When were you first introduced to Solo Novo?
I found out about Solo Novo through the Poets and Writers website and its list of literary journals. I liked their website. The staff seemed enthusiastic about what they were doing. The books looked like they were well made, and the poetry looked good, so I sent them some of my stuff.
What do you plan to bring to the table the night of Breadline?
Is this your usual way of presenting your work, yourself?
Do you mean, at the Breadline reading? I’ve been doing a few readings, lately. I’ve sent a lot of stuff out to journals. I’ve published in quite a few journals and magazines, now. But about a year ago, I felt like actually facing an audience and reading. I was curious what that would do to my concept of writing. Although, over the years, I’ve read a number of times, I never really sought it out. Most readings bore me, and I suppose I was afraid I’d be boring, or pretentious. But I decided to let that go and write some pieces that I thought would be entertaining. So, I talked to a friend of mine at work, Rick Clark, and I knew he did a lot of reading and had published a couple of books. He immediately got me in at this art gallery up on Beacon Hill, last winter. They were producing something called The Book of the Dead, which was a mix of art and writing, and they wanted work on the theme of death. I thought, I can do that. And I thought, I want to do that and make it entertaining, you know, not dreary cocktail talk. And then I did another reading at Soulfood Books up in Redmond, and some other smaller events, and now this one that you folks are doing. I don’t know. I might be completely out of touch. I’m not a slam guy, really. But I’m not up there breathing over every syllable as though I were giving the English language a blow job.
What needs to happen to poetry for its relevance as we continue into the 21st century and how are you championing support for those needs?
Um, I guess I’d say it’s got to be both sacred and profane. It’s got to be part of something more than history, but it’s also got to be part of our lives and not some abstract mess. I don’t know. I think poetry will always have relevance. It’s never gone away. It’s in cheep advertising jingles; it’s in sappy pop songs; it’s in graffiti on subway walls. I think people will always create poetry. Its the soul’s code.
Anything else that can help the Breadline crowd know you better?
I’m a Sagittarius. I’ve had work in The Connecticut River Review, Louisiana Literature, Cumberland Poetry Review, and Midwest Quarterly. I have work available online as well in The Adirondack Review, Salt River Review, and Avatar Review, among others, and I recorded a story for Bound Off. I have a novella chapbook published by the Overtime series of Workers Write Journal. I won the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry for a selection called, “The Open Ward,” a Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House and First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” poetry contest by Tattoo Highway. I live in Seattle, Washington and I teach writing and literature at Seattle Central College, where I am also the adviser for the literary journal, Corridors.
Note: You can read “After Hours” in the City Writers Review 2004 here.