A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Z.D. Dicks

with Z.D. Dicks

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Z.D.: I really started to get into poetry in my teens. The main influences at the time were Ted Hughes, John Donne and Edgar Allan Poe.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Z.D.: My biggest influence today is Seamus Heaney and many other contemporary poets.

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

Z.D.: I grew up in Gloucester, this has had a profound influence on me. It has influenced me because the countryside has open space and places to get lost without bricks. This has influenced my writing because I can spend time away from people to think and work. My travels have had an impact as well because any new experience adds collateral to the sensory bank so my writing always gains interest as a result.

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

Z.D.: The most meaningful work I’ve done so far is unifying poets, first by creating the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival and more recently as Gloucestershire Poet Laureate working in the community as an ambassador for poetry.

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

Z.D.: There was never a singular moment when I felt like an artist. I just create. There hasn’t really been a time when I wasn’t making some kind of art. When I was very young I made Owls and drew all the time, in my teens I painted and wrote a lot.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Z.D.: To relax I generally kill zombies, analyse movies or read poetry. I used to teach Kung Fu but due to health issues had to stop. More recently I plan events but this can be stressful but on some level, I feel, is necessary.

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

Z.D.: I am working on several projects at the moment, these include:

The Gloucester Poetry Festival.

Working with community groups in Gloucestershire.

Spearheading cross-arts initiatives as poetry councillor in the Gloucester Art’s Council.

Mentoring poets.

I also host events regularly to encourage others to share their favourite poems.

I believe it is important to be useful.

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


John Donne

“No Man is an Island”

Alfred Lord Tennyson

“Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Z.D.: The most influential person in terms of my development has been without doubt has been Nigel McLoughlin and his approach to cognitive poetics.


Books available here: https://t.co/81N1DmEZxf?amp=1

Twitter: @Ziggypoet



3 poems from Z.D. Dicks in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

5 poems by Z.D. Dicks “Light Drizzle” “Mirror” “Mourning” “Survival Strategy” “Owl Learns Magic”

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Z.D. Dicks






3 poems from Z.D. Dicks in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Owl, Silhouette, Moon, Night Sky
Owl Tries Fishing

Owl, moon faced over reeds
echoed, a hushed breath
sky blink as flash eclipse
clad only in split turbulence

The fish were slack gulps
passive and gone into haze
from a swoop of silt ripples
slammed up to drown

Blood rained from cloud
afterbirth spilt on rock
labourless as glistered muck
slick meteors aborted

Back to pond, mud tread
dead eye to dead eye
each catch was a season
alone, sharp as cracked yolk

Odin Worries for his Brother

Odin looked at the horse, named it
Sleipnir, lying in thundercloud skin
his soon to be mount
and turned to Loki, led, unable to sit
innards pommelled by hooves

Sweat spattered over his brow
as he whimpered, doubled
in breathelessness
the stallion Svadilfari
had broken him in the woods

But Loki, quivered at orgasmic birth
the cloven feet ripping him
in reverse, all while the gods watched
struck by the fall of wet legs
as Loki roared on all fours

Odin let him die, wondering
had this trick been one too far
or, would he be awoken
by braying again

Odin After Hanging

My skull wept, under a makeshift patch
Frigg reached for the blind spot
I framed her shoulders, with thick palms
as she squeezed, thinning arms

Her milk cheek tilted to rest
on the back of my sword hand
What have you done?
She mumbled into cloak

I took her chin up, with hooked finger
tears pattering, as acid to white
but slow drops curled down, onto lips
as I watched the salt quiver

I declaimed, sacrifice was needed for wisdom
my eye a token for runes
to scatter those symbols, in a million ways
to describe a goddess, in all worlds

But you'll only ever see half of me?
In one lens, blurred without depth
yes, but by taste of claret sweet pillows
I'll hold you, with floral scent on tongue
and with one kiss, hold your beauty

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Z.D. Dicks

5 poems by Z.D. Dicks “Light Drizzle” “Mirror” “Mourning” “Survival Strategy” “Owl Learns Magic”

