…with Paul McGlamery

Ariana:

What do you think most characterized your writing?

Paul:

Two things influenced the poems in my book. Number one my father passed away 18 months ago after a long bout with Alzheimers. Most of the poems were written before his death but the theme of the book became more about the circle of life while I was working through the grief from losing him.  Secondly, fertility is a running theme in my poems; fertile soil, rebirth of earth, the essence of Coatlicue.

Ariana:

Have you ever jumped out of a plane? If not, would you?

Paul:

No to first part of the question. Yes to part two. Of course having a parachute to ease my landing would be preferable.

Ariana:

If you could live in the past or the future, which would you choose and why?

Paul:

The past, as long as it was not during the dark ages. I am not too comfortable with the future. I’m not even sure what tomorrow will bring.

Ariana:

Name a 19th century author who influenced you.

Paul:

Henry James. Turn of the screw. Hell yeah.

Ariana:

What motivated you to write this collection?

Paul:

My muse threatened to kick my butt if I ignored her.

Ariana:

What cultural value do you see in writing Everything We Create Smells Like the Earth?

Paul:

To ascribe cultural value to one’s own work takes a smidgen of hubris. The only thing I’ll say in answer to this question is that my writing is personal and immersive. Either you sink or swim when you enter my world.

Ariana:

How did you feel when you found out you won The We Will Plan Big Things Poetry Prize? Who did you tell first?

Paul:

I was a little in shock. I entered the contest to force myself into a corner. I work well in a state of chaos. The last week before the deadline was maniacal and some of my best stuff was born during this phase. But I had no expectations of winning so I was more than surprised. My wife, Rebecca, who has supported my artful endeavors through thick and thin, was the first person I shared the news with.

Ariana:

Where did your love of writing come from?

Paul:

That’s a good question. As far as I know none of my ancestors were writers. I took a creative writing class in high school and became hooked on telling lies on paper.  Once you start, it is quite addictive. I began writing poetry about nine years ago. My first poem was written while under the influence of painkillers after having surgery.

Ariana:

Which Gilligan’s Island character are you? Why?

I am most definitely Gilligan. I am naive. I am goofy. I am a walking disaster.

Ariana:

What inspires you?

Paul:

My daughter and son. Their lust for life has no boundaries. Their imagination is immense. They live to love and love to live.

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