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

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Robin: As far as I can remember, I was always scribbling down some nonsense. It was more of a background passion or a thing that got me through the noise happening in my head.

My early influences were pretty typical, I think. I fell in love with graphic novels reading Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series in the 90’s, which then turned me on to his novels. I got into the Beats, like everyone does for a time. Sylvia Plath. Vonnegut.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Robin: Probably Diana Goetsch. She is, in my opinion, the single greatest living poet. She somehow is also a master at crafting non-fiction. She’s just ridiculously skilled. I return to her work both when I’m reading for pleasure and also for study.

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer/artist?

Robin: It was when I first saw Goetsch perform pieces from what was then my favorite book of poetry that changed things for me. It inspired a sense of focus in terms of what the craft and the artform of creative writing meant to me.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Robin: My partner isn’t a writer, but they provide immense emotional support and space for me to be creative. All of the workshops, classes, and time spent studying craft wouldn’t mean a thing if I didn’t have this amazing partner who takes my dedication to creating seriously. They also get me just the right amount of drunk before I have to go on stage
and read, ensuring I don’t have the jitters but also don’t slur all over myself.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from New Jersey influence your work?

Robin: I grew up in New Jersey and then lived in New York. My 2020 chapbook, Jeanette Killed Her Husband (And Buried Him Off of Shades of Death Road), is influenced heavily by
New Jersey folklore.

Jeanette Killed Her Husband (And Buried Him Off Of Shades of Death Road) —  Ghost City Press

Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Robin: The work that seems to have resonated most with people is my first book, Letters To My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls. I supported it with a reading tour, which led to some
wonderful conversations about the book’s themes of identity, gender, and mental illness.

Letters To My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls - Kindle edition by Sinclair,  Robin. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Robin: I hang out with my partner. I drink bad wine or good whiskey. I love reading. I’m currently re-reading Sentimental Violence: Some Poems About Tonya Harding by Gabrielle Grace Hogan and A Safe Girl To Love by Casey Plett.

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

Robin: I don’t know if I have a favorite, but a stanza that people seem to like at readings is:

Reason to live, they repeat like a pop song,
The bones of a beloved emperor, and I, the
motionless chariot
trying to drag them home with forced hope.

Which is from a poem called “The Chariot,” from my book Letters to My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls.

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?


I’m currently trying to find the right home for a hybrid chapbook called Bridge Jumpers of the World, Unite, which is about living with suicidal ideation.

Folks interested in my work can find links to my published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction at RobinSinclairBooks.com, and anyone who’d like to support me can do so at
buymeacoffee.com/robinsinclair. Members get copies of my books as a perk.


Robin Sinclair (they/them) is a queer, trans writer of poetry, fiction,
and nonfiction. Their debut full-length poetry collection, Letters To
My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls (Cosmographia Books, 2018),
discusses themes of identity, gender, and mental illness. Their
chapbook, Jeanette Killed Her Husband (And Buried Him Off Of
Shades of Death Road) (Ghost City Press, 2020), discusses
themes of revenge and local folklore.

Their poetry can be found in various journals, including Trampset,
Luna Luna Magazine, and Pidgeonholes. Their fiction and
nonfiction can be found in Black Telephone Magazine, The Daily
Drunk, and Across The Margin.

Find Robin at RobinSinclairBooks.com and on Twitter

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Ryan Norman

Bio for Ryan Norman

Ryan Norman (he/him) is a queer writer from New York living in the Hudson Valley. Ryan enjoys swimming in mountain lakes and climbing tall things. He is a contributing editor of creative nonfiction with Barren Magazine. His work has appeared in From Whispers to Roars, X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Black Bough Poetry, Hobart, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. His micro chapbook I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A BOND GIRL is forthcoming with The Daily Drunk July 2021 and his chapbook CICADA SONG is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press November 2021. You can find him on Twitter @RyanMGNorman or ryanmgnorman.com

(c) Maggs Vibo

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences? Q2: Who is your biggest influences today?

Ryan: I first started writing when I was in elementary school. My first memory of writing is holding a little booklet I stapled together called, “Looks Can Be Deceiving”. Pretty cynical point of view there, little me. But it really wasn’t that bad. It was just about nice cats and mean cats. I started taking writing more seriously in high school, and that’s when I discovered Plath. She is my forever influence.

Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II: 1956 – 1963: Plath, Sylvia:  9780571339211: Amazon.com: Books
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Ryan: I grew up in a medium-sized city in New York. We lived near the woods and spent a lot of time in them. A lot of my work involves some aspect of nature and usually are set in the Summer; I think that growing up playing in the woods really affected my interests and things I notice, hence writing about nature often. Home has played a large role in my writing, but traveling hasn’t sparked any thoughts in me. I’ve written two poems that I can remember off-hand and they’re both in my chapbook Cicada Song

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

Ryan: I can’t think of anything in particular. My first published poem happened in 11th grade and since then I’ve been a poet. I did have a high school English teacher tell me I should go to school for writing, but instead I studied Psychology and Occupational Therapy. It was good advice though. I probably should have listened.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Ryan: It may not come as a surprise, but I like to hike and sit next to the river when I need to relax or clear my head. And of course there are always video games. Will I ever complete Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Probably not. But I will find a tree to climb.

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

Ryan: I do have two poetry chapbooks coming out this year. I’ve already mentioned Cicada Song, which is coming out mid-November. Pre-orders for that begin July 28th from Finishing Line Press. For those interested, Cicada Song is about navigating the often dark and threatening landscape of today by examining the role of mental health and relationships. And I have a digital chapbook called I always wanted to be a Bond Girl that comes out July 30th with The Daily Drunk. This one is more about taking what you want despite the consequences, and if the title doesn’t give it away, this is a pop collection centered around James Bond-ness.

Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from one of your poems, or favorite lines from others? Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Ryan: My favorite line actually comes from an essay I wrote called Parking Lot Neon published in Hobart Pulp and the line is, “I like the anonymity of speaking into the holes at the drive-thru. Watching my words pop up in fragments on the screen.” And I think it would be really fun to say I started that piece in a workshop, but I workshopped it in my Notes app. But I did take a workshop that really helped my writing. It was held in an un-air conditioned carriage house in Brooklyn, and it was one place. I would say that has impacted my writing the most so, thank you Leslie Jamison.