Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

Interview: “I Never Saw the Spring Because I Died in Winter” by David R. Peoples ❄️

Hello everyone, and Happy Winter Solstice (to my northern hemisphere friends) ⛄️. To kick off this winter, I have interviewed David whose a talented musician AND poet and the author of “I Never Saw the Spring Because I Died in Winter.”

❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️

So, first thing’s first, David: What inspired you to start creating?

In collaboration with a friend, we thought about doing a memorial concert for Holocaust victims (I am a composer and sometimes I write artsongs – works for voice and other instruments that are presented in concert settings). I’ve always used other poets for the text we use in this type of music art, but I had the thought of writing narratives of different characters that would have experienced the Holocaust. I sketched out my first poem and sought out another poet to try and compose more lines in a similar fashion… when she sent me things that didn’t seem right to me, I’d send samples back showing what I was thinking.

After a while, I had a complete poem written, and did not need someone to write it for me. So, everything just seemed to come together as I narrated the music in my mind into poetic text (until I had a complete set of poems).

Those artsongs sound beautiful. Who are your biggest creative influences to date?

For poetry/writing, I have none (at least I don’t consider anyone a master or subject for emulation). I do have an obsession with Christina Rossetti (and have used her poems a lot in my own music). Recently, I’ve also been reading a lot of Shelley and Poe… well, and I’m reading/absorbing “300 Tang Poems.”

If you check in another month, that list would be completely different. The most influential writer on me (but in no way influencing my style) would be Loren Eiseley (esp. ‘Star Thrower’ or ‘Night Country’).

I totally understand. My influences change from week to week as well 😆. What are your favorite poets and artists and why?

Being a musician, I love the poetry of Rossetti, Dickinson, Ai (Ogawa) because their poems fit well with what I like to do as a musician. I like to think of art (whether music, visual art, written) as a benefit for the observer. If I feel I need perspective – I can seek out art that would fuel that notion (and whether I find what I am looking for or not) I will get a pleasant surprise in the journey – hopefully finding something new and unique along the way.

That makes perfect sense. I appreciate your perspective. What advice would you give to other artists?

Find your inner voice, shut up and listen. Don’t let any prejudice or criticism convince you to not speak out artistically. Always look/experience new things with an open mind and unlimited perspective. Keep working, don’t stop… when you work, others will show up on your pathway and make the journey so much more worth it.

What excellent advice. Thank you for that! What are the primary topics you cover in your book?

In “I Never Saw Spring, Because I Died in Winter,” there are multiple characters, all of them are children. Each of these children experience horrible things, but in those horrible events they maintain innocence and love, even up to the point that their lives end. It is a serious work. Most of the poems focus on the relationships experienced between parents and child.

Serious indeed, but also profound. What are some of your upcoming projects?

I have a new album being released in January 2019, and it is titled ‘Looking for Utopia.’ The album features myself on piano/synthesizer and other artists on flute and cello. In addition, I am currently compiling narrations of all military casualties during the Vietnam War (which will be used in a new work for Concert Band and electronics).

Sounds like you’re keeping busy! I wish you the best best in all your ventures, whether musical or poetic. It was nice chatting with you! 🙂

Thank you for the opportunity to talk.

❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️ ❄️ ☀️

Official Website: www.bluesilhouettes.com

“I Never Saw the Spring Because I Died in Winter” is now available on Amazon: www.amazon.com/Never-Spring-Because-Died-Winter/dp/173158699X

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Posted in Promoting Books, Promoting Poets & Artists

INTERVIEW: “Long Live Phoenixes” by Jasmine Farrell

“Long Live Phoenixes” is Jasmine’s third poetry collection. With the collection divided up into 9 laws (mantras), “Long Live Phoenixes” is a heavy reminder to never cease growing on the road of self-discovery.

“Ashes of pain, trauma and fear aren’t burial grounds
for phoenixes—they are birthplaces.” – NJ Scribe

 

Now available on Amazon! Click here to own a copy.


Hello, Jasmine! It’s wonderful to be speaking with you again, and I’m looking forward to finding out more about your latest book. What inspired its creation?

My late bloomer experience and growth inspired me to write “Long Live Phoenixes.” A line from the signature poem was birthed in January 2017:

our limits
were hand delivered,
set on our throats like thanksgiving spreads,
We will not swallow stories written for us.

After realizing that what I was taught and how I was raised, contradicted my essence I had a choice. I was to either continue demonizing myself or reason with cognitive dissonance that who I am is nothing to be ashamed of. I “rose out of the ashes” as my authentic self, reborn and ready to rediscover myself. I know that many people have been in my position and I wanted to create a collection that helps people. I wanted to encourage people to keep moving forward in life as their authentic selves with help of various mantras and my poems to let them know that they are not alone.

That’s beyond inspiring. When did your love of the poetic arts first enter your life?

I don’t know when my passion for poetry came about, but I know it blossomed at a very young age. It’s always been the best way that I could express myself.

Fair enough. How about the main messages in this collection?

The top three messages in “Long Live Phoenixes” is:

1. Remember where you came from- Learn to love and accept who you REALLY are.
2. Trust your inner voice.
3. Keep going despite your scars and with your dreams intact.

What profound themes. Who are some of your influencers poetry-wise?

My writing influences are Nikki Giovanni, Alysia Harris and Maya Angelou.

Excellent choices! What’s your writing process normally like?

My writing process originates from “word vomits” 85% of the time. A single stanza or line will pop into my head. I’ll play around with a piece for as long as I can. Once I become frustrated with a piece, I’ll leave it alone until I’m ready to work on it with fresh eyes.

I can definitely relate to that. Before I share your author links with everybody, is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, always trust yourself. There is no one in this world who can guide you better than you can. Do not run from silence… That’s where the answers can be found.

Such empowering words to wrap things up with. Thank you, Jasmine! ❤


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Posted in Love Poetry

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Posted in Spiritual Poetry, To My Friends

Zen Poetry!

A few weeks ago, I started an Instagram feed that features zen poetry and musings I’ve personally penned. I also post kanji calligraphy and create compositions that go along with each piece.  I’ve always considered myself to be a mystic poet more or less, but I really find myself resonating with Zen Buddhism more than I used to. You can read my work here.

 

Here’s a little sneak peek:

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Be sure to give me a follow if you have an Instagram account! 😀

Posted in Spiritual Poetry

Zen Masters Aren’t Cloaked, They’re Furred 🐈

she’s a croissant made of moondust
on Carpathian rug’s edge,
torso ascending and sinking
on autopilot, engine
a lax purRrRr.

my pen’s point rests atop
e m p t y parchment page,
ink accumulates
into blackhle, beckons
me to descend into oblivion
just like her.

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