Muses Review
Muses Speak- Poetry Newsletter
Short  Interviews With Poets:
Fall 2005

Oct  2005 - Dec 2005
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Short Interviews With Poets - Contents

Short Interview No. 8: John Campbell.
Muses Speak - Poetry Newsletter -  November 2005

Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 14:34:11 -0700 (PDT) 
From: "John Campbell"  
Subject: Re: Interview for Muses Review as basis for Muses Prize 2005 
To: "muses review"        Dear Angus; I may be too late to answer your questions, but my tardiness is due to two factors. Just before I left for a three day fishing trip in Canada I switched to SBC for my e-mail service. On return I was over 300 messages behind, most of which was spam. Nevertheless, here are my replies to your questions: 

JC stands for John Campbell.

(1).  Why do you like to compose poetry?
I compose poetry because it's a lazy way to write narrative; and I'm a lazy guy.

(2). How many full length poetry books and chapbooks you have made or published? What titles and year published.
I'm written two chapbooks and have a third ready to publish...waiting for my new e-mail address. "After Seventy It's Only a Misdemeanor" was published in 2002."Just Cruising Through" was published in 2004. "Before My Memory Goes" was a third chapbook of short stories only. My next chapbook will either be titled "Pants on Fire" or "Aunt Tillie's Allure".

(3). Is baseball your favorite theme in writing poetry? What other themes do you have in writing poetry aside from baseball? 
Actually, I used to play baseball for an American Legion team in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania. Today, I see perhaps one game a year. The game takes too long and I'm envious of the money those clowns make.

(4).  Can a poet make a living out of poetry as a musician makes a living out of music?
Only if you put your poetry to music could you make money writing poetry. Too many poets like to read their own poetry, but they don't take the time to read the writing of their peers.

(5). What makes a poetrybook a bestseller?
What makes a poetry book a best seller? I didn't know there was such a thing. My last purchase was Joe Farley's "Sucker" and it sits behind my bathroom commode, where I can read a few of hs poems each morning. I'm an avid bathroom reader, which makes my books highly contaminated for further distribution.

(6). What makes a poet excel in the art of poetry?
To excel in writing poetry, writers have to be keenly observant. They have to have a curiosity about people and the world around them, and the ability to hear and mentally record what people say. Finally, poets have to be uninhibited enough to expose their thoughts to other people without fear of criticism.(Just never ask your spouse to critique your writing.) And, Angus ( I love that name), if I missed the deadline, don't feel badly for me; I'm just pleased to be among the best of the best. Oh, and before I Miss Universe, I pray for world peace. 

Short Interview No. 7: Joanne Olivieri
Muses Speak - Poetry Newsletter - October 2005
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 15:21:55 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Joanne Olivieri"  
Subject: Re: Interview for Muses Speak 
To: "muses review"        Thanks for the email.  Here are my answers.  

JO stands for Joanne Olivieri, AA stands for Andrew Angus.

1. AA: What motivated you to  write poetry?

JO: I was motivated to write poetry by my Mom who bought me my first book of poetry at age ten.  It was called Speak Nature by: James Walker which was a series of nature poems in traditional rhyme and meter. I fell in love with poetry after reading this book.  I took it everywhere with me.  I remember sitting in a civics class in the 7th grade, bored to tears when I penned my first poem - that was the beginning.  

2. AA: Can people make a living by being a poet?

JO: Making a living as a poet I think can be difficult though not impossible.  The one major hurdle is to find the balance between the creative and business sides.  With hard work, determination, patience and a true passion for what you're doing, anything is possible.    

3. AA: What makes a poetry book a bestseller?

JO: That's a tough one.  I really don't know what makes a poetry book a bestseller other than a unique subject matter and maybe name recognition.  It's all a matter of taste.  When I'm on the bestseller list I'll answer the question in detail.  

4. AA: What are your favorite themes in writing poetry?

JO: I am most inspired by nature, music and diverse culture themes as is evident in some of my poetry.  I see a definite connection between these three themes and poetry.  A poetic trilogy of sorts.  

