Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Amanda: When I was about 9 years old I started taking a little red notebook around the trailer park I lived in to write down observations. Sometimes I pretended I was a reporter, other times the words became poems. Then I discovered Stephen King’s IT on my mom’s bookshelf and became hooked on horror.
Q2: Who is your biggest influences today?
Amanda: King is still a major one, but I also love Gillian Flynn, Janet Fitch, and Carol Goodman. It’s the observer in me, I think. They really know how to build worlds that feel familiar and tell an engaging story with poetic language.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Amanda: In a succession of tiny towns in Kentucky. My family goes back to one Appalachian county for centuries and that’s always been a major influence on me creatively. Small-town life holds a particular kind of beauty and pain. I recently finished a chapbook of poetry that focuses on that exact thing.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work/describe?
Amanda: Any time I take road trips with my family, I’m inspired. The change in scenery wakes up something in me. I think I’ve written a short story or poem after every trip we’ve ever taken.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?
Amanda: I don’t remember anything else. I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil, and it feels strange not to be creating or writing something. Not because I have anything particularly groundbreaking to say, but because I just have to get it out.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Amanda: My family is a gaming family, so there’s always a Fortnite round happening or a Mario Kart 8 competition. I love to read, of course, but my to-be-read pile is overwhelming right now so I’m avoiding it a bit.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming work you’d like to promote?
Amanda: I recently won the Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction (Lunch Ticket), which blew me away. I also have a middle-grade novel called Where Wild Beasts Grow coming out from Fitzroy Books in spring 2022.
Q8: What is a favorite line of yours in a poem/writing?
Amanda: From my poem “An Offering”, published in Fevers of the Mind in March 2021: “If I could, I would roll you in ashes and make a mold of plaster, I would preserve you like the ones who never left Pompeii and let your bones whisper their story to those hills.”
Amanda: My husband is my constant supporter, reader, and champion. Whether I’m beating myself up over a rejection or in need of reassurance that a poem or story makes sense, he’s always there to help. I couldn’t have made it as far as I have without him.
Nice to meet you, old friend.
I always knew you were there,
somewhere between id and ego.
You were the pulse of conscience
acting before the brain could re-act,
the voice sighing
so softly, lost in the breeze, a myth.
Now all is silent but the hissbump
of the ventilator;
you are not within but outwith.
In. Out. I drift. But breathe. You wait
beyond my sight.
Today is the day for a choice to be made.
Do you feel for yourself or only through us?
Like childbirth the first time; the agony
You feel the wave crash down through
and think there is no bearing it; yet you do,
and keep on bearing unbearable masses
until eternity flares in the eyes
of your child and the terror just... passes.
You forget. Still we persist.
I remember when young thinking
"Go through all this mess?
Gladly choose a life of pain
then choose it again?"
What a silly thing to be a living creature,
It has not been a bad life. A lover, a child conceived.
Unhappiness, given and received.
And so, so much stupidity.
If I could do it all over again would I hear
your soft sigh
The boredom though, of eternal perfection,
it has been fun to be flawed, sometimes.
There is a small crease in the sheet
beneath my thigh.
I cannot move.
I think I am suffering.
I know I shall not wake and find life
just a dream,
a soft sigh
I remember one spring, fresh wind
heady with coconut from gorse
blazing yellow in the sun.
The sound of bees and skylarks
a symphony, salt sweet
tang of his mouth on my lips falling,
Sweet serendipity of time,
space and being.
Lost. Breathe in.
Inspiration for a lifetime of love.
And your soft sigh whispered
Even universes end.
We never said goodbye.
Here we are. The fraying begins.
I feel the flutter of frail valves,
delicate whisper of electricity
as the connection
between heart and soul loosens. Oh.
Inarguable proof of the final doom.
If there is a chance to escape,
the body screams
the agony of the not-knowing.
to pray for one last chance.'
Yet, strangely, no fear, here.
It's a relief to surrender.
I function despite myself,
the puppets of pipes and wires,
so I stare at the ceiling and wait.
Nothing of me will resonate
when I am gone.
All ... this... will dissolve.
I am tired. Bored, even. I have lost it all
except the scent of gorse, sunshine,
the texture of wool on bare thighs
and a song without words.
You have a question to ask me,
Bio: Sadie (@saccharinequeen)
Sadie Maskery lives in Scotland by the sea with her family. Her writing will be found in various publications both online and in print, and she can be found on Twitter as @saccharinequeen where she describes herself, optimistically, as "functioning adequately ".
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
David: I started writing poetry and prose at the age of 21, I earned my undergraduate degree MFA from the Faculty of Architecture at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Georgia, I was making a Video Art as well, but I started writing in English, after 8 months of my arrival in the US, in 2017. Thanks to AFI (Artistic Freedom Initiative in New York City) they helped me with my documents and with my case.
