4 Questions with Sam Love.

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

I have been concerned about the environment since I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a teenager. I also worked on the national staff of the first Earth Day in 1970. In April it will be the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Unfortunately, many of the events have been cancelled. Over the years I have had a number of environmental poems published so I decided to pull some of them together in a manuscript which Fly on the Wall Poetry Press published as “Awakening: Musings on Planetary Survival”.
I had previously self-published an illustrated children’s book “My Little Plastic Bag” which educates children about where plastic goes in our ecosystem. It won a number of awards and is now in Spanish and English. It has been my best seller.

 

www.mylittleplasticbag.com

 
I feel poets can play an important role in changing our environmental consciousness and they need to speak out in poems with clear messages. It is not a time for obscure images that we hope some people will get. Also, people are scared and depressed because of Covid-19, but they are spending a lot of time on line so we can provide inspiration and understanding for them. I recently put up a graphic on Facebook “Quarantine Your Body, Not Your Mind, Read Poetry”. A number of people shared it.

 

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?

We timed the release of “Awakening” to the Fiftieth Anniversary of Earth Day and I set up a number of readings through environmental groups and they all got cancelled so I am working social media and trying to get some press attention. But Covid-19 is sucking up all the oxygen. As a result, I have done some virtual book launches and will record some of the poems and put them on my website, YouTube and Facebook. I am also writing some pieces on the resurgence of eco-poetry as a set up to promote “Awakening”.
If you don’t promote your work it is invisible, so you need to let people know about it.

 

3, What projects are you working on at present?

I am trying to find ways to promote my new book and that is time consuming, but as I have ideas for new poems I write them down and store them in a working file. It’s like planting seeds that I may watch germinate.

 

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Joy Harjo, our American poet laureate, is the first native American poet laureate. She says something like, “Poetry gives voice to the spirits in the wind.”
I feel like we are channelling some unconscious survival instincts. In my poem in “Awakening” about the disappearance of the ecology symbol that was everywhere around the first Earth Day I write:

  “if everyone lives the American dream,
we will need a planet three times
the size of Mother Earth
and the last time I looked,
she’s not gaining weight.”
That sums it up for me.


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Four Questions with Patricia M. Osborne ( @PMOsborneWriter )

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Patricia M. Osborne

 

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

I’m a writer in my early 60s, married, a mother to three, and grandmother to five and although I was born in Liverpool I live in West Sussex. I have just finished the end of a four-year study for an MA in Creative Writing with the University of Brighton. As a writer, I am a novelist and poet which work perfectly as a combination for me because I don’t always have time to get into novel mode but can always start a new poem. I love nature, myth and folklore, and all these influence my poetry.

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?

I use Facebook, Twitter, and have a blog which I intend to be more active on now the MA has finished. I’ve dabbled in Instagram but need to understand this better and I’ve yet to tackle Pinterest. Does it eat into writing time? Yes it does and sometimes Twitter can be tedious. I have a routine: marketing in the morning, along with critique and editing, which leaves the afternoon/evening free for my writing time. Of course life gets in the way too, but I do my best to keep to the structure. My muse works better later in the day so in a way it’s a perfect plan as I can be thinking about what I want to write while marketing.
I haven’t published a collection of poetry yet but I am working on it. However, I’ve had many individual poems published in anthologies and magazines and even had a first prize win for my poem Grandad’s Garden. I was inspired to write this poem following a poetry workshop run by Alison Chisholm at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2017 when she handed us all a pinecone.


Grandad’s Garden

I turn the cone upside down,
it changes to a flower,
like the dahlias
in Grandad’s garden
where creepy earwigs
hide inside.

I paint my pinecone fiery orange,
use a green-striped straw for the stem,

wrap it in mistletoe paper,
place it under the tree
as a special present
for Mummy
on Christmas Day,

to make her smile,
cos she cries in bed, every night,
since Grandad died.

More of my published poems may be found on my website.


3, What projects are you working on at present?

I’ve just finished a collection of poetry for my MA dissertation titled ‘Spirit Mother’ based on myth, folklore and legend around trees. This has been an interesting and exciting project. I’m hoping to get this published later this year or early next year. I am also working on my second novel, ‘The Coal Miner’s Son,’ and a cover reveal along with releasing the first four chapters is imminent. This works as a sequel to my debut novel, House of Grace, A Family Saga, or may be read as a standalone.

4, What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry for me is story telling in a few words and I love story telling which is why most of my poetry is written in narrative form. I love the way my subjects spring to life through layering and editing. Poetry, along with all writing, gives me the opportunity to escape to any place or any time of my choosing and I can be anyone or anything I want to be.


