the recognition)! Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write something every day.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

http://365daysofverse.wordpress.com/
https://twitter.com/#!/365DaysOfVerse
http://amazon.com/author/edwardgilesbrown

* * * * *

Much thanks to Edward for stopping by!

POET BIO: Edward Giles Brown wrote a Sonnet every day for a year in 2005 and is publishing them in 3 volumes. Volumes 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon. Check out his WordPress blog and Amazon author page for more info!

Poet Interview, Kezia Jones

Standard

Interview #55, with poet and preacher’s daughter, Kezia Jones!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

kezia

Loyal, Humble, Loving, Sensitive, and God-Fearing.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

Labels, Tags what is it all 4 2 show

the world you aren’t poor

status symbol of the struggle

a product of your time

proof to the world that u

can shine bright yes u a star

Gucci, Louis, Prada is your light

the label of success

growing up juicy couture

we find our true religion in jeans

and we rock our republic

while our world is falling apart at the seams

but at least we are somebody and we can afford the right things

this is what we struggle 4

these labels and tags have become the American dream

Very nice ;) Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

Our Deepest Fear by Marianne Williamson

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

My diary is where I released my issues, let out my fears, and learned who I was it was where I first wrote poetry and learned I could express myself through my poetry.

I can totally relate to that :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To inspire people to go after their dreams and to seek spiritual connection.

Yes, materialism is not the same as spirituality (and if people can’t understand that, well…). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write from your heart.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.facebook.com/mytestimonymydiary

www.twitter.com/Queendown4life

www.amazon.com/Kezia-Jones/e/B0080JDV54

* * * * *

Much thanks to Kezia for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Lisa Taylor

Standard

Interview #54, with poet, Lisa Taylor!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

lisa_pic

Intelligent, imaginative, perceptive, reclusive, open-minded.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

lisa_book

It wasn’t revenge
It was only pretend.
The gun at my temple,
True, it’s the end,
But just of the story
Just of the game.
I’ll pull the trigger
But I’m not to blame.

(Last stanza of “I’m Not to Blame” by Lisa M. Taylor, part of Book of Dreams and Nightmares)

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work:

Astrophobos by H.P. Lovecraft

In the Midnight heaven’s burning

Through the ethereal deeps afar
Once I watch’d with restless yearning
An alluring aureate star;
Ev’ry eve aloft returning
Gleaming nigh the Arctic Car.

Mystic waves of beauty blended
With the gorgeous golden rays
Phantasies of bliss descended
In a myrrh’d Elysian haze.
In the lyre-born chords extended
Harmonies of Lydian lays.

And (thought I) lies scenes of pleasure,
Where the free and blessed dwell,
And each moment bears a treasure,
Freighted with the lotos-spell,
And there floats a liquid measure
From the lute of Israfel.

There (I told myself) were shining
Worlds of happiness unknown,
Peace and Innocence entwining
By the Crowned Virtue’s throne;
Men of light, their thoughts refining
Purer, fairer, than my own.

Thus I mus’d when o’er the vision
Crept a red delirious change;
Hope dissolving to derision,
Beauty to distortion strange;
Hymnic chords in weird collision,
Spectral sights in endless range….
Crimson burn’d the star of madness
As behind the beams I peer’d;
All was woe that seem’d but gladness
Ere my gaze with Truth was sear’d;
Cacodaemons, mir’d with madness,
Through the fever’d flick’ring leer’d….
Now I know the fiendish fable
The the golden glitter bore;
Now I shun the spangled sable
That I watch’d and lov’d before;
But the horror, set and stable,
Haunts my soul forevermore!

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

I guess it was reading a poem, though I don’t actually remember which poem. I was nine years old and my family had just gotten internet. I was on the computer browsing. I don’t even remember what I was searching for, but somehow I came across www.poetry.com. I read that people could submit poetry and if they won the contest could win money. Well, I got all excited that I could make a fortune (don’t we all miss the days when a hundred dollars was a “fortune?”) right there off the internet. So I browsed through a few poems on the website and thought, “I can do that!” So I opened Microsoft Word and wrote my very first poem, called “Healed.”

It caused quite a stir, especially when poetry.com decided to send a copy of the poem to my house in the mail and my parents got it. The dark nature of the poem (which you’ll find in most of my poetry) concerned them a bit. But it didn’t matter…after that I was hooked. I wrote sometimes a poem a day, and that’s also what led me to start writing stories later that year.

I remember those days too! I’ve discovered many great literary websites since then (such as dVerse and Word Riot). What goal do you seek through your poetry?

