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 Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Merril D. Smith

with Merril D. Smith

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Merril: I began writing stories when I was a child. I remember giving my dad a handmade book (a school art project) with a story I had written about little creatures called Troubles. After that I did a little bit of very bad writing in high school, and then I started writing non-fiction as an adult, beginning with my doctoral dissertation in American history, which became my first book, Breaking the Bonds. I didn’t really turn to poetry until my children were grown and out of the house. I began a WordPress blog, which gradually became a mostly poetry blog. I think I was seeking a creative outlet without realizing it right away, and then, suddenly, I felt almost overtaken by the poetry muse. https://merrildsmith.wordpress.com/

My parents were both great readers, and our house was always filled with books of all sorts. My family loved books and words. My mom started taking me and my younger sister to the library when we were very young. I think even though it wasn’t a direct poetry influence, this love of words has influenced me throughout my life.

Jane Dougherty’s challenges on her WordPress blog really helped me to begin writing poetry. I particularly loved her Yeats challenges.

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Merril: I’m not sure that I have a biggest influence. I think I’m affected and influenced every time I read a poem I like. Recently, I’ve enjoyed the work of US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and I’ve discovered a lot of wonderful poets through Maria Popova’s Brainpickings site (https://www.brainpickings.org/). But I also love so much of the poetry I read on Twitter on #TopTweetThursday (the initiative of Matthew M C Smith, EIC of Black Bough Poetry), on Fevers of the Mind, and the work of poets I’ve met on WordPress and dVerse. There are so many: Jane Dougherty, Damien Donnelly, Kerfe Roig, Peach Delphine, Rachel Deering, Sarah Connor. . .

photo from joyharjo.com

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

Merril: I was born in Philadelphia, then my family moved to Dallas, then back to the Philadelphia suburbs when I was in 7th grade and my parents divorced. I can’t say I think of Dallas as being an influence, but certainly my childhood and family life during the time I lived there were—and also, my parents had a large wholesale antique business then, and I thought their first antique store was so fascinating, a sort of magical place.

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

Merril:

When we lived in Dallas, we often went back to Philadelphia for holidays and vacations, and now I live in southern New Jersey just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. As an adult studying history and walking around the city has been an inspiration, as have the natural world within and around the city. There is a lot of nature in and around Philadelphia—parks, two rivers, woods, streams, and we’re not far from the sea.
I traveled as a child with my parents, but I haven’t traveled too much as an adult. Then again, anywhere I do go might be inspiration for a poem—a visit to a museum, a trip to New England, etc.

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

Merril: No, I think it happened gradually.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Merril: I love to get lost in good novel. I was giddy going into my local library recently for the first time in over a year. I also enjoy walking, cooking/baking—and now it’s a joy to see family and friends again. Pre-Covid, my husband and I liked to walk around Philadelphia before going to see a movie or play, and then discussing it afterwards over coffee or wine. 

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

Merril: I have a poetry collection coming out, but it’s not official yet.

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from a poem of yours.

Merril:

One of my favorite lines from one of my poem’s comes from “Origami Winter,” published in Black Bough Poetry’s Christmas/Winter edition, 2020

“My sister remembers we did origami
our memories now unfold these shapes
of winters’ past”

https://amzn.to/2VbPBHU

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

My grad school professors helped me with some of the mechanics of writing, and I’m also a test writer, which means I’ve learned to choose words carefully. As far as direct poetry help, everyone who has given me feedback has helped me hone my skills, but the creative process is on-going.

Something that I’ve only learned recently is that there’s a creative streak that runs through my ancestry—though I don’t know how far back. I don’t know about poets, but there were artists, musicians, and probably writers. I feel a connection.

3 poems from Merril D. Smith in Fevers of the Mind Poetry Press Presents the Poets of 2020

https://merrildsmith.com/biography/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Peach Delphine

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Peach: Sophomore year of high school, Marvell, Milton, Keats.

