Featured Poet Michael Pedersen interviewed.
Tells us about your poems.
The poems touch on myriad themes including folklore, nuances in nature, social befuddlement and altruism –- everything that makes reveries a little stormier; it comes from the type of thinking that causes a flip in the face –- the type of thing that happens to the commuter’s expression when they announce the train delays. There are a lot of sounds and colours hidden beneath the floorboards of the stanzas too –- so both verve and energy run along the lines.
Philanthropy and humanism are of central importance to me on both life and writing; I co-founded and help run a Scottish registered charity Himalayan Hope (www.himalayanhope.co.uk).
How long have you been writing?
It’s the generic response to this one I’m afraid: for as long as I can remember. It has always down to visceral impulse, the reaction to the action, rather than being something I was encouraged to do at school or by the family. Due to that fact that what started making you write, is commonly what keeps you writing indefinitely, it can come across as a tad brazen to talk of poetic surfacings rather than a triggering event. It becomes even more so when weeding through the offal in what you’ve been writing of recent to capture the weighty diction. However, the concept of finding poetry and it finding you continues to make sense on even the most basic levels.
Do you have any publications to your name? What’s the next stage for your work?
Like most in my position I have a host of magazine publications and juvenile acknowledgements but this is my first chapook.
As far as Part-Truths is concerned I intend to release it as a cross-medium trilogy:
* Part One is the Part-Truths chapbook published by Koo Press (featuring art work by Ryan Clee and Alexandra Hurcikova);
* Part Two is fifteen poems to be married to the bespoke illustrations of fifteen different artists; and
* Part Three is a musician friend’s, Bill Ryder-Jones, musical interpretation of selected poems from the first two hampers.
The premise behind this is that zealots of all the different art forms (fans of the artists and musicians) will pick up one part of the three and then fall into another.
I have also been doing a bit of script-editing for the forthcoming play and motion picture Dream Tower Inn (www.dreamtower.com) - featured as a finalist on BBC McMuscial (endorsed by Sir Cameron Mackintosh). There’s a lot more to come from this wily beast which is set to take off on both sides of the pond sometime next year.
Got any suggestions for young, upcoming poets?
At this stage, 24 and first chapbook, I wouldn’t dare; I’m still working it all out myself. One thing I would say is find mentors and muses, as many as possible; poets, musicians, academics of every ilk, even the bard of the local boozer and, of course, read as fervently and frequently as you can stomach.
Who/What are your influences.
The poets I’d have to pick are Ted Hughes, Tom Buchan, and Edwin Morgan; amongst the authors I’ve been most faithful to Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Mervyn Peake. This could go on for a while and is subject innumerable vagaries: weather, caffeine, wine; so is best left adumbrated. My brightest star among the young wordsmiths is Katharine Kilalea – I think she’s assembling fantastic pieces and is just at the start of it all. Let’s hope that makes two of us.
is a matrix of criss-cross canals, capitale des vins d’Alsace
And where, at 13, on the school French exchange
I met Elodie Mullan.
All summer I would insist on croissants, slurp expresso
And defame Scotland with a fraudulent harshness;
For I knew nothing of our propinquity to the Rhine
Or Vosges mountains, only that Elodie lived a stone’s throw
Away and with craned neck out the attic window
I could see her boudoir; where there must have been
Our moments were few: we sat side-by-side on a boat tour
Locked hands walking through a rusting vineyard
And were dancing partners for three songs;
Linked together like salted pretzels.
A photograph of us in partial embrace shows Elodie, alluring
As Julie Delpy and me, wholly disparate, in a Scotland strip
With peroxide-blonde hair. The sky, like the shirt, ultramarine
Whilst I blushed rouge from little-boy syndrome.
I used to dream of returning ‘fabulous and famous’
In a histrionic display of extravagance. It would have been
Horrendous: white-limo, champagne, skunk
One-liners - like something from a hip-hop video.
Nowadays, I’d explain how a poem is like a bomb
A bomb like a poem, when assembled correctly
Both explode rather than arrive, become
Instantly important; as she did and could again.
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