Blurb for “Before the Bridges Fell” by me (David L O’Nan) from Robin McNamara

author of “Under a Mind’s Staircase” with Hedgehog Press

David L O’Nan’s poetry reads like the American landscape. Filled with hope, passion and despair. If you like Charles Bukowski then you’ll like these poems. A very relevant poet in today’s indifference to mankind’s suffering and abandonment. There is a strange kind of comfort, a familiarity within the poems like: 

Living in This Toxic Coalmine with the opening lines:

‘There are fields that no one wants to breathe There is a reality in which we cannot be.’

A Coffee Shop Chronicle has the beautiful Bukowski-style lines:

‘She’d drink vodka until 3 A.M. after

Saturday night excursions. She had men

howling for her and laughing at watered down jokes.

She could play violin like Alice Hartoncourt, with the beauty of the moonchild spirit.’

A highly relevant poet for the times we live in who paints an Edward Hopperesque canvas across the pages with his words. Highly recommended.

Current bio for Fevers of the Mind’s David L O’Nan editor/writing contributor to blog.

Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan Anthology available today!

Available Now: Before I Turn Into Gold Inspired by Leonard Cohen Anthology by David L O’Nan & Contributors w/art by Geoffrey Wren

Bending Rivers: The Poetry & Stories of David L O’Nan out now!

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Gill McEvoy

with Gill McEvoy:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Gill: As I’ve written in a poem my first true word was “Scissors” when my mother was angry at me for taking her sewing scissors to play with. I think I’ve loved words ever since especially as my aunt taught me to read early and I found the ability to read words and to cherish the sounds of words themselves wonderful, and regarded them almost with religious awe. I collected them too, the longer the better, swapping them with others at school. “Tintinabulation” was one of our favourites until someone came up with “susurration”.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Gill: So many poets have had influence over my work it feels unfair to pick one out. I love the brevity of Jane Kenyon, and also of Chinese and Japanese poetry. I often turn to the work of Tomas Transtromer, Ted Kooser, Louis Macneice, Wendell Berry, the late Anna Adams, Eavan Boland, Derek Mahon and Tony Hoagland.

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

Gill: childhood was spent in many different parts of England, mostly in the country where I learned to love wildflowers, trees, birds and insects and these appear frequently I my poems. As an adult I spent time in USA, Finland Canada and Ireland and many of my poems reflect these periods in my life, in particular the USA.

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

Gill: Of all my work the collection most difficult to write was my pamphlet “The First Telling”, (Happenstance Press 2014) It deals with the aftermath of rape, not, I’m pleased to say, my own experience but that of someone very dear to me. It won public approval by winning the 2015 Michael Marks Award, as a result of which I had an amazing two-week residency in Greece as guest of the Harvard Centre for Hellenic Studies in Nafplion.

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

Gill: From childhood I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I don’t think I expected to become a poet, though I wrote poetry for many years before ever thinking to publish it. My pivotal moment here, and it was enormous, was being diagnosed in 2000 with late-stage ovarian cancer. It was thought I wouldn’t survive but I did, thankfully.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax? no answer

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

Gill: I have gone on since then to write intensely, poetry as my metier, to have 3 full collections and 3 pamphlets published and to win a number of prizes for my work. My recent collection is “Are You Listening?” (Hedgehog Press 2020) that traces the journey through my grief for my late husband.

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

Gill: I don’t have a favourite line from any of my poems, but I do have a favourite poem I’m really proud of having written and it is “Football, Kuala Lumpur”, about boys playing the game in monsoon rain and frogs springing from the storm drains to play at their own games. The first stanza reads “Rain.. ..loves/ the way the open hands/ of city trees receive it/ the way its great drops/trampoline the pavements.” It was published in “The Plucking Shed” (Cinnamon press 2010).