5. AA: Why should people read poetry?

JO: People should read poetry for two major reasons.  One it's a learning tool.  Some examples: Paul Revere's Ride - Longfellow, The Charge of the Light Brigade - Tennyson.  A little history with poetic flare.  Also,  A Goergia Song - Maya Angelou,  Market Day in Jiangxi - Joseph Farley - Geography at it's best.  Then there's some poetic wisdom in The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost and A Poison Tree - William Blake.  It's a much more entertaining way of learning.  Secondly read poetry for pure pleasure.  Journey through the poet's soul and experience the raw emotion.  

6. AA: What makes a poem an extraordinary poem?

JO: An extraordinary poem is created by the poet's ability to tell a story with imagery, style and a unique voice which comes from within.  If you write what you think your audience wants to hear it aint gonna work.  ALWAYS write from the heart.  

Thanks, Joanne Olivieri
Short Interview No. 9: Vihang Naik
Muses Speak- Poetry Newsletter - December  2005

Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 07:44:04 +0100 (BST) 
From:  "Vihang Naik"  
Subject:  Re:ANSWERS : Featured Poets in Muses Speak - Poetry Newsletter 

VN stands for Vihang Naik. AA stands for Andrew Angus

1. AA: Why do you like to compose poetry? 

VN : I don't know. I dont know why I write , and why poetry in particular . Perhaps one writes because there is a kind of thoughtless drive seeking an outlet ; or , may be the creative urge which would not let you rest untill you pick up any medium that you are comfortable with . Or , it is purely human and barbric behaviour struggling to survive in this materialistic and so-called civilized world . None of the finest of responses here would be of the satisfaction of the Intution you have as a creative writer or a poet . ( From The Poetry Manifesto by Vihang Naik at )

2. AA: Can people make a living by being a poet?  

VN : Well . It depends . Like which country you are writing from and which language or what kind of poetry for which class of people . I mean your target audience or readers. And who is your publisher . These are the factors which matter most in making a living out of "being  a poet" . As far as India is concerned one can hardly make a living by just "being a poet" - if one were only to consider only financial aspect of "being a poet". 

3 AA: What makes a poetrybook a bestseller? 

VN : A scrap published by a leading publisher .   

4. AA: What are your favorite themes in writing poetry?  

VN : It has kept on changing. Perhaps "Change" itself can be considered the one . Of late I have been experimenting on the process of creative writing itself as a theme or may be no theme at all . Why take up some theme predecided ?   

5. AA: Why should people read poetry? 

VN : Reading is a creative art . When one reads poetry one is always creating poetry , one is always making one's own poem in the process of reading a poem . Reading poems always makes a poem come alive .  

6. AA: What makes a poem an extraordinary poem? 

VN : Poem written on ordinary with a poetic insight with poets individual vision and style would make an extraordinary poem . It can be striking with sufficient punch line at the end . 

About Vihang Naik:
Vihang Naik's poem "The End Of An Affair"  won the "Best Tragic Poem of 2004 in the 1st Muses Prize."
Vihang Naik teaches English in India. He has published three poetrychapbooks:
Making A Poem (2004) in English language, City Times (1993) in English language and  Jeevangeet (2001) in Gujarat language. You can visit his website at

Short Interview with
Vihang Naik.

Short Interview with
John Campbell.

Short Interview with
Joanne Olivieri
About Joanne Olivieri. Joanne Olivieri  is the author of the poem chapbook: Red Lanterns. You can visit her website in Muses Review at
Joanne Olivieri is based in California
John Campbell is based in Wisconsin
About Vihang Naik. Vihang Naik  is the author of  poem chapbook Making A Poem published by Allied Publishers. Vihang's website is at:
Vihang Naik
is based in India.
About  John Campbell. John Campbell is  the author of the poem chapbook: Just Cruising Through released in 2004 by Penny Pinching Press.