4 Questions with Linda M. Crate.

Linda M. Crate

1, Tell us about you, your writing (themes, influences, etc.)

I am the oldest of two children. I was born in Pittsburgh, PA USA but I grew up in a rural town called Conneautville. I graduated from Linesville High School in 2005. I went on to college, and graduated in December 2009 from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English-Literature.

Thematically, I write about a bunch of topics: how I was bullied as a girl,  about how I have been used and abused by so called friend or people who were supposed to care, sexual assault, about finding my voice and how I refuse to surrender it, self-love, politics, feminism, nature, and even the things that haunt and scare me among other things. I write fantasy, I write horror, and I write the weird. Almost everything I write fiction wise has a genre.

As far as my influences go everyone and everything I have ever read can inspire poems. The biggest players in the writing field that have done this are: Edgar Allan Poe, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Adrienne Rich, J.K. Rowling, Emily Dickinson, Anne Rice, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. I am one of those writers that is inspired by mostly anything: nature, music, other books, other writers, etc. I think I am lucky in that way that inspiration can strike me anywhere and at any time.

2, What are some of the ways you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

Promoting is always the hardest part for me. I don’t want to be overly zealous and promote too much because there are some writers that irritate me with how much they are constantly promoting, and I automatically tune them out. I don’t want people to do that to me.

So I post when the work comes out, obviously, and I periodically post to remind people that the book is still available or if there are any sales going on.

I find that these posts tend to eat into my writing time as I work a 40 hr job, as well, but I understand the necessity and need for it. If no one knows about your work, how will you be found? I just find it frustrating, that’s all. Especially when people refuse to help you promote and share.

3, What projects are you working on at present?

I’m currently working on a fantasy novel centering around a black female protagonist who happens to be an elf and a chapbook that I was going to call Reviled or Entitled, but I think will instead call by one of the names of another poems in the book: “even ugly girls are pretty”. Even Ugly Girls Are Pretty is a chapbook centered around the concept of body image, owning one’s body, and how frustrating it is that sometimes people feel “entitled” to one’s body when it is not their own. I’m also going to be submitting to presses where I could be published both online and in print for my poetry, short stories, essays, etc.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry has always been very meaningful to me. It is a way of making a statement without being interrupted. It is a way to find out about one’s self in relationship to the world. It is a way of telling someone something without being too in their face, just giving them another perspective or point of view they may not have otherwise considered. It is also a way to call attention to matters that are important that people don’t always like to talk about.

I like poetry because to me it is like music lyrics. It can be deep and meaningful or playful and immature, but there is always a statement to be made regardless of the format. The most important thing is being heard in a world that is sometimes too full of noise for my liking.

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The chapbook My Wing Were Made to Fly is about the difficulties that sometimes arise in loving one’s self, pressing through fears and doubts to accomplish dreams, the importance of loving one’s self, of how one can only be themselves and to be anyone else would be a waste of who they are, the power and importance of dreams, how one must prove themselves to be of worth to themselves before they can convince anyone else they are worth it, of how sensitivity and kindness aren’t weaknesses but rather strengths, and how one cannot be caught up in comparisons or the negativity opinions of others if they wish to press on with their dreams.

Poetry Files. Saris and a Single Malt. Sweta Srivastava Vikram. Does Grief Wear a Colour?

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Saris and a Single Malt

Sweta Srivastava Vikram

Does Grief Wear a Colour?

 

Hindu tradition tells me

to wear white to show loss.

 

But, will wearing white bring back my mother?

 

No one answers.

 

A part of me died with you, mumma.

A part of me ceased to exist.

 

I can’t wear white,

my bleeding heart will ruin it.


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Poetry Files. A Book I’ll Never Write, Poetry. By Devon D. Eaton.

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A Book I’ll Never Write

Poetry

By Devon D. Eaton

It seems like breaking is all the heart’s good for

And I don’t think I can take it anymore

But another crack divides my stony heart

Feel the dust as it shrouds my lungs

Too much sorrow for one so young

Now throw the final blow and watch me fall apart

 

I thought you loved me

I guess I should have seen

The past repeating

And known we could never have been

I was a fool to

Give my heart to you

Without a guarantee I’d get yours too

 

Life is a labyrinth with monsters at every turn

And our solution is to break the walls and watch it burn

But what’s left to live for when we’re through

Love is the string that guides us through the maze

Circumventing the rubble and the blaze

I thouht that it would lead me straight to you

But how could I guessed

The apathy that you possessed

As you struck the match and set the string on fire

My heart the dynamite

The fuse you set alight

Blown to pieces by the object of my desire.


 

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4 Questions with Priscilla McGreer.

Priscilla McGreer

1, Tell us about you, and your writing (themes, influences etc.)

I’ve been a writer since I was a small child who did not yet know how to properly read and write. I would fill notebooks with scribbles only I could “read” and recount the stories therein to my amused parents. My love for stories is not only a cornerstone of my identity; it is also foundational to my writing. Central to all my work are stories, either of my own invention or those from depths deeper than any single human mind: the myths and tales that belong to us all.

2, What are some of the ways in which you promote your work, and do you find these add, or eat into, your time writing?

Although social media is universally regarded as a distraction from “real life” I have found it to be a singular enhancement to my life as a writer, and it is my primary tool for promoting my work. Making connections with readers and other writers via my social media presence has opened me up to individuals and communities I would not so have easily encountered in my regular life. I rarely direct pitch my work to others, whether through social media or any other venue, rather I seek connections and build relationships with the like-minded. The time I spend communicating with such people is a source of inspiration and encouragement for me and a boon to my writing.

3, What projects are you working on at present?

My current projects are a collection of short stories titled “Love and other Provocations” and a narrative poem called “The Dream” Both these works are explorations of romance from the perspective of a young woman. “The Dream” is my first narrative poems, whereas “Love and other Provocations” is a return to my initial literary mode, the short story.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is the soul expressing its love for the world.

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Poet Priscilla McGreer’s Confessions of a Self-Loathing Narcissist presents an exploration of self-hood through the cosmic lens of astrology. Each poem in this series is inspired by and named after one of the twelve houses of the zodiac, considering universal themes such as love, life, sex, death, childhood, and friendship that become profoundly personal within the verses. The brooding yet exultant musings of this poetry collection aptly takes its name from the Greek myth of the tragically self-obsessed Narcissus.

Confessions of a Self-Loathing Narcissist is an inquest into the sometimes dreadful awakening that can only be ever so painfully gained through self-knowledge. The introspective honesty of the poetry in this collection opens a path to triumphant release from the enthrallment with misery and self-limitation that plagues our self-centred culture.

Poetry Files. Poems from a Family Man. John Marshall. More ups, less Downs.

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Poems from a Family Man

John Marshall

More ups, less Downs

Whenever you’re troubled, whenever you’re down

Try to smile, it’s harder to frown.

Speak to your family, phone your friend

You’ll find in time the problem will mend.

Nothing is ever as bad as it seems

Everyday hopes can be tomorrow’s dreams.

We all have bad days, we all have good

It’s better to talk, it’s no time to brood.

No matter your downs, ups aren’t far away

I’m speaking from experience, I thought I’d just say.

Human beings are all destined for a bit of badness

It’s part of the trials – ultimately sadness.

It’s part of trials and tribulations

Forty per cent bad days, but sixty, celebrations.

I believe in the power of positive thinking

Although there are times when I feel like I’m sinking.

I try to look ahead for possibilities, and hope

It’s the way  to get through, a good way to cope.

 


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