A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Sue Finch @Soopoftheday

with Sue Finch:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Sue: I loved writing poetry at Primary School and have this wonderful memory of being selected to read a poem I had written at a Harvest Festival. My Mum and my Nan were in the audience and I loved the fact there was a lectern and I was reading. I can’t be one hundred percent sure, but I think we were just sort of given a subject and asked to write about it rather than study a poet or poem first! I did more reading of poetry than writing at secondary school, but loved the way I was taught to read poetry closely and the way my teachers seemed to know so much about it. When I went to Teacher Training College there was an opportunity to study Creative Writing alongside the Teaching degree and that’s when I realised how much I loved writing my own stuff.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Sue: I have five poets that I revisit regularly because I particularly admire their work: Caroline Bird, Vicki Feaver, Selima Hill, Andrew McMillan and Pascale Petit. I love the way they each craft their work and find it inspiring to go back into their books and remind myself what their writing does.

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

Sue: I grew up in a small coastal town in Kent, England. Walking by the sea was something I could do every day if I wished and I loved that feeling of being by water that was constantly moving and changing. Quiet times by the water seem to spirit me away, but connect me to myself and I feel peaceful and real. I am not really a traveller, but when I am travelling alone I view the time on the journey as thinking time and time alone in a hotel room as perfect reading and writing time so I tend to take one poetry book to read and write down a line or 2 during the trip to develop when I get back home. That’s how I wrote ‘Dropping Your Baby’ after seeing a toy doll face down in a muddy puddle on the roundabout.

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

Sue: My debut collection tracks my journey from childhood to adulthood and I felt I needed to do this as a way of setting down my life up to the present time, i.e., the time of its publication in 2020. This felt freeing to me in that it captured a view of a whole journey. It also proved cathartic in that I now view things through a different lens and it enabled me to go to some of the darker or more surreal places in my poetry.

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

Sue: This question makes me think of the times at college when I would be sitting in our shared lounge and my flatmates would laugh at how long I could spend writing whilst listening to Leonard Cohen and checking my syllable count by tapping my nose with my fingers! I think I wanted to be a poet then, but it took me some years before I recognised just how important it was to me to write and set time aside for just that.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Sue: I like to paint abstract acrylic works and sometimes I like to cook or bake. Reading always relaxes me and I love the feeling of being totally immersed in a book. When Jodi Picoult releases a new book I buy it as soon as I can and spread it out over 2 days because I want to read it all at speed, but I also love the anticipation of going back into it on day 2.

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

Sue: I am proud of my debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, published by Black Eyes Publishing UK which is avaiIable to order via bookshops or that large company that sends things out rapidly. I also record poems for my YouTube Channel – I started this because I wanted to read my poems out loud and then it became important to me during Lockdown as a way of sharing work regularly with those I couldn’t see in person. https://amzn.to/2VfMUFg

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdPS21ilEZ1rrlnF_rkJV7w

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from your poetry or others?

Sue:

Here are the first three lines from ‘Flamingo’: “The night she bent my elbows/to fit the candy floss cardigan/for the twenty-third time, my limbs turned to wings.”

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

I have been incredibly fortunate to have met some wonderful people whilst on my poetry journey: Georgi Gill and Audrey McIlvain via my MA with Manchester Metropolitan University; Anna Saunders, Josephine Lay, Ankh Spice, Catrice Greer and Damien Donnelly via Cheltenham Poetry Festival; Helen Ivory via ‘Ink, Sweat and Tears’. I love poetry workshops and have been much inspired by Kim Addonizio, Caroline Bird, Liz Berry, Pascale Petit and Jean Sprackland. I love the connections I have made on Twitter with poets and I tweet as @soopoftheday. And in my house my wonderful wife who will always come to ‘Poetry Corner’ when I want to read a poem to her. And my sister and my Mum who never seem to mind me ringing them to try out a poem or ask their opinions. I loved asking my brother if I could include a poem about him burning ants with a magnifying glass in my collection and the fact that his scientific knowledge led to my first ever published poem!

https://icefloepress.net/2020/10/14/four-poems-from-magnifying-glass-by-sue-finch/

https://www.blackeyespublishinguk.co.uk/sue-finch

https://www.dearreaderpoetry.com/2021/04/disappearing-act-by-sue-finch.html

Bio: Sue Finch’s debut collection, ‘Magnifying Glass’, was published in 2020. She loves the coast and the scent of ice-cream freezers. You can follow Sue on Twitter: @soopoftheday.