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Gill: Of all the professional encouragement and help I received in my writing the greatest came from Helena Nelson, editor of Happenstance Press. She was kind, expressed belief in my work, and gave me much valuable advice. I am very grateful to her.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Julie Stevens

with Julie Stevens:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Julie: I started writing seriously about 3 years ago. I showed 3 poems I’d written whilst at university years ago to a poet friend, who suggested taking up writing again. There’s no stopping me now. I remember having a real interest (still do) in Ted Hughes and Shakespeare in my teens.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Julie: My biggest influence today? So many to mention, but I absolutely love the work of Sylvia Plath, Simon Armitage, Seamus Heaney and many more.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Q4:Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Julie: I grew up in a town called Harrogate in North Yorkshire, England. I had a real interest in theatre and think learning and reciting poems for many auditions helped influence my love of poetry.

I am always gaining ideas for poems on my travels. As a disabled person, I meet many obstacles that make the day more challenging or rewarding. I have recently written a poem about being free on a zip wire in Wales.

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

Julie: Most of my poems give an insight into my disabled life with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I am gaining so much enjoyment from writing and hearing how people relate to the poems and they are helping. My MS diagnosis has become a very positive thing.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Julie: When I’m not writing I love getting outdoors and seeing a brilliant view. Nature always has a positive influence on me. I also enjoy meeting up with friends over a good cup of coffee!

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

Julie: I am currently fundraising for the MS Trust charity who have helped me so much over the years, particularly in funding MS nurses. All proceeds from my books sold go to this charity. Knowing I have written poems that are now helping fund the charity and through this am helping others with MS is an amazing thing. The Book Shop on my website: has links for my pamphlets Quicksand (Dreich 2020) and Balancing Act (Hedgehog Poetry Press 2021).

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

Julie: I have so many favourite poems I’ve written, but one of the lines I go back to and tell myself comes from my poem Bird: ‘Come now, ride with me, you won’t stumble in clouds,’ even when walking down the street!

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Julie: There are many people who have helped me with my poems, providing feedback in poetry groups, or from more professional mentoring (Anna Saunders, Rebecca Goss), so I guess they’ve helped me improve the most.


Wolfpack Contributor: Julie Stevens

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Julie Stevens

3 poems from Julie Stevens : Playing Dead, Hindsight, Sea Legs

Poetry by Julie Stevens in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 ‘Angst’

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Robin McNamara

with Robin McNamara:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Robin: The first time I wrote anything creative was when I was in primary school aged nine. I used write these essays for my English homework. I had such a vivid imagination even at that age, particularly as I read tons of comics and had several (and still have them!) Action Force figures who all had really cool names like, Baron Ironblood. These figures found their way into my stories. I recently found them in the attic, probably about 10/12 essays which I’m considering getting self published. Like a kind of Adrian Mole thing! So yea the world of comics and action figures were an integral influence for my writing & artistic development rather than any particular individual or writer at that time. Although later in my teens, Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books, Sven Hassel, James Herbert and Stephen King were early influences into my literary appreciation of writers.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Robin: There are so many talented poets out there with many influences. My chapbook Under A Mind’s Staircase was inspired by T.S Eliot, Robert Frost, Seamus Heaney and Stephen James Smith. I’m currently inspired by the incredible Anne Casey. A prolific Irish poet who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her recent poem, The Light We Cannot See is an absolute masterpiece and will be in her forthcoming book being published by Salmon Poetry. Another influence is Doireann Ní Ghríofa with the brilliant To Star the Dark, her first collection of poems published with Dedalus Press. It’s such an arresting book of poetry. One cannot help but be inspired by the beauty of the language in her poems.

