May 12, 2014

Interview w/ Poet John Grey

1.  When did you start writing poetry and why?

I started in my teens. For the usual reasons I suppose. Looming adolescence,  an urge to write and the fact that poetry came easier to me than prose at the time.

2.  What is your writing process?

These days, I write from 7.00 A.M. to 7.00 P.M. with breaks for lunch and exercise. It’s not all poetry. I write short stories also. And, of course, some of that time has to be set aside for what I call the secretarial work such as submitting and keeping track of work. 

3.  Which poets throughout time have influenced your writing?

The most influential poets remain the ones I encountered in my school days and more of a case of despite them being part of the curriculum. I tended to appreciate the classic dead white males at the weirder end of the spectrum such as Coleridge and Poe.  

4.  What do you consider your poetic style to be? 

I try to write at least four poems a day, more if possible. The only way I can do that is to try to take different approaches each time I sit down to write one. So my style and subject matter do vary a great deal and it’s difficult, from my perspective, to pinpoint any one in particular.

5.  What topics do you tend to write about?

See answer four. Anything is grist for my mill. From politics to relationships to genres like horror and sci fi.

6.  What advice would you give to a novice poet?

Read and then read some more. Write and then write some more. It helps to have a handle on how serious you plan to be on learning and practicing the craft.  And a thick skin is imperative. 

7.  What advice would you offer to someone who is frustrated because his/her work is constantly being rejected by journals he/she submits to?

Knowing what kind of material they accept is a must. But, if you’re comfortable that your material is appropriate, my philosophy is try to write something better than what you sent that was rejected.    

8.  What is your ultimate goal as a poet?  Are there any specific awards or prizes you strive for?

My goal is to continue to improve my work. Other than that, I just take whatever comes my way.

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