For this issue, I highlighted another writer who has an interest in both fiction and poetry. This work, in particular, caught my attention because of its all-encompassing imagery. It’s so easy to get sucked into the work and for that spectacular feeling, I’ve highlighted:
Fred went to high school in Ohio and college in Michigan and Iowa, so his upbringing is very Midwestern. He has had a few pieces published, a couple plays produced, and has won some minor awards, but only now that he is retired will he seriously focus on submitting more of his work for publication.
How long have you been writing? How did you get into the business of writing?
I’ve been an aspiring writer since high school, but even though I got an M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Iowa, I did not begin to work at the craft more seriously until I switched my focus to poetry and flash fiction about ten years ago. That was the point at which I started taking courses during the summer at the Writers’ Center at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York state.
Is writing how you make your living? If not, what do you do and how has it effected what you write?
Until my recent retirement, I was an English and drama teacher at an independent school in Bethesda, MD. That’s how I made my living, and I don’t expect to strike it rich any time soon with my poetry or fiction.
My career as a teacher and director probably affected my writing in several indirect ways, but I think of two more direct ones. First, I was so busy grading, rehearsing, preparing lessons, etc. that I only had time to write in shorter forms, such as poetry and flash fiction. Secondly, when I was on sabbatical four years ago, I pledged to write a poem a day, resulting in a blog that has over 350 poems on it and, I hope, in a firmer sense of who I am as a writer.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
My inspiration for pieces usually comes from either observing something slightly unusual about the ordinary things around me or from being struck by some turn of phrase and then pursuing the observation or turn of phrase in a free associative way.
What does your writing space look like right now? Describe it, if you would.
My writing spaces are rather portable: a leather bound journal I carry with me so I can jot things down almost anywhere and a small laptop that I usually type on in bed (as I am now). I do have a habit of thinking of things as I fall asleep and then waking at odd hours to write them down in more detail.
Whiskey or bourbon? Neat or on the rocks?
I hope this doesn’t disqualify me for publication in your magazine, but I seldom drink anything stronger than root beer on the rocks.
Where can we find more of your work?
I’ve had pieces published in Voices de la Luna, Still Crazy,
and The Rejected Quarterly.
My blog is poetry181.blogspot.com
Also, don’t forget to check out Fred’s work in the Fall 2014 issue!