with ps pirro
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
ps: I‘ve been a writer since I was a kid. I published an “underground newspaper” when I was 12. It was printed using my school’s ditto machine (an old style copy machine that used inked pages for duplication.) Earliest influences included journalist Norman Solomon, who at the time I encountered him was writing for his high school free press.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
ps: I love the writers at The Sun. I found poet Alison Luterman there, and Poe Ballentine, and Sparrow. I also like the work of Chris LaTray, a Montana poet and member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?
ps: Small town, western New York state, near Buffalo. Blue collar town, first and second generation Italian and Polish immigrants. I spent a lot of time walking in the woods there. I’ve lived in California and Colorado and Arizona, done a lot of cross-country travels. Everywhere you go is an influence
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?
ps: My most meaningful work, most generous work, was the coffeehouse I started in 2000 after moving to Evansville, and then the pay-what-you-can cafe I ran from 2017 through 2019. At the coffeehouse we published an anthology of all the poets who read there during its first year in business. At the cafe I cooked a lot of food and fed a lot of people, which informed my writing, and gave me a lot to think about.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
ps: Seems like I knew as soon as I could read that I would be a writer
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
ps: I make art. I work in collage and reclaimed fabric. I read a lot, listen to podcasts, get together with a friend every week to play music. I still walk in the woods when I can.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you would like to promote?
ps: We’re all just coming back out into the world, aren’t we. I’ve been posting regularly on my two websites, pspirro.com and rag & feather. That’s about all the promotion I’m doing right now.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
ps: I created this art doll during the early weeks of the lockdown. I like her a lot: My Corona
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
ps: My readers, for sure. It’s good to write for someone, a real someone, not just an imaginary person in your head, and my readers let me know they’re reading, which makes me want to write truer work. It keeps me going.
3 poems from ps pirro from Fevers of the Mind Anthology & Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen