with Michael Igoe:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Michael: I started writing at about 15 or 16. I had little interest until then, I was encouraged by a musician buddy to do this. What I was reading was mostly trashy detective stories and horror, sci-fi.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Michael: A lot of what I see and hear is contemporary work- Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown. I still revere the beat poets, especially Corso and Ginberg. Surrealism, Dada, and Symbolists are about as far back as I go. I’ve heard that “an artist is true to the times.” So be it.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
Michael: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago which is a pretty fabled place for childhood. It definitely had a great influence, at one point I spent a lot of time portraying neighborhoods and people in them.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Michael: I have a few favorites from my own work. One of them is in that great anthology, Avalanches in Poetry
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Michael: I think because of the way I was brought up I shied away from identifying myself as an artist. It happened by default.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Michael: I study Tai Chi and it has aided me immensely.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Michael: No! I send out submissions; that’s all. I write for the people I’m with.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others/Favorite artwork?
Michael: “Nighthawks” the Hopper painting. I had a reproduction on the wall at college.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Michael: I have to say the late Allen Ginsberg. I corresponded with him for 2 years. I showed up at his Institute in Boulder and met up with him again when he read at Harvard.