Interview with Poet Mary Freericks (The Bombing of Tabriz)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Mary Freericks: The theme of my poem is bombing.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I was writing family memoir poems at the time. I now have a book of them Blue Watermelon available on Amazon. I have nearly completed my next book, Cheer for Freedom.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing since the late 70’s.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Jesus.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I thought you were doing a film.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I have a prose book, Creative Puppetry in the Classroom and a number of articles

7) What is your passion in life?

I love to paint as well as write poetry and walk along the Pacific Ocean holding hands.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Val Cole

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Interview with Poet TAK Erzinger (UNANSWERED CALL)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

TAK Erzinger: It is about the loss of human connection. It is also a commentary about how humanity is moving further away from its connection with nature and as we do so we are moving further away from ourselves and our destroying the natural world and in turn ourselves.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

My poem was inspired by The Washington Post article: The Lonliest Whale in the World, an article about reports from scientists about a male whale that has been swimming alone around the ocean for years singing at 52 hertz. I imagine the whale is a lonely by-stander witnessing the demise of its environment and crying out but no one is hearing his plea.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry since I was in high school however I have only begun writing poetry seriously since the beginning of 2017 after I was diagnosed with an illness.

However when I was 15 years old I summoned the courage to share several of my poems with my high school English teacher. Without me knowing he read them to his senior English class and suddenly all of these students I looked up to were complimenting me on my writing. It was overwhelming. That teacher told me all those years ago, you’re a natural writer. I should have listened to him back then. I am finally listening.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

To be honest with you it would be Mahatma Gandhi because of his belief in non-violent solutions to create change in a society and his love of humanity, animals and nature.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I did so because I would like my poetry to be spread to a wider audience in order to provoke, inspire and help the reader in some way to find a connection and bring about change.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, I write personal essays, short stories and articles.

7) What is your passion in life?

My 5 greatest passions are: writing, nature (the environment), drawing, walking and my husband.

Watch the Poetry Reading:

Performed by Val Cole

 

Interview with Carlo Danese (WINTER AFTERNOON)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Carlo Danese: How one experience can in a split second flip over into an ‘opposite’ experience

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

Sounds funny, but a remark I overheard from somebody about her brother. Plus a photograph I took of a snowy field in the finger lakes during the winter.

poetryphoto

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

30 years approximately

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

God, but if he/she is not available, the devil … don’t mean to be sarcastic but my real fantasy would be to have sort of a ‘last supper’ with a few dozen or more writers, artists, labor leaders, inventors ….nannies, cooks, carpenters, unemployed and/or unemployable types …

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I saw your ad. To be honest, I do not send my work out very much — this poem is one of my first ‘narrative poems’

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes – poetry, short stories, and I have had a few short plays produced. I have recently completed a screenplay named THE SAVIORS and ‘relocated’ to Los Angeles in order to try to get the script in the hands & brains of people who will see / understand the story and get it produced … It is partially sci fi but also ‘new age’ (for want of better term) as well as just a crazy tale … It is relatively low budget, and any ‘special effects’ simple to produce … The right director will understand that REAL sci fi entails getting the audience to see all that is NOT on the screen … It is called ‘imagination’ which is limitless tho I fear the 24/7 immersion of people into ‘media’ from birth does not give people, especially young people, the space and time to just dream – imagine – see & hear what nobody else sees & hears … connect to that universal consciousness with or without ‘religion’ …

7) What is your passion in life?

Keep going, help people ‘see’ – right now get THE SAVIORS produced. On another level, I am pretty political and along with keeping the present administration from endangering our society I hope our population becomes more aware of how politics works …

Some basic elements need to be radically changed … Real education is the first, most important aspect.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Interview with Poet Mustofa Munir (FREEDOM)

1. What is the theme of poem?

Answer:

Freedom—the source of energy, rejoice, bliss and exuberance for every creature that exists in this world. It is an inherent privilege granted to all humankind too. It prevails but not all living souls enjoy the true freedom though it is so inseparable from the life.

