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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with poet G. O. Clark, Part Two of Two

[Note 1: G.O. Clark's latest poetry collection is up for the Stoker award. You can find the review here.]

[Note 2: We had an earlier interview at SF Site. This is, in many ways, an extension of that conversation.]

You wrote: "A college friend of mine.... gave me pointers on who to read." What are some good books for new poets? Any new poets you think people should be reading?

I recommend reading selected and collected works books by various poets. Also anthologies, themed or otherwise. And listen to recorded poetry to get a feel for the way it sounds out loud; the rhythms, cadence, etc. of the poems.

As for speculative poets, I highly recommend Bruce Boston, Marge Simon, David Kopaska-Merkel, Linda Addison, Robert Frazier, Mary Turzillo for a start. New poets should read across the board; books, magazines, e-books and ezines. Sample as much as possible, then keep writing until your own voice finally blots out all the others. 

Later you said, "I stumbled upon two seminal sci-fi poetry anthologies.... We learn from our peers." Are there any recent seminal anthologies that have come out in recent years? 

I’m sure there’s some important new anthologies out there, but I haven’t kept up with the field as well as I should. As a member of the SFPA, I do get the annual Rhysling Award anthology each year, and it is filled with interesting and up-to-date poetry, (poems nominated by SFPA members that were published in the preceding year). The books are uneven in some ways when it comes to quality, but still a good sampling of the field.

I’m still partial to an older anthology, “Burning With A Vision”, ed. by Robert Frazier. It set a standard for the field way back in 1984. Good luck finding a copy.

What are some magazines you consider required reading?
Magazines? Dreams & Nightmares, Star*Line, Mythic Delirium, Astropoetica, all of which are filled primarily with poetry. Asimov’s, Analog, Strange Horizons, Tales of the Talisman, The Horror Zine, Not One of Us, which include poems in each issue. There’s many out there to discover. Dive into Google.

What's on the horizon for you? Any new projects brewing or forthcoming?

On my horizon are two books. One a dark poetry collection which is being considered by a publisher at the moment, tentatively titled “Gravedigger’s Dance”, and a short story collection, again with tentative title, “Twists & Turns”, which is off to different publisher. 

I’m also working on putting together another themed collection, this time about robots.
Other than that, the usual day to day work of writing new poems and stories, which as I get older proceeds more slowly. I nap at the drop of a hat.

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