A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Barton Smock

with Barton Smock:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Barton: I began completing poems in 2008, but had written long before many untitled things and many death metal lyrics for bands I was never in. My first poetic influences were Mark Strand, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, James Tate, Judy Jordan, Jorie Graham, Andrew Hudgins.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Barton: Even though I came to him late…Franz Wright. I think he was there.

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

Barton: I grew up in smalltown Ohio. I’m not sure what that means, but that’s usually what I say. If there is something in my bones, I’d say it’s some sort of cold that sends a toddler outside in a diaper to stand on a cement block to see the ocean.

I haven’t been to too many places physically. Influence, to me, has always seemed sort of doomed. I do have four children, and they come with their own territories. My youngest son has a progressive disorder of the muscle and the brain, which often makes of place an empty dot that we go skin-to-skin to fill. It’s that filling that uproots.

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

Barton: As I am parented by the recent, I’d have to say a longer exploration titled ‘diets of the resurrected’ which is included in my most current self-published collection rocks have the softest shadows. It was a year in the making or unmaking, and is an entry-guided piece that started with the idea of a suicidal baby and came with so many rules that I abandoned them immediately in favor of repeating my obsessions. I think I failed the monster but not the creature.

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

Barton: As a child, I think, pretending to be asleep in the backseat of our family car while my brothers fought or did not fight, while my parents sang gospel songs, because there, or once there, I knew without knowing that dreams had no memory and that one can be, perpetually, a reverent fraud of the moment.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Barton: Watching movie trailers.

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

Barton: I recently had a chapbook published by Trainwreck Press called ‘Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life’ that I’m happy John C. Goodman wanted to put on paper. It’s one of those small things that the seeing of wouldn’t fit in my eye.

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

Barton:

I can’t always find the year I believed in god

from a series of poems called city

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Barton:

I don’t know if they’d know it, really, but poets Kazim Ali, Johannes Göransson, Camonghne Felix, Dylan Krieger, Molly McCully Brown. In terms of not fleeing your phobias, infatuations. Your excess. Not replacing exodus, nor doubling pilgrimage.  

BIO:

Barton Smock is the author of the chapbook Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life (Trainwreck Press, 2021) and of the full-length Ghost Arson (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018). He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and four children and writes often at kingsoftrain.com

https://amzn.to/3zdiIcx

https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/barton_smock

https://www.culturaldaily.com/barton-smock-five-poems/

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2020/01/27/power-of-poetry-84-barton-smock/

http://www.macqueensquinterly.com/MacQ2/Smock-Quintet-Poems.aspx

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.