A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Lawrence Moore

with Lawrence Moore

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Lawrence: I played around with words and wrote the odd poem as a kid, but it didn’t take off in any way until I was a hyper-political college youth with vague dreams of being a singer-songwriter. I would leave little scrawled scraps of lyrics around the house (a nightmare for my minimalist husband to be!). I felt an affinity for John Donne’s poetry early on, but didn’t become a bookworm until my early thirties, so took my influences from artists I loved such as Indigo Girls, Levellers and Kirsty MacColl.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Lawrence: I’m into some well known poets, like Wendy Cope and Seigfried Sasoon, but I’ve delved deeper down the rabbit hole of Twitter, where I am continually inspired by Kristin Garth (lolaandjolie), c m taylor (@carma_t), Susan Richardson (@floweringink), Annest Gwilym (@AnnestGwilym) and many others.

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

Lawrence: I’ve lived my whole life in the working class coastal city of Portsmouth, rarely traveling. The people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had left their emotional mark on me (particularly as a kid in school experiencing friendship, bullying and unrequited love) but that’s true of most people in most towns. It has given me a love of football and the sea. Perhaps the roughness at the edges helped to make me an introvert, but I’m very fond of the place.

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

Lawrence: I guess ‘Holding Hands’ – a pared down, free verse poem I wrote about the difficulties my husband and I have felt as a same sex couple wanting to show affection in public. I am a big fan of form poetry but sometimes, when I have something to get off my chest, it flows out quickly in free verse.

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

Lawrence:

Since my late teens at least, I’ve always sought some sort of creative outlet, but mostly as a dilettante, flitting from discipline to discipline (with zero discipline).
I often looked to make something happen with poetry – on MySpace in 2007, then in 2010/11 and 2015, but then I tried quite hard to be a singer-songwriter for a couple of years. I found the whole concept pretty intimidating because it has so many aspects – for example, production, melody, lyrics, vocals and instrumentalism. I partook in a grade 4 piano exam with grim determination but was a mess because of nerves.
In 2018, I spoke at my dad’s funeral, where I read the poem ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee Junior to some thirty people, and despite the strains that come with such an undertaking, it dawned on me later that I’d handled it a lot more calmly than I had the piano exam. I saw nothing in poetry that could unnerve me and felt ready to wave my dilettante days goodbye.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Lawrence: Reading, listening to music, going for walks and playing Elder Scrolls games.

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

Lawrence: I’ve made several poem videos, for accepted pieces, that I’ll be putting up on Twitter upon publication. I’m also working (I hope) towards a first collection, so that is occupying my mind a fair bit.

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

Lawrence:

My place within this scheme is very small –
I am no Gandalf, I am Radagast.

From my ‘Radagast’, to be published in Sarasvati (Indigo Dreams Publishing)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Lawrence: My mum helps me quite a bit. She wrote poetry herself and is a very qualified teacher. She got me using more line breaks for effect and has read and commented on everything I’ve had accepted, which concerns me a little as I may get something really lewd or terrifying published one day and then feel obliged to show it to her!

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Lawrence Moore

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Over the Trees” “They Sang For Me” “Tethered”

Poetry mix by Lawrence Moore : ‘My Dream Playground’ from Anthology & new poem ‘Plumb the Depths’

3 poems by Lawrence Moore : “Battle-Hardened” “Ghost #2”, “I am a Tightrope Walker”

https://dailydrunkmag.com/2020/11/30/two-poems-by-lawrence-moore/

Twitter: @LawrencemooreUK

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/lawrence-moore-resolute

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Shawn Berman

with Shawn Berman:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Shawn: I started writing around my freshman year of college. My first influences were my favorite comedians: Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, Demetri Martin, Larry David, Conan O’Brien, and Mitch Hedberg. I wanted to be a stand-up comedian so bad, and to an extent, I still do. A lot of my work is my stand-up act, condensed into poetry.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Shawn: All these people are still some of my biggest influences, especially Adam Sandler. I think it takes a lot of talent to make people laugh and to be yourself. I’m not writing about serious things. It took me a long time to realize that it’s okay to goof around and to not be serious.

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

Shawn: I grew up in Albany, NY. There’s a real working class mentality there. That definitely influenced my writing. Has made it more grounded in reality, I would say. I’m living in New York City right now. There’s so much talent around me. It really forces me to keep pushing myself and to expand my comfort zone.

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

Shawn: I just put out my first collection of poetry called Mr. Funnyman. I’ve been working on this project for about 5 years. It’s all my material that I would love to perform in front of people at the Laugh Factory one day. I’m very proud of the work in this book.

https://amzn.to/3yrVhvx Amazon link

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

Shawn: I would say performing stand-up for the first time in college. Being able to make people laugh was addicting. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Shawn: I’m a pretty big movie buff. I’ll watch anything. The crappier the better.