Where can you find me?
Facebook: Patricia M Osborne, Writer
Twitter: PMOsborneWriter
Website: http://patriciamosbornewriter.wordpress.com
Email: patricia.m.osbornewriter@gmail.com

Link to debut novel House of Grace, A Family Saga
http://mybook.to/HouseofGrace
Watch this space for upcoming poetry collections.


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Four Questions with Chloe Gilholy ( @ChloboShoka )

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Chloe Gilholy 

 

 

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

I was born in Staffordshire and was raised in Oxfordshire where I currently live. I work as a carer and have diplomas in Health & Social care and Art & Design. I love books – reading them, collecting them, and also writing them. I had my first poem published in an anthology when I was eight and kept going ever since.

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?

I promote my work through social media and also by attending writing meetups and sharing works with other writing groups. I don’t think it takes up too much time at all at the moment because it’s multitasking and I’m still writing as I go along.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

I am currently working on my second novel, a thriller called Fishman. Along the side I am also trying to complete 12 unfinished fan fics and a poetry book about gaming. I still write some poetry on a whim if I am inspired.

4. What does poetry mean to you?

Poetry is one of the best tools I can use to describe myself. It is liberating and culturally enriching.


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Four Questions with Holly Lyn Walrath ( @hollylynwalrath )

 

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Holly Lyn Walrath IMG_8359_large_cropped

 

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Amazon // Goodreads


 

 

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

 

 

 

I like to self-identify as a “weird writer,” which basically applies to everything I do creatively. I don’t write in one specific length but tend to flit between poetry, flash fiction, and now I’m even working on a novella. I write in a variety of genres from sci-fi to fantasy, but all of my work tends to have a weird, speculative, fantastical, or surreal element.

 

 

 

I think one of the themes I’m working through right now is what it means to be a woman in today’s world and more specifically how we can gain strength from reimagining our bodies as fantastic. My work often deals with the emotions of guilt and grief. A reviewer called my latest book, Glimmerglass Girl, “at once violent and delicately beautiful,” and I think that basically sums it up. I like dark things, but I want to show people how they can be beautiful.

 

 

 

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?

 

 

 

This is a never-ending struggle for me! My work appears on Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and a variety of other little caverns on the internet. It’s a lot of work to keep everyone up to date on my work right now because I’m in a very prolific period of writing and I’ve been so blessed to have many people support my work. Even though I often feel burnt out, I recognize that it’s important for writers to promote their own work. No one else can shout the praises of your work as well as you. Who else is going to say, “I love this weird little thing that I pulled out of myself, won’t you take it home with you and love it too?”

 

 

 

3. What projects are you working on at present?

 

 

 

Right now I’m finishing up revisions on my space-opera-pirates-thanos-y novella. (Official title TBD, ha.) It’s basically about a character whose battling her own inner demons. I’m also working on a series of tiny poems that I hope to make into a book. And there’s still my erasure poetry series to finish, which is all erasures of male canonical authors. Uhh… did I mention I’m an overachiever??

 

 

 

4. What does poetry mean to you?

 

 

 

Edward Hirsch, one of my favorite poets, says that “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.” He talks about how the poem has to journey a very long way to get to the reader—all the way from inside my weird mind to the page, where I just hope that the right reader will find it. But to me, when you find a poem that speaks to you, it’s like lightning has struck a dark place. Everything becomes clear and brilliant. That’s my goal in writing poetry—to shine a light into the dark crevices of the world. To build a bridge. To burn a hole in a paper and then view the sun through it.


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Four Questions with Amanda N. Butler

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Four Questions with

Amanda N. Butler

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

I write poetry but I also have an interest in fiction. I brought those two loves together in my verse novel. My chapbooks of poetry tend to be more whimsical and mystical than my fictional poetry – my first chapbook with Dancing Girl Press, Tableau Vivant, is about flowers and the performance of acting the adult as an early twenty-something. My second chapbook, effercrescent, focuses on the moon and the feminine. My mini-chapbook with Origami Poems Project, How A Fairy Gets Her Wings, mixes new mythology on fairies with feeling enough confidence in yourself to grow and fly.

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?

I primarily use Twitter and Facebook to market my book (I almost always forget I have Instagram!) synthesized with my blog. When it’s just a quick share on social media, it’s not as time consuming as sitting down and writing out a full blog (and formatting it!). I usually try to write at least once every few days.

3. What projects are you working on at present?

I’m currently in the planning stage of the sequel to The Mermarium (one hint: wings!) and I’m writing a collection of poems about anxiety. I also want to write a collection about ballet. I have no shortage of projects at the moment!

4. What does poetry mean to you?

At the risk of sounding cliche, poetry is like air to me. I need to write poetry like I need to breathe. I’ve been writing poetry for almost 13 years and it’s a constant companion.


Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

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