A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Kevin Hibshman

with Kevin Hibshman:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Kevin: I started writing around the age of fourteen. I got into Patti Smith and the writers she named as influences: Rimbaud, William Burroughs, etc.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Kevin: Today my biggest influences are Diane diPrima, Joanne Kyger, Julia Vinograd, Maura O’Connor and David Lerner. Only one of them is still alive.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Kevin: I grew up in a very small town in Pennsylvania. I was alienated as a kid and music and poetry offered me a way out without sacrificing who I am. I spent some time in New Jersey and I think I was influenced by the quick pace of life there.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Kevin: I have a new book coming out hopefully soon that I’m very proud of because it’s the first book of story-like pieces I’ve attempted. Most of the book is autobiographical prose. It’s based on memories from my childhood and teen years that were very important in shaping me as a writer and as a person.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?

Kevin: I think the first time an editor asked me for work and then published it, I was hooked. That’s when I began to take it seriously.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Kevin: Music and movies.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Kevin: I’ll provide a link to my poetry web-zine: Fearless.

https://archive.org/details/fearless-75/mode/2up

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Favorite art piece?

Kevin: A quote from Diane diPrima: ” The only war is the war against the imagination.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Kevin: I’d have to mention my friends throughout the years who are fellow editors and writers who have supported and encouraged me greatly: Dave and Ana Christy, C.F. Roberts, John Patrick Robbins and Scott Simmons.

Links:

http://ryethewhiskeyreview.blogspot.com/2021/01/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Mike Zone

with Mike Zone:

Bio:

Mike Zone is the Editor in Chief of Dumpster Fire Press, the author of Shedding Dark Places (almost), One Hell of a Muse, A Farewell to Big Ideas and Void Beneath the Skin, as well as coauthor of The Grind. frequent contributor to Alien Buddha Press and Mad Swirl. His work has been featured in: Horror Sleaze Trash, Better Than Starbucks, Piker Press, Punk Noir Magazine, Synchronized Chaos, Outlaw Poetry and Cult Culture magazine.

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Mike: In my early teen years…of course being a pretentious kid and believing I had the world by the balls and was reading something new my influences were: Alan Moore, Jim Morrison, William Burroughs, Albert Camus and Irvine Welsh

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Mike: That’s difficult to say…I’m inspired by a plethora of societal factors but if we’re looking at specific writers whom I admire who actually push me to challenge myself…Kevin “Wolfman” Martin, Roz Washington and Robert Ragan, all of whom I worked with on the collaborative project THE GRIND…though who doesn’t want to name drop Hunter S. Thompson. Erich Fromm and Mark Fisher?

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Mike: I grew up in Holland, Mi…the western part of Michigan on the lakeshore which is considered the Bible Belt of the North I believe…we’ll leave it at that as I live in Grand Rapids now…travels here and there and everywhere in-between allow to reconcile and instigate a mental restart in general when contemplating one’s existential quandaries in a new environment. It isn’t always doom and gloom when you realize most of it is a simulation and cerebral elasticity tends to take hold even if it’s a beautiful woman in a sundress whose arms you will never die in.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Mike: This a tough nut to crack. I will always cherish THE GRIND but you have to keep going forward…Dumpster Fire Press being editor in chief seems to be a good candidate as there is always something being cranked out…my latest book SHEDDING DARK PLACE (ALMOST) published by Alien Buddha Press is a collection of poetry and prose written during the pandemic that I didn’t realize was meaningful to a lot of people but honestly whatever I’m working on at the moment.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Mike: Oh yeah, when I was seven I won a Young Author’s Award but still wanted to be Darth Vader, when I realized it truly was a long time ago in a galaxy far away…I thought “Hey, I take away other people’s dreams too…”

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Mike: I run a press and work full time in a pot lab…writing saves me…but I like to clean my house and take meditative walks. Eventually I’d like to dig live shows and travel again…Sicily, anyone?

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Mike:

Whoa, Whoa…

VOICES FROM THE FIRE volume 3

SHEDDING DARK PLACES (ALMOST)

THE CROWS WILL NEVER TELL BY JOHANN VAN DER WALT

https://www.amazon.com/Crows-Will-Never-Tell/dp/B09751G6LV/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1624998968&refinements=p_27%3AMike+Zone&s=books&sr=1-1&text=Mike+Zone

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others? Favorite art piece?

