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?
“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