John Keats - Wikipedia

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Peach: Paul Celan, Brigit Pegeen Kelly

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

Peach: Florida, a subtle and secretive landscape heavily exploited with a harsh history.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Peach: Wherever you go the world is beautiful, sometimes that tells you where you belong.

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

Peach: When I was fourteen the local paper started a weekly poetry column, I submitted and was published.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Peach: Cooking, gardening, walking, canoeing

Q7: Any recent or upcoming work you’d like to promote?

Links to some of Peach’s poetry & more

Poem by Peach Delphine: wave is a circular motion

Poems by Peach Delphine: Every Cloud Has Life of Its Own & Speaking of Home, Beyond the Wind, Flat

Poetry by Peach Delphine – Entanglement

2 Poems by Peach Delphine: Coyote Song & 84 (any scar)

Patience of egrets a poem by Peach Delphine

https://www.blackboughpoetry.com/peach-delphine

https://icefloepress.net/2020/01/28/five-poems-by-peach-delphine/

https://www.sledgehammerlit.com/post/hands-worn-to-smoke-by-peach-delphine?_sm_nck=1

https://lumierereview.com/delphine-zhang

https://cabinetofheed.com/2020/12/19/coastal-pine-peach-delphine/

https://eatthestorms.com/2020/10/24/eat-the-storms-the-pride-poetry-podcast-episode-8/

Q8: One of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?

Peach:  - a forest of summoning a sea of renunciation -
"How easily I set aflame to this misbegotten body,
accelerant ever on my tongue, chine of wind,
cutting edge of utterance, "

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Peach: I cooked for many years, you have to learn from everyone, even if it's not what you would do.     Thanks for having me amongst so many brilliant writers, it's been a joy and privilege. Stay well and best wishes.  

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Peach Delphine

A Quick-9 Interview with James Lilley (the boxing poet from Swansea)

Q1: When did you start writing and your first influences?

James: My first memory of writing poetry was during a school trip. We stayed in a place called Borfa House and one afternoon we were tasked with writing poetry. My poem the sea cat at night was later published in a magazine or newspaper and I still have the original poem.

Q2: Who is/are your biggest influences today?

James: There are so many to name in truth. Since speaking to a poet from Swansea, Matthew M C Smith, I have met and spoken to loads of poets and writers. Reading their work, conversing with them and the support has led me to write in ways I did not think were possible.

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

James: I grew up and still reside in Swansea. The city is very proud of its history and culture and Dylan Thomas’s influence is embedded into the town. The geography of the town also plays a part in my writing.

Pin on That Old Weird Stuff

Q4: Have any travels from home influenced your work/describe?

James: In my profession and hobbies, I am lucky to do quite a bit of traveling and see lots of new places and people and they certainly find their way into my work.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist/poet?

James: Since that moment on the school trip, I have always written. I never showed anyone my work and I thought it was just a hobby and would be nothing more. I tried to ignore but truthfully there were stories and poems inside of me that needed to be told to the world. I spoke to Matthew M C Smith and submitted my first poem.

feversofthemind.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/pic...
Matthew M C Smith
A Review for Black Bough Poetry: Dark Confessions

Q6: Favorite activities when not writing?

James: Boxing, training in the gym, spending time with my family.

Q7: Any recent or upcoming promotional work you’d like to acknowledge?

James: I have just had a micro collection “the Thousand Ghosts of You” published with Alien Buddha Press.

This is the U.K. link for the book on Amazon.

Q8: Who has helped you most with your writing?

James: As with my influences, there are many. I would like to thank Amy-Jean Muller, Stephen Golds, B F Jones, Max, Scott, Tisa, Wayne, Alec, and a few more. They know who they are.

Q9: For more work from James Lilley:

https://punknoirmagazine.com/2021/05/12/8-poems-by-james-lilley/

check out Punk Noir Magazine

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: James Lilley

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.