A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with M.S. Evans

with M.S. Evans

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

M.S.: I started writing when I was very young, but didn’t share any of it. In 2019 I gave myself permission to finally go for it.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

M.S.: I’m currently diving into work by Bukowski, Louise Gluck and Franz Wright. Tom Waits is a musical constant

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art?

M.S.: I grew up in in Seattle, in an old farmhouse. It’d been a speakeasy during the Prohibition era and strange things happened to everyone that stayed there.
Nature in the Pacific NW influenced me deeply. I became involved in environmental activism at a young age, which led me to the labor movement.
Nature, ghosts, and activism are definitely recurring topics in my writing.

Apparently Gary Snyder grew up in the same neighborhood. I like to think there’s a rebellious nature spirit there that drops in on kids’ dreams.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your work?

M.S.: In 2010 I traveled to Wales to meet my penpal. I married him, poor bloke. His belief in me has been invaluable.

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

M.S.: I’ve always had a drive to capture what I witness. Before I owned a camera or started really writing, this desire to capture a moment was like a physical pain.
I knew I had a unique perspective, but I’ve not always been sure how to share it, or if anyone would appreciate it. I’m still not sure, but that doesn’t seem to matter now.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

M.S.: Making art: linocuts, dolls, jewelry, painting. Walking, taking photographs. daydreaming. Sometimes all at once.

(Some pins I made getting a little extra UV curing: Mary MacLane, James Joyce, Linton Kwesi Johnson.)

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

M.S.: I’m currently working on my first poetry collection, and also cooking up a project with Ice Floe Press where I’ll be a guest reader.

My first exhibit, “Permanent Migrant” is now wrapping up here in Butte.

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

M.S.:

“Roll rough Yiddish,
like bone dice
against a home’s foundation.”

-from “Red Shadows”, Ice Floe Press, 2020.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

M.S.: I’m indebted to Matthew M C Smith of Black Bough Poetry for his mentorship. Through Matthew I also met Robert Frede Kenter, a gentle, intuitive editor. They’ve both shown me so much kindness. I hope to pay it forward someday

Links:

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: M.S. Evans

Photography Art by M.S. Evans

3 poems from M.S. Evans from Fevers of the Mind Press Anthology

Twitter: @SeaNettleink

https://icefloepress.net/2020/06/02/butte-america-poems-and-photos-by-m-s-evans/

https://icefloepress.net/pandemic-politics-3-poems/

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/m-s-evans

https://feralpoetry.net/three-love-poems-by-m-s-evans/

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/ms-evans-grief-stones

https://stoneofmadnesspress.com/ms-evans

A Review for Black Bough Poetry: Dark Confessions

(c) Darren Green (c) Black Bough Poetry

Dark Confessions

When editor Matthew M. C. Smith has an idea he goes all out. He looks for and seeks out challenges that generates wonderful ideas, poetry & art from contributors to the Black Bough brand.

His latest baby is “Dark Confessions” a book that explores a variety of themes such as isolation, confinement, disease and corruption. This is a prelude to a second edition which will focus on themes of ‘Freedom’ and ‘Rapture’ which is brought about as a tribute to poet/singer Jim Morrison (50 years after his passing) and the idea of “Riders on the Storm” and Blondie’s “Rapture” a very interesting idea indeed.

Matthew knows many wonderful artists & poets through the communities. He’s got a wonderful poet co-editor on board with Kari Flickinger, as well as co-editors Ness Owen & Ranjabali Chaudhuri. The artistic design of the book(s) come from designer Darren Green, from Swansea. Very visually appealing and leaving you wanting to begin to tap into the human feeling, the edginess that the human brain tip-toes on. That comes from Dark Confessions.

This series is dedicated to Welsh poet Dai Fry (a Fevers of the Mind Poets of 2020 contributor as well) who had an untimely passing as the book was going into publication. Please read his work below for a sample of his work in Fevers

3 poems by Dai Fry from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

The contributors of writing & art in “Dark Confessions” is a who’s who of current day poets that are putting out life changing pieces everyday and should be looked at more often.

