Poet Interview, Lisa Taylor


Interview #54, with poet, Lisa Taylor!

Describe yourself in 5 words:


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

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


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


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

Describe yourself in 5 words:


God driven, creative and intelligent.

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


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:




* * * * *

Much thanks to Nigel for stopping by!


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.

Poet Interview, Frank Mundo


Interview #51, with poet, Frank Mundo!

Describe yourself in 5 words:


Student of literature and art.

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


REMORSE by Frank Mundo

I must lay this to rest, must cast it aside,
Where memories map and nightmares collide
Like basic units of matter and mass.
I must embrace the lie: that this too shall pass
In time with patience if virtue is true,
And forget all I think (or thought) that I knew.
I must plough forward, despite all desire
And accept what faith and the future inspire
Without ever, of course, accepting the blame
For all that I did that earned me the name.

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

* Note from Jess: I’m unable to accurately format this poem (in terms of spacing, etc). The poem’s original formatting can be viewed here.

The Triple Fool by John Donne

I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry ;
But where’s that wise man, that would not be I,
If she would not deny ?
Then as th’ earth’s inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water’s fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme’s vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain ;
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when ’tis read.
Both are increasèd by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.

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

After reading and studying for many years, I decided to give it a try myself. But it was reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that inspired me to write my book The Brubury Tales.

I did link the two together ;)! What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To take a big fat stick and challenge our history, traditions, values, beliefs, mores, standards, stereotypes and anything else we take for granted or as gospel.

Most excellent (I like to combat the ‘sheeple’ mentality too). Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Passion is not enough. Never stop studying your craft.

High standards. Your websites/blogs/etc:

Frank Mundo Books on Amazon.com

Twitter: @frankemundo

Facebook: FrankMundoBooks

You Tube: FrankMundoPoet

* * * * *

Much thanks to Frank for stopping by!

Frank’s Bio:

For 14 years, FRANK MUNDO worked as a graveyard-shift security guard in Los Angeles, a job which allowed him to write and publish hundreds of stories, poems, essays, book reviews and author interviews. A book reviewer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, The New York Journal of Books, LA Books Examiner, Westside Today, Karisma Magazine (UCLA) and The Swamp, Frank earned a BA in English from UCLA, where he completed the Creative Writing Program.

His first book of poetry, The Brubury Tales, won the Poet Laureate Award Nomination from UCLA and CAL, Reader Views 2011 Reviewers Choice for Poetry Book of the Year, the 2011 Bookhitch Award for Most Innovative Poetry Book of the Year, a Reason to Rhyme Award from Byline Magazine, was selected for UCLA’s Words poetry exhibit at Powell Library, and selections were published by Fusion Literary Magazine (Indiana University) and The Swamp. Born in Maryland, Frank grew up in Los Angeles where he currently lives with his wife, Nancy, and their dogs, Jax and Rusty.

Poet Interview, Matthew Andrako


Interview #50, with poet, Matthew Andrako!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

knowledge seeker, thinker, dreamer, creator

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


An excerpt taken from “To the Girl That Sat in Front of Me in Biology Class”

Once more I must remark upon
The visions aglow atop your look,
A cool moon eclipsed by a fiery storm
Of red waves and flowing reactions
Of gold and scarlet hues.
Or about the lips in a simpering muse
To the tune of a friendly smile or ruse
In tune to an admirer’s ha.

I doubt you’d expect such record or
Alluring expression at your accord
But I must respect
The wandering arts of beauty, esteem,
In a world where magnificence is so universal,
Has lost the power to move the heart.

I must depart, but say I before I arrive
At another call for interruption,
Thou hast remarkable qualities
In proportion to such refined effects.

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

If you had asked me eight years ago, I would have remarked, “My favorite poet must be John Donne, Jim Morrison, or William Shakespeare!” They heavily influenced my love poetry and philosophical musings in Mimesis. Now, I enjoy Stephen Crane, Richard Brautigan, and others.

I will share with you today something from Stephen Crane:

Once, I knew a fine song,
–It is true, believe me,–
It was all of birds,
And I held them in a basket;
When I opened the wicket,
Heavens! they all flew away.
I cried: “Come back, little thoughts!”
But they only laughed.
They flew on
Until they were as sand
Thrown between me and the sky.

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

A growing experience. I found the first spark of desire to write poetry during an American Literature class at North Carolina State University with a wonderful professor to whom my first book of poetry, Mimesis, is dedicated. Throughout lectures, I would find myself writing my own verses in the margins of my notes. Ideas of philosophy, purpose, and the pursuit of the American Dream inspired me to seek out and discover my own principles and place. I signed up for other literature and philosophy classes to broaden my scope. I ventured into the stacks of used book stores and gobbled up classics and contemporary literature.


