with Z.D. Dicks
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Z.D.: I really started to get into poetry in my teens. The main influences at the time were Ted Hughes, John Donne and Edgar Allan Poe.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Z.D.: My biggest influence today is Seamus Heaney and many other contemporary poets.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?
Z.D.: I grew up in Gloucester, this has had a profound influence on me. It has influenced me because the countryside has open space and places to get lost without bricks. This has influenced my writing because I can spend time away from people to think and work. My travels have had an impact as well because any new experience adds collateral to the sensory bank so my writing always gains interest as a result.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Z.D.: The most meaningful work I’ve done so far is unifying poets, first by creating the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival and more recently as Gloucestershire Poet Laureate working in the community as an ambassador for poetry.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?
Z.D.: There was never a singular moment when I felt like an artist. I just create. There hasn’t really been a time when I wasn’t making some kind of art. When I was very young I made Owls and drew all the time, in my teens I painted and wrote a lot.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Z.D.: To relax I generally kill zombies, analyse movies or read poetry. I used to teach Kung Fu but due to health issues had to stop. More recently I plan events but this can be stressful but on some level, I feel, is necessary.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Z.D.: I am working on several projects at the moment, these include:
The Gloucester Poetry Festival.
Working with community groups in Gloucestershire.
Spearheading cross-arts initiatives as poetry councillor in the Gloucester Art’s Council.
I also host events regularly to encourage others to share their favourite poems.
I believe it is important to be useful.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
“No Man is an Island”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die”
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Z.D.: The most influential person in terms of my development has been without doubt has been Nigel McLoughlin and his approach to cognitive poetics.
Books available here: https://t.co/81N1DmEZxf?amp=1
Bio: Z. D. Dicks holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He often works with other poets locally and nationally to create events and to work on poetry projects. In 2016 he founded the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival. He has had his work accepted by many publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Sarasvati, Obsessed with Pipework, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Words from the Wild, Outlaw Poetry, Fresh Air Poetry, I am not a silent poet, As it Ought to Be, Nymphs, and Stride (plus many more and anthologies). He currently has three collections ‘Malcontent’ and ‘Intimate Nature’ with Black Eyes publishing (2019) and ‘Vexed’ with Hedgehog Poetry Press (2020). Dicks has a keen interest in imagistic poetry and his work has been described ‘muscular language’ by Helen Ivory and has himself been described as ‘a gothic Seamus Heaney’ by Anna Saunders. In 2019 he was appointed Gloucestershire Poet Laureate and works in various settings to promote poetry.’