Mike:

Favorite art piece is Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows

Favorite line…well, just heard a Holocaust survivor being interviewed about Polish Jews digging their own graves and then being shot into them “…and the Earth was shaking for days” don’t take my new poetry collection title…

This particular line though is taken from my poem “The last days of us”

a jagged blues tune sung by dusty angels

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Mike: I have to say my brother in writing Roz Washington…after my mother died he actually kept me going even while I took care of her before her passing. He would tag me social media posts to write poetry on the fly which wound up becoming a salvation of sorts.

Links:

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2020/05/13/three-poems-from-mike-zone/

http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=7434

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with David Estringel

David Estringel (@The_Booky_Man) | Twitter

with David Estringel

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

David: I actually started writing very late in life at 49 years old. I had always wanted to write short stories and poetry since my 20s but never seemed to find the time (or the passion) to do so. I guess you could say I was pretty limited—in terms of life experiences: I hadn’t lived. I had no voice (to speak of). With age, however, came that voice.
I would say my earliest influences would be Homer, Raymond Carver, and Stevie Nicks.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

David: Honestly, my Pandora playlist, which is heavy on Lord Huron and The Great Lake Swimmers.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

David: I grew up in South Texas in a small town called Brownsville. I hated it there. The place was repressed and extremely conservative (not the best place to be for a gay boy). Needless to say, I developed a lot of angst due to my struggles during my early years. Not everything was bad though. The landscape was pretty savage with all the mesquite trees and cacti, as well as the gray clay soil that cracked under the sun: all against orange, pink, and purple sunsets. I think I can find beauty in almost anything now.

Q4: What do you consider you most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

David: That is a hard one. I would say “Digging for Lost Temples” would be my choice. It is a piece of narrative prose that serves as a sort of apology and lament for the loss of my “Mexicanness”. The sadness and anger in it are palpable. https://www.drunkmonkeys.us/2017-posts/2020/1/13/essay-digging-for-lost-temples-david-estringel

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

David: I would have to say that moment occurred when the instructor of the first Creative Writing course I ever took (about 25 years ago) scribbled on a poem I submitted (my first one ever), “You, sir, are a poet. Don’t stop!” Her name was Mef Hardin and I still speak her name to this very day.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

David: Listening to music, napping with my five dogs, and reading.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

David: This August I will be taking part in Tupelo Press’ 30/30, writing one poem a day for 30 days, which I am terribly excited about. I also recently found out that my third chapbook Eating Pears on the Rooftop will be published at Finishing Line Press in the Summer of 2022. Lastly, SOYYO Magazine reached out to me, recently, about promoting my work via the blockchain (NFTs), which is new territory for me. Lots of great things coming this coming year.

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines/stanzas from a poem of yours or others?

David:

O, viejas de negro!
How you line the front pews
at Catholic masses
like pushers sitting on street curbs,
rolling rosary beads—
like pills of black-tar heroin—
between jonesing fingers,
craving elusive fixes of salvation,
visiones de Dios.
(from “Coda-Switch”, originally published at Cajun Mutt Press)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

David: My muse. Yes, I actually believe that I have one.

Links:

https://davidaestringel.com/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 (7) Interview with Jackie Chou

with Jackie Chou:

Q1: When did you begin writing and first influences?

Jackie: I was homeschooled in my native language of Mandarin Chinese until the sixth grade. When I started attending regular school, I became more proficient in English and wrote in my diary. I also began to read classical literature avidly. Some of my early influences included Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and William Faulkner.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Jackie: There are so many poets I read nowadays that I cannot name one who is my biggest influence. The poems I read most recently were Jack Karouac’s collected haiku, which I believe gave me inspiration for writing short form poetry.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Did any travels away from home influence your work?

Jackie: I grew up in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. The neighborhood, quaint with its colorful run-down houses, definitely provided a backdrop for my writing.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Jackie: I consider the most meaningful work I’ve done so far to be the poems, and a couple of short stories, that have been accepted by various journals. For me, getting published is a big validation for my writing.

Q5: What are your favorite activities to relax?