[Jim Morrison | Image from last.fm]

I watched The Doors at least twenty times and strove to comprehend the rock poet, Jim Morrison, and his journey to capture (or at least understand) the American Dream. The words of poetry and inspiration began to flow like a river within my mind that was unstoppable; I wanted to bottle up all that I could to analyze it, know where it came from, where it was going, and celebrate it. I carried with me a small notepad everywhere, and always had a pen in my pocket. I never knew when a particular verse would come and it had to be written down and remembered. To this day, I never leave the house without a pen.

Wow, twenty times! What goal do you seek through your poetry?

For the reader to find inspiration. I write love poetry. Poems of admiration. Poems of beauty. Satirical poems, often political. I enjoy a twist of philosophy. It is my hope that through my words, you will find a spark of inspiration that arouses you to create or open your mind to a new idea.

That’s a great goal. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Seek your inspiration, your muse. Keep an open mind and do something out of the ordinary to add depth in your life: travel, enroll in a humanities class, attend a play, walk through an art gallery, speak to a stranger. Embrace beauty in all its forms and may you find inspiration in the smallest of things.

Yes, we certainly could do with more of that to combat materialism and crass commercialism. Your websites/blogs/etc:

Blog: http://meandrak.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Meandrak

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Matthew-Andrako-Author/117338498390343

* * * * *

Much thanks to Matthew for stopping by! Be sure to visit his blog where you may find more of his poetry (text as well as recordings). The publication of his first book, Mimesis, is a step towards realizing his goals as an author.

Poet Interview, Chris Gilmore


Interview #49, with poet, Chris Gilmore!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Kind, Caring, Naive, Shy, Warm.

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


Trouble Sleeping

Trouble sleeping
Dreaming about you
Torn between wishing for reality and hoping the next dream is true,
I imagine being Clark Kent to your Lois Lane
But Spiderman beats Peter Parker when it comes to Mary Jane,
You ask me to change, to be perfect, but that’s not me
Now I’ve realized that you and I are just not meant to be
All this time I thought together was right,
But now, there’s nothing left to say except…

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

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

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

I have a hard time expressing myself to others and a particular experience led me to start writing as a way to get my feelings out.

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

I would like to just get my work out there for others to enjoy.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Never second-guess yourself. If it feels right it usually is.

Very good :) Your websites/blogs/etc:

N/A at the moment, though my book, What Makes Me, Me? is available on Amazon.

* * * * *

Much thanks to Chris for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Shamsud Ahmed


Interview #48, with Indian poet, Shamsud Ahmed!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Someone who tries very hard.

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


This is from my Kindle Book – Absquatulate and one of the reviewers liked these lines from one of my poems:

A fancy has no boundary;
Should I sneak into your heart?
And write my name with light;
Should I seal it before the day break?
I don’t want to get late,
Should it take its own course instead?

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

Honestly, it is a very difficult question. I would however like to quote something I feel we all should keep in mind–

The Poem: Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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

I started writing at a very young age, first for the school journal and later for my college. I slowly graduated to contributing my work to local journals and newspaper. I published my first book last year and from there on I continued to work on more book and have published 3 more since then. Recently I have also started working on few scripts for a Television Thriller for one of my dear friends.

I am in the process of creating a new book (a compilation made up of submissions from various bloggers around the world). The book will be published next month and I’m more than happy to accept good contributions.

Cool! What goal do you seek through your poetry?

My ultimate objective is to bring Poetry to the Masses; to continue to innovate and improve my work. The primitive languages of human beings were poetic. I feel we all have a certain rhythm inside us, and that Poetry is all about Rhythm of Words.

Excellent. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Read, Read and Read.

Write, Write and Write.

It doesn’t matter if things go wrong but never give up. You write many [words] to ensure that the few you have selected are the best. Never fear failure.

Even more excellent. Your websites/blogs/etc:


Join me at facebook.com/mysticeverse or write to me at shamsud.ahmedATgmailDOTcom

Cheers and Keep Winning,

Shamsud Ahmed

* * * * *

Much thanks to Shamsud for stopping by! Be sure to check out his blog for more excerpts of his poetry [along with my recent interview with Shamsud on haiku ;)].

Poet Interview, John Mackeigan


Interview #47, with poet, John Mackeigan!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Honest, caring, loving, respectful and quiet.

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



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

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

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

Really it was just inspiration and/or improve.

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To share it with others and perhaps at the same time have some financial retirement funds through it.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Speak from your heart.

Indeed! Your websites/blogs/etc:

Here’s the link to my poetry book on Amazon.

* * * * *

Much thanks to John for stopping by! Stay tuned for a couple more poet interviews I’ll soon be posting ;)