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Fizza Abbas

with Fizza Abbas:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Fizza: I started writing at the age of 11 when I saw my then-best friend reciting her own poem during the farewell party of one of our teachers. The rhyming scheme of the poem tickled my fancy and I tried to explore poetry a bit more, Urdu poetry particularly. At that time, I didn’t have a proper understanding of English language, so I used to write scribbles, thinking it’s poetry but as I grew older, I came across works of legends like Khalil Gibran, Shelley, Wordsworth and Alexander Pope who taught me what poetry is all about

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Fizza: While I love Sylvia Plath, Matthew Arnolds and Ben Jonson’s writing style, Billy Collins has become one of my most favourite poets in recent times.

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

Fizza: I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. My mother was fond of Urdu and Persian poetry as well as classical Hindi songs. She often used to recite/sing verses of her favourite songs/ghazals which increased my interest towards writing.

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

Fizza: No, not yet but I like the idea. I’m thinking of going to Lahore because the city has such a rich history that I’m sure I’ll find a lot to write about after coming from there.

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

Fizza: When I read The Prophet and Broken Wings by Khalil Gibran, I loved how he weaved words together and I decided I would want to do the same for the rest of my life.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Fizza: I enjoy falling into Wikipedia rabbit holes, watching Sci-Fi movies and spending time with my husband.

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

Fizza: Recently, my chapbook Ool Jalool has been published by Fahmidan Publishing. Another chapbook of mine, Bakho is forthcoming from Ethel Press by the end of 2021. Similarly, one poem from Moonchild Magazine and three poems are coming out in Sledgehammer’s three consecutive issues this year.

Fahmidan Publishing

https://www.fahmidan.net/copy-of-ool-jalool-review-copy
https://cabinetofheed.com/2019/10/11/bonfire-fizza-abbas/
https://stoneofmadnesspress.com/fizza-abbas https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZrZRCg9m_Nk5HR3MOkLfsA

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

Fizza:

‘’Thou art not, Penshurst, built to envious show’’
( To Penshurst, Ben Jonson)

‘’I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit——
Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.’’

(Applicant, Sylvia Plath)

‘’I notice you are stark naked.
How about this suit——

Black and stiff, but not a bad fit.
Will you marry it?
It is waterproof, shatterproof, proof
Against fire and bombs through the roof.
Believe me, they’ll bury you in it.’’

(Bird-Understander, Craig Arnold)

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

My husband, Waqas Rabbani who himself is a fabulous writer. He has not only been a staunch supporter of my work but has been a great mentor to me. He often offers me a critique and helps me steer my ideas to a new direction.

other links:

https://icefloepress.net/2020/08/28/seven-poems-fizza-abbas/

http://www.indianavoicejournal.com/2017/03/a-poem-by-fizza-abbas-words.html

https://serotoninpoetry.org/2020/08/11/red-by-fizza-abbas/

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/tic-tac-toe-fizza-abbas

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Jeremy T. Karn

(c)Maggs Vibo

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Jeremy: Thank you for giving me this opportunity. This is truly an awesome moment for me. I started to write back in 2016 when I was trying to get myself out of high school. It was a tough period for me. I was coping with the deaths of a few of my childhood friends that died in the earlier part of 2016. My first influence as a writer was when I lost my uncle to death. In order to express my grief about his death, I became a writer. My uncle’s death was the biggest influence on me becoming a writer.

Q2: Who is your biggest influence today?

Jeremy: Today my biggest influence is my mother. Whenever I look into my eyes I am urged to write more. I want her to see the best in me as I tell our stories. My mother has been my first supporter and she remains my biggest influence. I believe her stories of motherhood need to be heard.

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

Jeremy: I grew up in Logan Town, one of the many slum communities situated in Monrovia, Liberia. In Logan Town we struggle to survive everyday and the reality of you being a dweller in Logan Town comes with a lot of consequences. These things have shaped and influenced me in being honest and real when telling a story in a poem. Nineteen years of my life were spent struggling to withstand the outcomes of a slum dweller.

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

Jeremy: Yes, my father leaving Liberia for Ghana when I was still a baby trying to plant the word “mama” on my tongue has influenced my work. My childhood was centered mostly on my mother and her sister. I don’t have any childhood memories with my father. My father plays no role in my childhood. I have tried my best to write about these things in my poems. I have tried to write how I longed to have a father in my childhood. My father’s travel to Ghana was a major turning point in my life.

