JOHN IRVINE’s In My Hot Seat!
My Interview with JOHN IRVINE!
I always appreciate authors and readers taking time out of their lives for me. I understand the demands authors face from “the voices in our heads” and how they battle with the limited time of “our real lives”. I, also, strive to give readers quality material, understanding the resources they are investing into my work and the work of others I am supporting. I hope I honor you all!
1. I always kick off my interviews with the same question. Therefore, please tell us how you’d describe yourself?
I’m a 77-year-old agnostic cynic! Done a lot of things in my life including plying/singing music in bars, scuba diving, motorcycle racing, rally cars, delivering cruising yachts and managing a tourist lodge in the PNG jungles.
I’m also a poet with a number of published collections and a writer of flash fiction.
2. You are a well-known poet. You have a lot of truth in your words and self in your works. I would like to discuss this in this first set of questions.
· What style of poetry do you prefer to write in?
o I started with terrible rhyming stuff… well, us kids of the 90s and 50s grew up on nursery rhymes. I generally write open verse, but have a love for sonnets and Japanese forms. I have written in most forms mainly for fun.
Ø Is it different from what you select to read? Why, or why not?
§ Probably not… I do love the crusty poets from the Beat Generation like Bukowski.
Ø What do you think constitutes a good poem?
§ Hmmm… that’s a tough one as the reader does the choosing. I like to leave something for the reader to work out.
ü Do you feel the quality of the poem is enriched because you are sharing a personal experience in life instead of writing purely fiction?
· Not necessarily, no.
ü How often do you write fiction-based poetry? Why do you think this is?
· Mostly fictional. I have thousands of poems in the files and most are fiction. There’s only so much one can write about self before the reader vomits!!
3. What’s the best way for readers to connect with you and your work?
Thanks again. You are a fascinating person and a treasured friend. I have always enjoyed our chat, and I look forward to many more in the coming future!