In all honesty I was influenced by the people like Jack London, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, but my first love always was Edgar Allan Poe, with these two gentlemen and seers of vision: William Blake and Kahlil Gibran.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
David: Oh, I like reading the works of Wayne Miller, Stephen Frech, Joshua Corwin, Aaron Fisher, Gloria Monaghan, Luise Gluke, but I am on my way, I have my style, my voice, and I cannot say who is my biggest influence today, everyone and no one at the same time. Everything is open widely and wildly today, writing poetry is spiritual adventure with joy, for me.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?
David: I was born and grown up in country of Georgia, I am a trilingual poet, I believe that my homeland is where my heart is and this understanding of space and time and ruts and tradition is deeper than any ideas of identity.
I feel that Western civilization and Eastern civilization are the one joint spiritual imprint on the body of humanity itself. Yes, I travel a lot in Europe and in the USA, and I found my home here in America. I am absolutely not rhyming with the political situation in Georgia, today. I have deep sense of responsibility.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
David: Killing question, to be honest, deadly question for any poet. My latest work of course! Look, I write because I like it and have a story to tell. I like the process and results. I have a message of hope and comfort. I have an idea.
I think that a human being gets strength from the truth and transfers that strength to others and fills them with comfort and allows them to carry on and hold on during everyday struggles. This truth for me is poetry and it has no boundaries. I feel silence in me, first and when I feel it, I know in that very second, that time is near, something is going on. I called this process architecture of feelings, sounds and visions.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a poet/writer/artist?
David: I painted a portrait once, back in 80’s when I was 21 yo and I wrote on it “let me tell you a story why I painted you so beautifully” and I realized that I am a poet, I have a story to tell, and started writing. I have heard a call. I followed my own self.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
David: I do not know what is this. I am working and relaxing at the same time, work is so relaxing and relax is work, axis of meditative observation.
I am an author of Eastern Star full-length poetry book written directly in English language and published by Adelaide Book in New York City in October 2020, also, 15 collections of poetry, written in Georgian language, 8 novels and three audio albums of poetry with orchestra and electronic bands.
As a writer I realize that much is demanded from me, but not much is forgiven to me… That if I figure it out by what means I want to distinguish myself, then I will understand who and what I am in reality… And, that if in our inner world and in this multi-language dictionary of mankind survive the following words such as Freedom, Responsibility, Comfort, then the world will also survive. For me this is the mission of literature and of mine as a poet’s and novelist’s justification for existence.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects coming up that you’d like to promote?
David: My second full-length book of poetry Lilac Shadow of a Tree is forthcoming by MadHat Press this year in September 2021.
In this particular and challenging time I am working as a caregiver with the brilliant man Vincent Petrolino who is 104 years old, I am so lucky because this experience of caregiving, especially with the 104 yo old man is a real deal, I mean a real – real deal for any writer in the galaxy, because you are working with the man who really lived and still lives through the history of the USA and saw and felt everything in his life, and btw this is very spiritual job as well – caregiving in general, you are not only just a helper, but a comfort-giver and guardian, you are making people’s life as a joy and you are learning a lot about a human being, that’s what I am talking about, you are experiencing a real life – not sitting in some fancy bar and crying about life. Gotcha?
And I am making Poetry Orchestra project, this is the video/sound art global poetry project with the musicians and artists such as Saphileaum, Irakli Gabriel and Andrea Meparishvili and the poets across the United States of America, who I admire. I am sure this form of expression is the future of poetry. (See the link down below)
Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?
David: I have not favorite lines from my or others’ work, if verse is good, it is good as a whole with every word and every line and every smell, and color and every nerve in it, as a whole universe all around and inside us.
I have my favorite poems, books, novels, albums, songs, musicians and architectures, and even slogans. I am a man of word and I feel that poetry is such a sacrifice, it is tangible. It is such an enormous concept, that it cannot be only my personal matter.
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
David: Father, Georgian folk songs, American blues, American literature, movies of Peter Greenaway and Billy Wilder and these three absolutely masterpiece rock-albums: Jesus Christ Superstar, Abbey Road and The Dark Side of the Moon.
In an everyday season, I am the everready one to foster blank children. Made out of spare parts: Venus as the little coach who fashions them in mist. The sense of dread descends when they continue thriving.
A rise insea level provides the clue to what I missed. A routine discovery, serving weightlessly as due compensation. For an angry era spent in squalor cutting new teeth. Badness lends meaning, to events an angel incurs. Laughing, falling, failing, in courageous retaliation.