Contributors such as Matthew M. C. Smith, Elizabeth Barton, Tara Skurtu, M.S. Evans, Marian Christie, Eileen Carney Hulme, Ness Owen, Claire Loader, Jonathan Braceras, Ranjabali Chaudhuri, Steve Jensen, Devon Marsh, Kari Flickinger, Briony Collins, Jeffrey Yamaguchi, James Lilley, Adwaita Das, Daniel Blick, Kim M. Russell, Alan Parry, Dominic Weston, Sophie Livingston, Philip Berry, Mike Farren, Rich Schilling, George Sandifer Smith, Tolu Oloruntoba, Maeve McKenna, Tom Lagasse, Liz McGrath, Jo Gatford, Elinor Ann Walker, Billy Fenton, Nick Newman, Roger Hare, Elizabeth Spencer Spragins, Julie Mullen, Emry Trantham, Andy MacGregor, Daniel Fraser, Wendy Humphries, Dai Fry, Anthony Paticchio, Ankh Spice, Natalie Ann Holborow, Mark Antony Owen and i’m hoping i’m not leaving anyone out, because this is quite the list.

I’m still reading this collection which was gifted to me to read, and some of these poems I keep re-reading because the imagery has to be rested on for awhile and just mingle with your mind tingles for a bit. You can feel the emotives that are put out there, and do you dance with that emotion, do you hide from that emotion, do you cry for awhile in those emotions, do you smile from the creative wordplay?

Polish Mother Bones by M.S. Evans
“Each of us has roses in our throats”

Mercy by Tara Skurtu 
"You can easily be
forgotten in the unforgiving
blood of the family"

Just an example of some lines from these creative poems.
You will definitely want to check this series out from the brilliant Matthew M. C. Smith's latest endeavor in a collective poetic magnum opus.

3 poems from M.S. Evans from Fevers of the Mind Press Anthology

Cicadas Said Kaddish

I tried to give The Universe a nudge,
packed a few boxes.
Just things we could do without:
tchotchkes, reference books.

I needed to prepare for something.

Now boxes with no destination
line the hall, reminds me of
late summer in Chillicothe,

packing up Suzanne’s life:
her cherrywood pipe, the glass eye
of a man she’d wanted,
a pistol, and love of books.
I herded together
stray tarot cards; a psychic’s closure.

Cicadas said Kaddish with mermaid sisters,
beautiful creatures from LA,
beached in a second-floor apartment
alongside cardboard shells.
All of us out of our element.

I padded the painted urn,
crumpled newspaper, back page sex ads
(to make her laugh).
An outer layer of t-shirts;
¼ of her ashes formed the
nucleus of my bag.

Still, I return seashells to The Pacific,
smooth stones from her pocket.

What comes next?
Her altar will be the last thing I pack.

Cedar Park, Seattle

How can you be nostalgic for a dirt hill
and cruel boys,
but they were the only boys I knew.
Twilight, hunting rats in an empty lot.

Before Mr. Coffey lost his house
to a Starbucks exec.

Red Cedars, hemlocks,
kept watch, with nodding heads.
Dark green, the color of
patience.

Only the boys were allowed to sled
down Sunrise Hill.
I didn’t want to, but
felt I should.

Sometimes people on horseback rode by;
enough to make me wonder
about time.

At the top of the hill,
The Tootsie Roll Lady gave
just one a day,
if you asked nicely.

Pops Jones let me roller skate
on his driveway. Said,
girls can go to college now.
I didn’t want to, but
wish I had.

The old apple trees still grow there,
but I can’t pick ‘em.
I had assumed their pale fruit
my birthright.

After a Wedding

The welders moved in unison,
leaving behind the pier.

Wordless and smudged
they approached me.

Searching stained pockets, on beds
of pink and black palms,
they revealed gold rings.

A journeyman knows to cherish.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: M.S. Evans

photo by Karsten Winegeart (unsplash)