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

Jeremy: Yes, after my uncle’s death. The period after his death I told myself that if I want to tell a better story of my grief and pain I need to become a poet. And today I am a poet.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Jeremy: When I am not writing, I am reading. This makes me feel more relaxed. Also, I find myself watching legal movies and documentaries, especially the OJ Simpson’s Trial. These things help me to relax when I am not writing.

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

Jeremy: In a few months my chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, will be out. Miryam Magdalit was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani (The African Poetry Book Fund), in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set. It can be pre-order through this link: http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog-tag/jeremy-teddy-karn/

Q8: What would be one of your favorite lines from a poem of yours?

Jeremy:

“We have swallowed this country down our throats with the blood of those shot dead, and rebuilt it on unmarked graves.”

These lines were taken from a poem titled: My country’s lullaby. It was published in Liminal Transit Review. This is the link to the poem: https://liminaltransitreview.com/issue-one/my-countrys-lullaby/

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Jeremy: My writer friends have helped me the most when it comes to my writing. Their critiques on my works have helped me in becoming a better poet now than I was before.

Bio:

Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Volume III, The Whale Road, Ice Floe Press, ARTmosterrific, The Rising Phoenix, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Lolwe, Minute Magazine, FERAL Poetry, Liminal Transit Review, The Kissing Dynamite, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, and elsewhere.

His chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, has been selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani of The African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set.

Links:

https://feralpoetry.net/the-antonym-of-a-countrys-name-by-jeremy-t-karn/

https://cypresspress.ca/2020/11/25/a-poem-by-jeremy-t-karn/

https://icefloepress.net/2020/11/05/my-mother-is-the-last-piece-of-the-holy-trinity-a-poem-by-jeremy-t-karn/

Bio: Jeremy T. Karn writes from somewhere in Liberia. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry Volume III, The Whale Road, Ice Floe Press, ARTmosterrific, The Rising Phoenix, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Lolwe, Minute Magazine, FERAL Poetry, Liminal Transit Review, The Kissing Dynamite, Ghost Heart Literary Journal, and elsewhere. His chapbook, Miryam Magdalit, has been selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani of The African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New-Generation African Poets chapbook box set

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.  

Bio: Peach Delphine is a queer poet from Tampa, Florida. Infatuated with what remains of the undeveloped Gulf coast.

4 poems from Robert Frede Kenter in Avalanches in Poetry

(c) Geoffrey Wren

this is how you disappear (for Leonard Cohen)

Going on about the hinge in the door
The monkey and the bow
A suit of plywood etc.
I'll never forget how you sewed
the undone memories of world war
into the inlay of buttons
Fingers in movement towards the cobblestones

Confessions in a window of suitcases
An army-navy store in Halifax
A textile factory on the Plateau

All dressed in black
My lurid nightmare is in red
Cluster the notes in a heart beat

The children will all
wood-shed the tears
of Mount Royal
by record's end

Coughing Up Blood

Your beauty is a sharp razor
A Gershwin ballroom rhapsody
rising to the occasion in revolt
A need to taste defeat in each embrace.
There are smiles on everyone's lips
while neon signage paints the rain
in unmitigated post war hues.
Night is being rearranged
in red and white and blue
a thoroughbred coward
from a window shouting
the cue is turned to snow.
A chorus of iris is a choral choker of orchid clouds
Drop kick the silent cinema's Cossack mezzanine.

Rimbaud at the Paris Commune

I could only hope for the issuing of treason from binding
ground. collecting insurance from the house of whitest 
america is the fortress of gloom. beyond the grace of
transcendence, a white gloved hand carries a banner
a pale bird receding on hallowed ground.   from hallways
from meeting places by train-tracks they are leaving
a careless, a gentle careless caress.  gorged in the
brightest armour, with a wardrobe of wounds, carrying this
banner of wonderment.  i claimed the territory upon which
i stood.
i could only  hope for the hope treason brings,
like a message/ a message of desire

The Healer

I am a healer
I have healed many wounds in my time
with a magic wand
and a black Stetson hat
I healed
the wounds of poets and statesmen
with dark amber potions and herbs
I healed the painters of houses
with canvas bags of secret wines
I healed the scars of hatred
on the back of Montgomery Street
with a needle and thread and scissors
I starved the healer
whose cane was crooked
and dropped him into a pit
I filled the abyss with dirt
and stitched it up with rain
I walked along the avenue
and was prayed to 

 An Interview with Robert Frede Kenter of Icefloe Press 

 4 poems by Robert Frede Kenter published in Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020

Wolfpack Contributor: Robert Frede Kenter

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