Well, in general, to share my inner world with the outer world! Many of my poems tell stories of epic fantasy or science fiction, and have much the same goal as books I write; to help my readers fall in love with a great story. Other poems are a way of expressing emotions or ideas that people are afraid to talk to each other about because it might be unusual or seen as weird. Come on; even if you don’t talk about your moments of insanity…we all have them. Why not share? My published collection, Book of Dreams and Nightmares, is comprised of poems that describe extremely vivid and interesting dreams and nightmares I’ve had.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Be patient. Unless you’re already a well known author with a big name, try going the traditional route before self-publishing. You don’t need to start making royalties tomorrow. Take the time to edit, re-edit and edit again. Then send it to some agents, see what they think. Contact some traditional publishers. Your work deserves all the time in the world if that’s what it takes to make it perfect.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

My author website: http://lisamtaylor.net

My book blog: http://www.writersparty.com

My facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorlisataylor

My twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMTaylor

* * * * *

Much thanks to Lisa for stopping by!

Lisa’s Bio:

Lisa graduated from West Point in May, 2010, with a degree in physics. Soon after, she was medically discharged from the U.S. Army, and following a short time at graduate school, she found her calling in an old passion; writing.

Lisa began writing poetry and stories when she was nine years old, and never quit. Her first publication was Book of Dreams and Nightmares, a horror poetry anthology that was published in December of 2010. In June 2011, Lisa’s debut novel The Hour of Tiamat, a paranormal fiction, was released for sale in print and ebook versions.

Currently Lisa is writing a Young Adult epic fantasy trilogy, which she is super excited about. She also works part time and the local library, and lives with her sister in Kentucky. Her website is http://lisamtaylor.net

Poet Interview, Nigel Wooten

Standard

Interview #53, with poet, Nigel “Black King” Wooten!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

nigel_wooten

God driven, creative and intelligent.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work (10-100 words):

nigel_book

I believe God has given me a gift, and I use that gift to shed light on different parts of life. I use my poetry to try to educate, inspire and bring hope to my readers so that at the very least they can look at their situation in a different light.

“The Letter” (excerpt) By Nigel Wooten

Now out of your life worst night
Was born the love of your life
A miniature model of yourself
With a endless supply of love
To me that’s the meaning of wealth
And though the situation wasn’t norm
She is living proof
The there is a blessing in the storm

Share an excerpt of your favorite poet’s work (10-100 words):

“write to remain silent” (excerpt) by Scott Free

I Write… To remain silent
Because anything I say can and will be used against me in the court of my enemies…
The truth is not allowed and plus the odds are stacked against me…
And even though they know that I’m not guilty
They tell lies to try to convict me on some trumped up charges…
But regardless…
I write… To remain silent…
Because only God can judge me… but unfortunately
he’s not allowed in their court room neither… So either…
I write to remain silent… Or I’ma become violent…

Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

It was both! I was in middle school when we first went over poetry in class. The assignment was to put together a book of poetry that consisted of all of the different styles of poetry that we had gone over. I loved it and that is where I started writing (I still have the book by the way). I wrote all through life up until I got married, had kids and joined the military. I had stopped because I never really had the time to write. A friend of mine introduced me to some poets who were putting on shows in Iraq on my last deployment. Just being in the company of these great poets, is what started me back writing after years of nothing.

Those unexpected moments make some of the best moments in life :) What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My goal is to educate, inspire, entertain and bring hope. There is a biblical undertone to most of my work, it is so because I have been a Christian all my life and have found that living by Godly principles does make for a better life.

In a dog-eat-dog rat race world, that’s good to know. Now, please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Be yourself. When you write do not try to mimic anyone else’s style or sound and do not try to write what you think people want to hear. Write your own story, write your own piece, in your own voice, in your own way. In the end you work will be better for it, and you will be respected more for it.

Well-said — that’s sound advice for anyone tempted to run with the herd. Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.nigelwooten.weebly.com

www.facebook.com/nigel.wooten

contributor.yahoo.com/user/1555168/nigel_wooten.html

* * * * *

Much thanks to Nigel for stopping by!

NIGEL’S BIO:

In 2003, Nigel enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a Lance Corporal attending Recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina and later drilling out of Wilmington, North Carolina. In 2004 Nigel married Kristal Sanders, the love on his life, to which he still married with two beautiful children, Kristal and Victory.

Nigel wrote with and for many of his friends all through his school career under the pen name of Black King. It was during his second tour in Iraq that Nigel discovered a love for performing live. Good friend and founder of the 3rd Eye Alumni “Scott Free” offered Nigel a spot in his Writer’s Block poetry show while in Baghdad Iraq performing for the service members and civilians stationed there.

His first book, Life in Literary Terms, is dedicated to all of the men and women of the armed services serving all over the world.