2. What motivated you to write this poem?

Answer:

The true freedom we never achieve in our life time. This way or that way we are slave to our own desire. The weaker entity concedes defeat to the passion, greed and power of the stronger one. That has an impact on the society as well as on the world at large. Out of these there evolves a strong urge that motivated me to write a few lines as poem.

3. How long have you been writing poetry?

Answer:

Since my boyhood in middle school.

4. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Answer:

The one I can depend, trust and love.

5. What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

Answer:

I saw and heard brilliant poems are published and read by someone whose voice injected an appeal and emotion that made the poem more vibrant.

6. Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Answer: Yes I do.


7. What is your passion in life?

Answer:

What I loved during my childhood I want to preserve them in my thoughts and actions till my death by being true to myself.

Watch the Poetry Reading: 

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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Interview with Poet Arloa L. Means (THE PROMISE)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Arloa L. Means: The theme of my poem “The Promise”, is the fulfillment of God’s promise & prophecy, to re-establish the Nation of Israel

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

My motivation in writing this poem was to express lyrically & with music as one of many songs sung within my musical play ” The Promises”

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve written poetry Since my youth, over 50 years.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

If I could have dinner with anyone….Jesus Christ.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I wanted to hear it read by someone other than myself,to get a clearer view as to how it would come across to others.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I am a Librettist and composer, I have musical works written as well as poems and stand alone songs.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion from a writers standpoint is to create songs and scripts for musical theater.

Watch the POETRY Reading: 

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

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Interview with Poet Lauren White (First Contact)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Lauren White: The theme was initially love, loss, and heartbreak. Towards the end, it turned into hope.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I wrote this about the last man that I dated. He had a huge impact on me in a short amount of time. Most of the lines in the poem have some ring of truth, including the nicknames and the Star Trek First Contact Day reference, which is the day we started talking to each other. It was a whirlwind that ended abruptly. I had a lot of thoughts and emotions afterwards that I have been processing through poetry. This was the second of several poems about him.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’m actually not sure how long I have been writing. I believe that i’ve probably always written on scraps of paper here and there. The earliest poems that I can remember are those from high school. I was in high school the first time I won a poetry contest. I also participated in a literary magazine. I had been writing off and on since then, but am currently trying to write each day, as I find the process therapeutic.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My maternal grandmother. She died when I was about two months old, so I never got the chance to know her. I hear a lot about her big heart and kind personality from my family. I like to believe she would motivate me in my writing and be very proud of me.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

In part, the discount to be honest, lol. But, I did also want to see what it would be like to have someone else put feeling to my words. It was even better than I expected. Esther captured the emotions perfectly.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Nope, just poetry and occasional prose in the form of rants.

7) What is your passion in life?

I’m still trying to figure that out, but I believe this – writing poetry – is it. I’m enjoying exploring new forms and styles of writing and finding inspiration in places that I’ve never looked. I’m interacting, making friends, and writing with fellow bloggers. The process is relaxing and calming and helps me keep my depression and anxiety issues at bay. I’m also very into music and have been doing a “From My Playlist” series on my blog to introduce others to new genres and songs.

Go to the poet’s website: https://hellolaurentms.com.

Performed by Esther Thibault

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Interview with Poet Susan L. Brown (Response To 8 Philosophers)

Matthew Toffolo: What is the theme of your poem?

Susan L. Brown: Looking at the idea of Philosophy through the lives of ordinary people.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

This poem was a response to an amazing documentary film about contemporary international Philosophers.

Examined Life is a 2008 Canadian documentary film about philosophers directed by Astra Taylor. The film features eight influential modern philosophers …

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry since I was in public school. I was extremely lucky to have several excellent English teachers during my school career who encouraged and inspired me to write.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I believe I’d like to have a conversation over dinner with a good story-teller, like ” Mark Twain”.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I like to support all the arts and having an actor participate in my poetry was allowing an opportunity to enjoy another artist’s interpretation of my words and voice.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I have curated art exhibitions and have written exhibition catalogues. When CBC Radio produced an independent contributors’ program named, “OUT FRONT”, I scripted, performed and edited a short production that was aired.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion in life is creating and sharing my experiences across and through global cultures in my art.