Bio: Michael Igoe, neurodiverse city boy, Chicago now Boston, recovery staff at Boston University Center For Psych Rehab. Many works appear in journals online and print. Recent: Spare Change News(Cambridge MA), thebluenib.com, minerallit.com. Avalanches In Poetry Anthology@amazon.com. National Library Of Poetry Editor's Choice For 1997. Twitter: MichaelIgoe5. poetryinmotion416254859.wordpress.com. Urban Realism, Surrealism. I like the Night.
A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Michael Igoe
Pen Muses is a compilation of 60 Poems by Poet and Artist Sarika Jaswani. Known for her ArtInCrochet nonprofit and fundraising for various underprivileged schools around the world, Sarika is a certified crochet instructor and art tutor. She has authored original children’s stories in the series ‘Life is Magical’ to go with crochet toys in her shop. Her books are available at Kindle and BN.com. Sarika’s poetry has been published on The “Tide Rises, The Tide Falls”, “A Cornered Gurl Publication”, and “Fevers Of The Mind
This is an emotive and relatable collection of poems on a diverse range of topics from love, grief, heartache, and sorrow to desire, hope and personal reflections on the complexities of time and human emotions. Abound with imagery from the natural world and an empathetic poetic voice, these Poems have a soothing effect on the reader. They create a meditative and calm atmosphere replete with internal reflections and familiar emotions expressed in exquisite language.
Some of my favorites were Aroha, An Empty Page, Limoncello Elder, Sculpture and Seven. Aroha is about separateness in relationships and love thriving despite superficial barriers.
“Willful I shun the stigma of aging suns”
An Empty Page is about the creative process, this poem has a beautiful visual pattern that heightens/elevates the poems liquid atmosphere composed of language like: barbel, wet weight
and currency of liquid. Limoncello is a melodramatic poem about the passing of time, love and loss. Sculpture is ripe with desire and desperation and uses passionate language to express
“Forge me in your love
I’ll be a bearer of your name”
Seven is another love poem, this one is on a lighter and happy note and sings the lover’s praise.
The Collection consists of a few ekphrastic poems paired with alluring photography such as Skyline, Dark Moon and The Woods. Quite a few verses captured my heart with their poignant
visual imagery of nature and others with their poetic brilliance, some of these phrases were:
“Dog-eared leaf/ with your initials/ stays mint in my elegy”, “In each vein fold of pigeon-heart petal of Chrysanthemum”, “I wear your sepia blemish/ at each vex of moon”, “allium of her life
stems in gospel truths”, “I fill each grain/ in spores of your spell”, and “I want to steal your sun/
off orchards/ be an apple to/ bathe in your sunshine”.
I was grateful for the opportunity to read and review Pen Muses. The collection has a lot of potential, the love poems are heartwarming and accessible and would make a beautiful gift to
share with someone you love or want to express your feelings to. The collection makes a light-hearted read you can enjoy and delve in at leisure, it leaves you contemplating the
bittersweetness of love, time and memory.
Crochet artist, art tutor, writer of children's stories, philanthropist. Poet. Dabbles in poetry, reading,
and writing. Art lover. Bird lover. Dreamer and blogger. Poetry published at The Tide Rises, The
Tide Falls, also on Medium @ACG.
Sarika Jaswani, under the pen name ArtInCrochet, is a decade old non-profit donating hats and
scarves to orphanages and shelter homes. She has done fundraising from 2016 through sales of handmade crochet items for kids in need. She is a certified crochet instructor from The American Craft Council. She has conducted classes at Alpharetta Main Branch Library, Art Center Alpharetta, and Michael's Community Classroom Alpharetta Georgia. Funds raised through her teaching crochet art are used to donate books to various underprivileged schools around the
world. She has authored original children's stories in the series 'Life is Magical' to go with the crochet toys in her shop. Her books are available as Nook Books on BN.com and Amazon
Kindle. Her Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtInCrochet
Sarika is a passionate poetry reader and writer. Her Poetry is published on:
The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls.
Online Literary Journal
Featured in Fever Of The Mind
A Cornered Gurl publication on Medium
https://link.medium.com/LFnXDnZTGdbWolfpack Contributor: Sarika JaswaniA Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sarika Jaswani (artincrochet)Bio: Doctor by profession. I'm a Crochet Artist, Art Tutor Writer of Children's Stories, Philanthropist. Poet. Published. Passionately reads & writes poetry. Art Lover. Bird lover. Dreamer and blogger.Published on 'Tide Rises Tide Falls' & on Medium with A Cornered Gurl @ACG @Scittura Fevers of the Mind Poetry on WordPress
Silver Birch Press
The Organic Poets
A frequent VSS prompt writer on twitter
My poems run on theme of love, reflection and philosophy of life.
ArtinCrochet on Twitter @sarikajaswani