Owl, Moon, Night, Branch, Tree
Light Drizzle

In Turkey/ a sheep stepped to air
off a cliff/ flew with one bleat 
the first drop of wool/ sixty 
thousand hooves followed to the lip/
loose clods of grass crumbled/ where 
one nibbling drip slipped

The first four hundred fluff balls
fell/ in plumes of splintered 
marrow/ staining gritted rock/
with bone mud/ and loosened 
tongue flop/ leaking wet innards 
of pink/ cracking as a spatter of dusk 

The storm that followed/ from 
ridge throat/ tumbled to earth
as thunder pillows/ thudding 
wheezes/ from dead fleece puddles
before rolling to scrapes/ as split feet 
bellowed to sky/ a clattering rain 

A fog had descended that evening/
when one fence peeled away/ its
barbs from post/ the dying heat warping 
wire/ four hundred dead and the rest 
cushioned/ but closer to home/ I look 
at flaking rust boundaries/ 
and wonder when they will break


The tap ran into the bath
and in a weird twist of current 
the water bulbed out and back in
to form a liquid champagne glass

I felt the rumble on my toe
tickling with indeterminate blast 
of hot-cold numbing skin     before
sploshing it back at sight of steam

Berry bubbles popped coastal
vineyards into the mist, but 
more emerged and flew 
kissing softly as butterflies 

Hip deep in imagined mid summer
I led back into the Mediterranean 
before the spell was broken 
and small hands tested a catch

Hopping frogs ready to burst 
I hunkered propping onto elbows 
cleared froth     and took one last look
marked the years of pretend toil 
and the final exhale of a vintner


This is the last day/ I will see her 
I feel her leave/ on a lily pollen breeze
herring gulls yelping/ the houses 
innards gurgle/ as copper pipes wake

The kitchen is warm and empty
spiders silently scuttle/ hide and sleep 
my lips dry/ throat out of practice/
unable to call for my mistress

A family clambers/ laughs around a table
smiles shout/ through the lounge 
all the windows are opened/ but/
no butterflies pulse in/ only flies

They circle/ around the/ cooling/ unlit bulb 
that hangs/ as a glass corpse 
the last of its/ night/ heat dissipates 
just as my creativity/ festers in dust
as my muse abandoned me

Survival Strategy
 (Owl studied success)

He didn’t know what it was 
but trees rained spiders 
sideways glances thrown 
as skimmed pebbles 

The venom bags hung
separate on spaced string
suspended in nothingness
a limbo of arms loaded

All predators, pendulums 
in unison, pulsing in air
not tangled by touch
spinning under own weight

Until a bat swung, plucked 
the lowest hanging berries 
that had no time to climb up 
the rest left, toiling, fed

Owl Learns Magic

Three women grinned through fire 
at the core of ember, a bird head
pressing into tough tracks 
Owl approached, a forge of beak

He kicked a mumble at the Past
where she stood growing 
a spell cast, warmer by the second
he drank all of her to memory

Ravenous, he salted Present
as he feigned all and no hunger 
looking into unconscious eyes 
pathways deep into emptiness 

Until, unsatisfied/fulfilled 
he looked through smoke
to Future, her face a flickered blur 
of strung white noise/black silence
knowing/ignorant of what to do 

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Z.D. Dicks

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Z.D. Dicks

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‘Z. D. Dicks holds an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire. He often works with other poets locally and nationally to create events and to work on poetry projects. In 2016 he founded the Gloucestershire Poetry Society and the Gloucester Poetry Festival.  He has had his work accepted by many publications including Ink, Sweat and Tears, Sarasvati, Obsessed with Pipework, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Words from the Wild, Outlaw Poetry, Fresh Air Poetry, I am not a silent poet, As it Ought to Be, Nymphs, and Stride (plus many more and anthologies). He currently has three collections ‘Malcontent’ and ‘Intimate Nature’ with Black Eyes publishing (2019) and ‘Vexed’ with Hedgehog Poetry Press (2020).  Dicks has a keen interest in imagistic poetry and his work has been described ‘muscular language’ by Helen Ivory and has himself been described as ‘a gothic Seamus Heaney’ by Anna Saunders.  In 2019 he was appointed Gloucestershire Poet Laureate and works in various settings to promote poetry.’