Poet Interview, Amber Decker

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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

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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

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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

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Much thanks to Dave for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Kezia Jones

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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

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Much thanks to Kezia for stopping by!

Interview with Uvi Poznansky

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Interview #52, with the extremely multi-talented writer, poet, and artist, Uvi Poznansky!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

uvi_poet

Author, poet, artist, architect, software engineer.

Share a short excerpt and blurb of your work:

uvi_book

For my own sake I should have been much more careful. Now — even in her absence — I find myself in her hands, which feels strange to me. I am surrounded — and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love.
Ben, in Nothing Surrendered

My novel, Apart From Love, is an intimate peek into the life of a uniquely strange family: Natasha, the accomplished pianist, has been stricken with early-onset Alzheimerʼs. Her ex-husband Lenny has never told their son Ben, who left home ten years ago, about her situation. At the same time Lenny has been carrying on a love affair with a young redhead, who bears a striking physical resemblance to his wife, but unlike her, is uneducated, direct and unrefined. This is how things stand at this moment, the moment of Benʼs return to his childhood home, and to a contentious relationship with his father. And so he finds himself standing here, on the threshold of where he grew up, feeling utterly awkward. He knocks, and a stranger opens the door. The first thing that comes to mind: what is she doing here? The second thing: she is young, much too young for his father. The third: her hair. Red.

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

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
” ‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door;
Only this, and nothing more.”
(Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven)

Great choice — I’m a huge Poe fan! Comment on the writing versus publication process, in your experience:

You soar through the writing, and wade through the publication process.

What is your definition of “good writing”?

Let me quote my character, Lenny, a would-be-writer. In his words:

“What I wish to open up is not me, but my characters — all of whom are parts of who I am — giving her the opportunity to know them, to come live in their skin, to see, hear, touch everything they do. Just, be there, inside my head for a while, which I admit, may be rather uneasy at times. If — if she cared to listen, which I doubt, she would allow me to pull her inside — so deep, so close to the core, that it would be hard to escape, hard to wake up.”

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

The desire to tell stories and compose poems has awakened in me in a very early stage, before I could even read or write. My father, who was a poet and writer, would transcribe my creations onto his diary starting when I was three years old.

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To express something that is inexpressible in words. A cry. A sound of laughter. A twist of logic that catches up to you by the end.

As an artist, you work in the following art forms: sculptures, oil paintings, and watercolors (wow!). Do you have a favorite artistic medium? Was there something about these mediums which drew you to them?:

uvi_skeleton

[Late Lover and Can We Take Flight, by Uvi Poznansky]

I always seek to stretch the envelope and work in new mediums because it gives me the opportunity to extend the palette of ideas and emotions described in my art. Thus I create clay models for my large bronze sculptures, and at other times I engineer paper sculptures; I paint in oil and watercolor, I draw in charcoal, I dabble in Photoshop, and even create computer animations, which consume months of my life.

Who are some of your favorite visual artists?:

Michelangelo, Rodin, Dali.

I love their work too. Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Write well.

Perfect! Your websites/blogs/etc:

My author page on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Uvi-Poznansky/e/B006WW4ZFG

To see my sculptures, paintings and watercolors, and to read a sample of my poems and stories, here is my website: www.uviart.com

My blog (contains a link to my radio interview): www.uviart.blogspot.com

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Much thanks to Uvi for stopping by!

UVI’S BIO:

Uvi (Ahuva) Poznansky is an Israeli-born, California-based artist, writer and poet. Her versatile body of work includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media. She has a profound knowledge of the human form, and an equally profound compassion for the human story.

Above all, Uvi devotes herself passionately to her artwork, creating evocative and compelling images that touch the heart and engage the mind. Her website is www.uviart.com

Poet Interview, Matthew Andrako

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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):

mimesis

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

[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

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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

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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):

chris_gilmore

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…
Goodnight

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.

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Much thanks to Chris for stopping by!

Poet Interview, Gordon Ramel

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Interview #45, with English poet, Gordon J.L.Ramel!

gordon_ramel

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Poet, philosopher, ecologist, almost human.

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

Oh Lord, she looks so beautiful to me;

how is it that so many fail to see

the glory and the wondrous majesty

of Nature in her wild diversity

and the beauty that is Earth’s eternally?

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

I have too many favourite poems, as an Englishman I am a great fan of the romantic poets, especially Wordsworth and Tennyson, but also very fond of Blake, Thomas and Eliot. From US poets I love Frost, Dickinson and Poe, but this leaves out so many.

I love Blake/Dickinson/Poe myself! Did reading a poem first spark the desire to write poetry, or was it an experience?:

It was my mother reading Nursery Rhymes to me, and then hearing “The Man From Snowy River” by Banjo Paterson read aloud in primary school — it was magic…

What goal do you seek through your poetry?

To perform magic.

Please share your #1 tip for poets/writers:

Be truthful, be honest.

Your websites/blogs/etc:

www.ramel.org

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Much thanks to Gordon for stopping by!

+ GORDON’S BIO +

Gordon was born in England, raised in Australia and is an Ecologist by training, from Exeter University in the UK. For most of the last 12 years he has been working as a teacher of English or Science in schools in Bulgaria, Greece, Thailand and currently in a University in China.

Gordon has published poetry in various places since the beginning of this century. His poetry collection, The Whispering of the Leaves, can be purchased at Cafepress (this book is focused on Nature and Mankind and the interaction between the two). Other poems can be found at Ecology Info, The Hypertexts, and The Hexagon at Point & Circumference (this features poetry pubished in the print magazines The NeoVictorian/Cochlea and The Deronda Review).

Gordon is also the author of The Earthlife Web, originally uploaded in May 1995 (one of the first sites for home schoolers!).

P.S. Be sure to check out his epic poem, Tears of Kharnoon, on my 13-years-strong website, Dragonsinn.net.