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

Shawn: I just released Mr. Funnyman and that’s available for only $5 on Amazon! Next month, I have a collection of humorous cinema-inspired essays, At the Movies, dropping with Alien Buddha Press. The magazine I run, Daily Drunk http://thedailydrunk.com/, is doing a lot of kick-ass things. We recently released Nostalgic AF: A Video Game Anthology edited by Nick Olson https://www.amazon.com/Nostalgic-AF-Video-Game-Anthology/dp/B0972ZS8GX. We are in the process of putting together One Anthology to Rule them All (which, of course, is a LOTR anthology edited by Josh Sippie). We have a lot of cool projects happening at DD. It wouldn’t be possible without the awesome community that we’ve built there!

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from a poem/writing of yours?

Shawn: From my recent collection, Mr. Funnyman:

“there’s something to be said about destroying the system, but i’m not equipped enough to talk about that mostly because i’m pretty clueless when it comes to economics.

but you know what i am good at?

picking out the right hashtags to use on a selfie to ensure maximum exposure on social media.

did you see how many people liked the photo of us sharing a giant ice cream cone

under the moonlight

on the brooklyn bridge

with the caption: we were mint to be?

like 15.

i’m surprised the algorithm didn’t explode

right on the spot

after exposing its one and only weakness:

couples in love,

feeling hopeful after a first date

has gone well.

it’s truly a remarkable thing

if that mushy concept was actually real. Suckers.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Shawn: Probably my dad. He’s a comedy nerd and knows what works in regard to joke formats. He’s pretty honest when it comes to writing. It’s good to have someone in your corner rooting for you who’s not afraid to tell you something sucks.

other links:

https://shawnbberman.wixsite.com/sbbwriter

https://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/two-poems-8b386bdf-899b-406b-9dd9-7d669b8df9c0

https://stoneofmadnesspress.com/look-were-both-adults-here-shawn-berman

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2020/12/08/tpq5-shawn-berman/

https://riotactmag.com/shawn-berman/

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Reggie D. Johnson (aka R.D. Johnson)

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Reggie: I started writing at the age of nine as a hobby I did on summer vacations. Langston Hughes was one of my first influences.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Reggie: The writers I’ve come into contact on social media who I’ve become very good friends with: Natalie Hernandez (@yerrrnandez), Luis Delossantos (@CoolerStoryMarc), Harold Fonseca (@halfxyou), Elijah Horton (@elijahhorton94), Chris Butler (@CLBpoetry) Daniel Alvarez (@itsdannylondon), Bruce Llano (@Beeruce_Sama).

WolfPack Contributor Bio: Chris L. Butler

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

Reggie: Cincinnati, Ohio. I was taught to write about things you know and have experienced. Speaking personal truths will help to strengthen your writing.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced your work & describe if so?

Reggie: Yes, I recently took a trip to Orlando, Florida to meet up with some of my friends who inspire me continuously. That time away and being in that environment with all them helped me create some dope content that I can’t wait to share with everyone very soon.

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

Reggie: When Drake released his Take Care Album. After 9, I didn’t pick up poetry again seriously til I turned 19. That album showed so much versatility in his writing and the ability to express his emotions through art was inspiring.

Q6: Favorite activities to help you relax when not writing/creating?

Reggie: Playing video games, listening to music.

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

Reggie: I have a surprise project dropping July 1st, with Daily Drunk Magazine and then at the end of the summer I’ll be releasing my tenth book.

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

Reggie:     
From my poem 'Look At Me' found in my book, Cuarentena: 
                   
                   "I am black
                    I am then
                    I am now
                    I am what's to come
                    We are not less than
                    We are equal
                    We just want to be heard
                    And not for your entertainment
                    I am black
                    And you will not take that away from me"

  
                   
https://www.amazon.com/Cuarentena-Reggie-Johnson/dp/108791115X

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Reggie: A few people. Natalie Hernandez & Luis Delossantos taught me to not minimize the writing. Keep writing as it doesn’t matter how long it is or that it needs to stop at a certain length. Harold Fonseca, Elijah Horton taught me to expand the creativity. My love for music has now transcended into new territories as it has not only incorporated in my writing but I’ve had the pleasure of doing songwriting too. Also, Harold and Chris Butler have taught me to be the voice of a generation. In these last few years with everything going on in the world, the way I could ease my thoughts was in writing. I thank all of them for pushing me to the next level.

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: R.D. Johnson

Links to Reggie’s work on this blog.

Poem by R.D. Johnson: “Just a Scratch” (new poetry)

Poetry by R.D. Johnson : (Not Just On) Juneteenth

4 Poems by R.D. Johnson : Malcolm & Martin, Angels, Dr. King’s Dream & February 1st (re-post)