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

Robin: I grew up beside the beach in Co. Waterford in the South East region of Ireland near Dunmore East, a fishing village and a popular tourist destination. With it’s breathtaking cliff coast scenery overlooking the wild Atlantic sea it inspired a few nature poems. Raw beauty of nature on my doorstep the winter scent of salt air, the herbaceous summer scents, the petrichor scents after the rainstorms over the field. Such a sensory overload that the mind is enriched with these memories of nature at its best. The past few years I’ve traveled extensively strangely enough it’s not reflected in my poetry as so much I’m more culturally aware of other people’s lives in whatever country I visited. Perhaps there’s more appreciation for languages and obscure words or the origins of words reflected within my poetry. Generally I travel to escape life to switch off. If I take anything away from the holidays writing wise I’ll consider they a bonus. The next time I travel abroad I’ll be more astutely aware of what I can gather writing wise now I’m working on my first full collection.

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

Robin: A poem titled simply, &. For over a year since the pandemic I’ve struggled to articulate within a poem the environment we’ve lived in under the lockdown. How the world changed in a way never seen before in our lifetime and in a way that brought home the fragility of mankind and indeed the environmental damage we had been doing to our planet with our excessive carbon footprint. Nature returned and wildlife roamed freely and cities began to breathe again after several decades of mass tourism. This was a great opportunity to do something meaningful with our lives to chase opportunities we never had the time or chance to do so when our lives were filled with noise and pollution of commercialization clouding our minds and soul. A chance to return to basics of life. Trying to incorporate personal reflection into a poem eluded me until I wrote, &. I’d previously written several lockdown poems some which are archived in University College Dublin’s pandemic poetry collection of poems written during this period in Ireland. & looks into the bare bones of the soul and shreds away all those distractions we had prior to the quietness and stillness of staying indoors and social distance and non traveling. This is one of my strongest works since I began writing seriously again in early 2020. It’s a snapshot of the mind of a poet in the twilight hours of darkness and the influences of the muse who’s inspired him to write and to improve his work.

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

Robin: Not really. I’ve always been an artistic creative kind of person. Doing painting when I was a child I won a local painting competition when I was seven. I drew cartoons also. It was only when I reached my 20s that I dabbled a bit in poetry writing and had three poems published in anthologies. I guess the answer to the question would be in late 2017 I decided to write more poetry and was published in print and online literacy journals for the first time in 2018. I decided to focus on writing poetry with more dedication in January 2020 with the aim of having a book published by 2021. Although I was already writing poems in 2017 it wasn’t until 2020 that I decided to take it more seriously as I never thought myself good enough to be considered a poet. Thankfully 10 months later after I decided to commit fully to my writing I got a publishing deal with Hedgehog Poetry Press in October 2020.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Robin: I used to be an Xbox fanatic and returned to it during the lockdown nowadays I just don’t have the time. These days I barely have any energy to do much on weekends as a working class writer. So I relax by editing and rewriting my poems. I’m desperately trying to read other poets books in the short periods of time I’ve got to myself on weekends to gain a better understanding of other styles & techniques used by my fellow poets. Listening to music is how I relax and it helps me to chill when I do re-edits and work on drafts of poems.

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

Robin: None at the moment, although I am working on my first full collection, provisionally titled: Clockwork Memories. It’s 90% written and hopefully I can get it published next year.

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


This is from the poem The Devil’s List
(Under A Mind’s Staircase)

“The crowds dance like mistresses
To music of the Devil’s symphony.

Have the angels fled?

The sounds cascade down their writhing bodies- The fiddle has them captivated.
It’s inside them/possesses them. How they moan…

In a dream-like state, the music of the Stradivarius wraps its trilled
embrace round me.

The angels have fled.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?


Myself. There’s no particular individual involved in creating my belief that I was good enough to write. It had to come from within before I could write anything. You can’t wait around waiting to be ‘discovered’ or ‘appreciated’ you have to go out there and show what you’ve got. Take the good with the bad have 100% focus and belief and find those who are supportive in your development. Like for example Poetry Ireland’s #PoetryPrompt set up by Poet in Residence Catherine Ann Cullen during the national lockdown in Ireland last March onwards was pivotal in establishing my technique and writing discipline. Mark Davidson of Hedgehog Poetry Press was kind enough to approach me about a publishing deal and the result is my debut chapbook, Under A Mind’s Staircase which was officially released June 17th 2021. But this don’t mean I think I’m good poet now. I’m still learning and the chapbook is a stepping stone to getting to that level of the poets I admire. I won’t be happy until I get to that point it’ll probably take three or four books but I’ll get there one way or another. Nothing can stop you aiming to reach your aspirations which is what life’s all about, overcoming obstacles and reaching those goals.

