Friend of mine and wonderful poet and writer Ashley Capes has kindly tagged myself and Mark William Jackson in next in this little blog chain that’s currently doing the rounds online. Thank you very much, ash.
Please do check out Ash’s work- his collections are all wonderful and he also has his first novel forthcoming from Snapping Turtle Books. Also, it seems both Ash and I have work in the new issue of foam:e, which is very cool. My answers below.
Q. What am I working on?
I’m well into a second collection of poems, titled The Other Flesh. I am confident it’s the best work I’ve produced, and a significant progression from my last book Rain Season (Picaro Press, 2013).
I’ve also written an autobiographical novella called A Day without Me that I’m currently looking for a home for.
Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I find this question difficult to answer. But I think all good poets have their own ‘voice’ so I suppose in that regard my work is like no-one else’s because my voice is mine and mine alone. Obviously I am influenced by many other writers, works and things, but in the end I hope my voice comes through in the poem.
Q. Why do I write what I do?
I write poetry as a way of making sense of all of this. It’s essential in many ways to getting through the day, which is often not easy, and also finding something beyond all that we see and experience- something deeper and more permanent. That said, it’s not as if I only write as therapy, I do work hard on my poetry as a form, but it has an important place in my life and who I am and that place is where it originally stems from. This is probably the way for most poets, I imagine.
I explained why I write poetry for Going Down Swinging a while back, which I think sums it up best: http://goingdownswinging.org.au/site/why-do-you-write-poetry-robbie-coburn/:
Q. How does my writing process work?
My process is not that of the ‘sit at the desk long into the night writer’. I write when poems emerge in my mind.
I spend a lot of my time walking aimlessly through the paddocks of our farm, usually sitting by a dam and writing. It’s almost a way of organising my thoughts.
I start with a phrase or even a fully-formed stanza and just let the atmosphere find its way into the words and the connection between myself and the landscape comes naturally and organically. I then sit on the poem for a while and edit it until I feel it is ready to see the light of day or ready for the cutting room floor,
Next I am honoured to invite three fantastic writers into the blog chain:
Benjamin Dodds, author of the fantastic poetry collection Regulator (Puncher & Wattman).
Scott-Patrick Mitchell, author of many great works, including the amazing prize-winning chapbook Songs for the Ordinary Mass (PressPress).
Oliver Mol, who has recently signed a deal for his first novel with Scribe Publications and is just awesome.