with J Matthew Waters
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
J Matthew: I remember writing stories as early as the 6th grade. Early influences included Ernest Hemingway, J D Salinger, and Emily Dickinson
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
J Matthew: Seamus Heaney, Gary Snyder, Charles Bukowski would be a few names that come to mind. I also follow many WordPress poets and I would be remiss if I didn’t say many of them have an influence on me.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
J Matthew: I grew up in Davenport, Iowa where the Mississippi runs from east to west. Living in the midwest definitely influenced my poetry by having a more simplistic approach and a down to earth feel.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work/describe?
J Matthew: In May of 2000 I spent 11 days in Greece where I joined a 6-day classical tour throughout the country, sandwiched between staying in Athens and a day trip to the Aegean island. To this day I will occasionally reference my time there into a poem or parts of poems.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
J Matthew: In the first grade we had a “what do you want to be when you grow up” event that was attended by the students’ parents and lo & behold I chose “artist
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
J Matthew: I’m an avid cyclist by logging over 3000 miles per year. I also enjoy speed skating, gardening, hiking, and visiting craft breweries
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
J Matthew: My next poetry chapbook is being published by Raw Earth Ink and editor Tara Caribou. We don’t have a launch date yet but I’m personally hoping sometime in August.
Q8: What is a favorite line from a poem/writing of yours or others?
from my poem entitled Paper Tigers:
their emerald eyes shined\
from the darkest corners\
of the night reminding me\
of a love I once had
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
J Matthew: I’ll turn 60 years of age this year and I would say there have been many mentors in my writing life over the years. When I was a senior at the University of Iowa the poet Bill Knott showed an interest in me and motivated me to delve deeper into the subjects I was interested in writing.