A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Robert Allen

Q1: When did you start writing and who influenced you the most?

Robert: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. When I read Sylvia Plath and Theodore Roethke in high school and knew then that I wanted to specifically be a poet. The work of Roethke and Plath seems to always be in my head; they were “my first poets”, so they are dug in deep. Wallace Stevens and T.S. Eliot came later. Currently Anne Carson makes me want to be a better poet. She’s inspiring. Rita Dove is amazing. Sharon Olds. Joelle Taylor. Just some current poets I appreciate.

Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Robert: Times spent in 9th grade in the public library in the poetry section.

Who has helped you most with writing and career?

Robert: my awesome wife

Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?

Robert: I grew up in Seattle but moved to Northern California later in life. I’m influenced a lot by California, it’s weather systems, it’s beauties.

I studied abroad at age 21, and that time was highly influential to my way of viewing the world and how I express it in poetry.

What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?

Robert: I wrote a piece called The Fire Trilogy, which was published by Roi Faineant Press. It’s about climate change, and I just like the way it turned out musically with a theme extremely important to me. I also made a shared chapbook (with two other poets), “Disjointed”, that I am very proud of.

Favorite activities to relax?

Robert: reading poetry, writing poetry, walking

What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always comes back to you as an inspiration?

Robert: I listen to Vedic chants or old western music like Perotin, Hildegard, stuff like that when I write. I like it in the background while doing a poem. Mostly I listen to hip hop, which has its own musicality in terms of sound and sense. It makes its way into my poems no doubt.

Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote?

Robert: Books, poetry coaching information, and workshop schedules are all available at www.robertallenpoet.com I just completed my first full length manuscript and I’m currently seeking a publisher.

Any funny memories or strange occurrences you’d like to share during your creative journey?

Robert: My strange occurrence was bipolar disorder. Crossing over to a bipolar life in my 20s is reflected a lot in my writing, especially the worldviews where anxiety can meet healing–or it doesn’t meet at all. Also, a certain kind of darkness, with the possibility of climbing to the light, making a heaven of hell.

BIO: “Robert Allen lives in Oakland, CA with his family, where he writes poetry, takes long walks, and seeks beauty everywhere. 2021 nomination for Best of the Net.”


By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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