A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Kaleb Tutt

with Kaleb Tutt:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Kaleb: I first started writing when I was around 14. One of my biggest influences was actually horror movies, specifically the Final Destination series. Those movies were a major influence on my writing during that time.

In high school, I fell in love with Alduous Huxley’s elevated yet relatable language in Brave New World. I also learned of Poe’s horror-themed poetry and added him into my list of inspirations.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Kaleb: Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, and H. P. Lovecraft

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

Kaleb: I was born and raised in Louisiana. The influence it had on me had 2 major effects: first, the small-town vibes provided my writing with a more personal, relatable style; second, the political climate (often filled with homophobia, sexism, and racism) led me to creating characters that fill my writing to represent the underrepresented.

My mom, sister, and I had to flee in the middle of the night when I was a kid due to personal life situations and we fled to Alaska. I wrote an entire poem, titled We Were Wolves, in which I described our escape as a leap across a chasm in Antarctic ice.

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

Kaleb: My poem The Process of Deciphering Jabberwocky is by far my most important poem I’ve written yet. I’m on the autistic spectrum and throughout my life, I’ve been made a fool in front of my peers countless times to the point that my trust has been eroded. This poem was my attempt to explain why I had to stop giving people excuses and hopefully showing other neurodivergent people that they don’t have to accept less than they deserve. https://stoneofmadnesspress.com/poetry-issue-10

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

Kaleb: I was sitting in my college cafeteria and I was listening to music, some soft song that I can’t recall the title of, and I just felt so inspired that I pulled up a gDoc and started scribbling down some lines. I ended up with a poem called Kingdom of Mine and it changed my perspective on writing as an artform. I had written small things here and there before then, but didn’t consider that I could actually be a writer myself.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Kaleb: Playing board games with my family, video games like Detroit: Become Human, playing with my dog, taking care of my rats, and painting. 

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

Kaleb: I am going to be performing a live reading of some of my work on July 31st at the Bibliophile book store in Dover, Ohio. If you’d like to purchase a copy of my debut chapbook (titled ir / rational), please reach out to me on Twitter at @KalebT96.

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

Kaleb: From my poem “The Process of Deciphering Jabberwocky”:

I cannot explain to you the subtleties of the cadence of human voice, the ways in which dancing waves penetrate the hippocampus and uncover your broken shoebox memories, how the waves extract secrets with haunting violin strings.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Kaleb: Absolutely my mom and sister. They’ve been instrumental in helping me grow as an author and poet because they’re sincere and honest. They tell me when a poem isn’t quite up to par and when I should take the leap and submit my work. They’re avid supporters of me and my art and I couldn’t do this without them.

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

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