links: Wolfpack Contributor: Robin McNamara

2 poems by Robin McNamara : New York city ain’t you just so & Holy Fires of Religion

Poems by Robin McNamara : “Here in the Woods” & “Sandpaper of Shame”

Bio: Robin McNamara has over 145 poems published worldwide in America, Canada, Ireland and in the UK with Versification, Pink Plastic House, Daily Drunk, Full House Literary Magazine, Dream Journal, Second Chance Lit, Literary Heist & Ephemeral Elegies. A regular contributor to Poetry Ireland and Black Bough Poetry poetry prompts. Robin’s forthcoming debut chapbook, Under A Mind’s Staircase, published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, UK is available to purchase now at:

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Elisabeth Kelly

with Elisabeth Kelly:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Elisabeth: I started writing when I was about 12 years old. Stories about riding ponies and going on adventures, and then poems full of angst in my teenage years. I had an anthology of women’s poems called Loves Witness, compiled by Jill Hollis that I adored. Poems by Wendy Cope and Louise Gluck stand out from this time, also some D H Lawrence, Jim Morrison from the Doors, probably lots of music generally really, and also finally the wonderful Margaret Atwood.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have changed much really! I like honest, simple poetry that speaks to me but doesn’t need me to work hard, and doesn’t feel to academic and frighting. Liz Lochhead, Jackie Kay and Wendall Berry are new favourites so probably influence me in some way, and my life, my children and lovely husband.

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

Elisabeth: I grew up on a number of farms mainly, in Lancashire, Cumbria and the Scottish Borders. I think this had probably influenced me greatly, I use a lot of more-than-human-world metaphors in my work and I also visualise my emotions through this world I think. It taught me about details as well, paying attention, and this feeds into my work.

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

Elisabeth: I don’t think they have, apart from helping me understand home is where I want to be. I lived in London, Melbourne and lastly Prague. Prague was an amazing experience but I haven’t really written about it. The others just made me want to find the hills of home!

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

Elisabeth: As long as I remember I always wanted to write. Poetry is new, I never really thought I could! But it fits is wonderfully into my busy life. I don’t have time currently for long pieces, I need to snatch moments here and there and poetry allows me to do that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Elisabeth: Walking with my family and my dog on the hills of our home. And sitting in my beautiful garden watching the weather coming in.

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

Elisabeth: I find promoting my work tricky. I am not a fan really of too many zooms, I also can’t seem to function later in in the day! I am just exhausted so miss all the Open Mics etc. I must try harder.
You can find most of my stuff on my website and my recent Slim at and I try and tweet @eekelly22 but have to watch out a bit not to get to sucked down the rabbit hole of social media.

Q8: What is a favorite line or lines from one of your writings/poems?

Elisabeth: “We used to picnic in the rain” as it is in one of the first poems I wrote entitled Sister and it was Shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Award 2020 which gave me the confidence to carry on. And because it is about my sister who I rather adore.

Q9: Who has helped you most with your writing?

Elisabeth: My husband giving me head space. I have also done a number of great courses and workshops with Nell from Happenstance, Susan Ireland, and Wendy Pratt. They have all helped in some way. Also, the editing skills of Haley Jenkins from Selcouth Station. Lastly, and as importantly I think many of the wonderful, supportive poets I have met on these online courses have helped. It is such a lovely community.

Hedgehog Poetry on Twitter: "I'm really pleased to be able to announce that Elisabeth  Kelly, Kate Young and Mick Yates will be 'sharing' a quite brilliant wee  anthology ' Liberté, égalité, fraternité?'