Jackie: When not writing, I love to watch Jeopardy, America's 
Got Talent, and The Voice.  

 Q6: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others?

 Jackie: Since I write a lot of short form poetry, I'll share the following lines from one of my favorite tanka: as if my story/were a sculpture/in my diaries/the meticulous carving/of each word.

 Q7: Who has helped you most with writing?

 Jackie: The support of the poetry community--the teachers, facilitators, editors, and fellow poets--has helped me most with writing.   


Several poems from the Fevers of the Mind Anthologies by Jackie Chou

https://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=79653

https://subterraneanbluepoetry.com/Archives.JackieChou.html

https://pondersavant.com/2020/07/16/kises-other-poems-by-jackie-chou/

Bio: 
Jackie Chou writes poetry because it makes life more colorful. It turns the common birds and flowers of the urban landscape where she has lived all her life into heroes. Her poem "Cycle of a Tree" was nominated for a Pushcart by Highland Park Poetry.









A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Rota

with Rota

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Rota: I think I wrote my first poem in maybe second grade. It was called “There’s a Monster in My Basement.” It was about a kid being terrified of a monster in the basement, but then he meets the monster at the end and the monster turns out to be nice. I’m sure my biggest influences at the time were Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Rota: Probably Hanif Abdurraqib. Hanif uses language and mixes the conversational with the more outwardly poetic in such an amazing way.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Rota: I’m from Evanston, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago. I only got really into writing after graduating from law school and moving back to Chicago. I was really active in the Chicago slam scene which influenced my writing a ton. Chicago has a scene which really values taking risks and constantly putting forward new work, which was really formative for me. In terms of trips, I’ve gone to a few National Poetry Slams. My first was in 2012 to Charlotte, North Carolina. Being that immersed in poetry for a week, and preparing for the tournament for a full summer beforehand, really helped me grow exponentially.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Rota: I’m an attorney who focuses on ensuring that everyone has equitable access to housing. I’ve been doing public interest-oriented housing law pretty much since graduating from law school in 2009. I’ve written a lot of poems about housing issues and housing law; a few were recently put on Button Poetry and I’m shopping around a chapbook of poems about housing policy. As a lawyer-poet, I think I have a unique vantage point on the issue in some ways.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Rota: The first time I went to a poetry slam – Baltimore, 2005 at Xando’s I think. I love competition, performing, and writing, so I was immediately hooked. I performed at my first hip hop show while in law school in Champaign-Urbana around 2009 and then performed in Chicago in maybe 2011 and there was no turning back.

Q6: Favoite activities to relax?

Rota: Favorite activities when not writing to relax? Probably playing pickup basketball and watching true-crime.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Rota: Wild Pressed Books published my book Giveth & Taketh last summer, which explores American liberal Jewish identity, especially in the context of the more overt rightist resurgence spurned by the Trump years. That’s available here: http://www.wildpressedbooks.com/giveth-and-taketh.html. I also pretty frequently post my poetry and my own neurotic brand of hip hop on my Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6GBmL2qyl63kQxFyUKeAKb?si=k7A_OlvhSoKPBiLouYTKmw&dl_branch=1. Also feel free to hit me up on Twitter or Instagram at @themcrota

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your writings?

Rota: I’m pretty proud of the line “every funeral is a good hair day for the dead,” from a poem in Giveth & Taketh called “Ronald Reagan was an Idiot.” I really like dark humor. My internal monologue speaks in dark humor. It’s a problem. One of my favorite rappers, Aesop Rock, has the line “make it rain frogs” which I love because it manages to be satirical but not mocking, and I think the Bible is a great device to highlight absurdity.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Rota: My very good friends Adrienne Nadeau, Jason Crawford, and Lannie Stabile who are all tremendous writers. Jason’s awesome new chapbook, Twerkable Moments, can be found here: https://readpapernautilus.wordpress.com/2021/06/01/announcing-jason-b-crawfords-twerkable-moments/. And Lannie’s phenomenal full length debut, Good Morning to Everyone Except Men Who Name Their Dogs Zeus is available here http://www.cephalopress.com/good-morning-to-everyone/ 

Links:

http://www.wildpressedbooks.com/rota.html