OUR POETRY ARCHVE FEATURED
POET OF THE MONTH
OPA How long have you been writing Poetry? We would like to know the early stories about your growing up as a poet or writer in general. Who are your favorite Poets? What are some of your favorite genres to read and to write? Had they inspired you a lot, do you believe in inspiration as a guiding force behind writings at all?
MICHAEL:I have been writing poetry for two years. I grew up in a musical household so the importance of song writing was always evident as a child. I have spent countless hours watching my father word craft in lyrical format. Songs and a love of reading was my childhood experience.
OPA What has been the toughest criticism given to you as a writer? What was the biggest compliment? Did that change how or what you write? What has been the strangest thing that a reader has asked you?
MICHAEL: I have found a nurturing poetic family in the online G+ and Facebook communities. My critiques have always been positive and encouraging concerning form, dynamics, visualization, flow and content and to not be afraid to use names and places to personalize the poem, this, I am still working on. I am my toughest critic. I will never be completely satisfied with my writing and will always seek to improve my word craft. I seek to capture the reader and radiate in an emotional explosion or inspire readers to think about ideas and concepts and knowing when less is more. The best compliment is when I am called a great was The strangest request of readers has been multiple offers of marriage.
OPA What is your favorite poem you have ever written? Compared to when you first started writing, have you notice any big changes in your writing style or how you write compared from then to now?
MICHAEL Quite honestly the most favorite poem I have ever written has not been crafted yet. Will I ever? I hope to one day lay claim to such a poem. My first poems were clumsy collections of statements. Simple rhymes without form or cadence. My poetry today makes extensive use synonyms and I have a theme that I stick with. I try to allow the reader insight into a scenario they can relate with on different levels allowing them to peer more effectively into my window of life even if they have not experienced it.
OPA What has been your favorite part of being a poet or and author? What has been your least favorite?
MICHAEL: My favorite part of being poet is the wonderful writers and artist I have met as well as when I can move someone to tears, laughter, anger, longing…. the whole range of human emotions and let the reader know that we all share a commonality of these same feelings no matter where you come from. The least favorite part of being a poet is that for every bit of notoriety gained some privacy is lost and one becomes the focus of many confused and unstable souls.
OPA Did you get to quit your day job and become a writer and/or author, or do you still have a day job and writing is something you do for fun? If you still have a day job, what is it?
MICHAEL: You can say I am in a transitional period at present. My eventual goal is to focus entirely on writing and music, but I won’t quit my day job just yet.
OPA Besides writing and reading, what is your most favorite thing to do? What genre are you most looking forward to explore during your writing career? Why?
MICHAEL: I love playing my musical instruments with friends in a casual setting like the beach or a backyard BBQ or being the focus of many at a concert venue. I would eventually like to successfully combine my writing with my musical ideas. I also want to explore more avenues of writing; be it a novel or freelance writing. I simply love the creative process.
OPA: Do you think literature or poetry is essential in our life? If so why? How does it relate to the general history of mankind?
MICHAEL Oh what can be more necessary especially in these days of efficient but minimalist business based writing. Our young people are in danger of diminished imagination because emotive elements are not encouraged properly in educational institutions or at home.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton; 1839 said,
“True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter’s wand! — Itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyze the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it!”
Poetry and literature are responsible for more sweeping political and cultural change than any military effort by far. We owe are present freedoms to words not swords.
OPA Our readers would like to know your own personal experience regarding the importance of literature and poetry in your life.
MICHAEL: Literature has been my friend, my savior, my love and my inspiration. I write because there is nothing else I’d rather do. Often I write because I must express myself through literature. I had my first full time musical job in 1981. My life has been all about learning poetry. Literature has shaped who I am so very much I would not be able to do without words I would soon perish. Literature and poetry have become my identity to such a large degree I can’t imagine any other option.
OPA Do you think people in general bother about literature in general? Do you think this consumerist world is turning the average man away from serious literature?
MICHAEL: That is a very interesting question. At first glance the online explosion of information may lead people to think we are becoming a shallow society. I think that humanity is merely experiencing growing pains. It is my opinion that the free exchange of information today will lead to a new renaissance and people will turn once again to the humanities as the highest measure of cultural expression.
OPA If humanity tries to understand tradition and modernism, do you think literature can play a pivotal role in obtaining understanding? If so, how? Again, how can an individual writer relate himself or herself with the tradition and modernism?
MICHAEL: Words are but an expression of ideals be it fashioned in the dawn of civilization or yesterday but even more so they express the human factor in a way a history books never will. It represents the very core of who are where we came from and where we are going. Literature absolutely is vital to understanding the human experience.
OPA Do you think society has a factor in shaping you as a poet, or your poetry altogether?
MICHAEL: If I am writing a pop based lyrical poem people must be able to relate in today's world, in such ways society dictates the availability of readers for modern based genre. If I am writing of love, then I listen to the echoes of the romantic eras and it is reflected in my writing style and vocabulary.
OPA We would like to know about any influences that has inspired your poetry and writings.
MICHAEL: By far William Shakespeare is my biggest influence. Why? he thought outside the box and was not afraid to play with words even if it flouted the convention of the day. In this way English progressed beyond the spoken language of the common man into a vehicle of expression celebrated the world over. Secondly Robert Frost has shown the world of the deceptively gentle understatement of American literature. I’d like to think they influence my writing style. I am not a bold in your face writer I love the subtle innuendoes and wonderment of higher language versus vulgarity and shock value.
OPA We would also like to know; How do you relate the present literary trends with the literary heritage of your country?
MICHAEL: English has become the new Latin. People the world over regularly use English and American dialects when they wished to show a worldly sophistication much as we (American and English) quote French or Latin in higher social circles. This is a great time for English based writers if Americans have a penchant for expression they should try their hand at it. This is truly a unique time in American literature.
OPA Do you believe that all writers are the product of their nationality? Is it an incentive or an obstacle in becoming an international writer?
MICHAEL: Hmmm? In many cases nationality is a factor when it comes to subject matter and opportunity. Writing in a second language can be challenging but more and more the barriers are being broken, Poets tend to disregard borders because we know that feelings are the same everywhere. There has never been a better time for becoming an international writer and opportunities will only increase in the future. I say go for it.
OPA What 7 words would you use to describe yourself?
MICHAEL: Romantic, humanist, roguish, unconventional, non-materialistic, empowering and humorous.
OPA Is there anything else that you would like to share or say to those who will read this interview?
MICHAEL Believe and be true to yourself. We are all amazing in one way or another. Celebrate the differences and see the love in all things.
The editorial staff of this project: Stacia Lynn Reynolds and Deborah Brooks Langford; sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.