We're honored to feature "Arcticana" by Brandon Marlon in Issue One of Orson's Review. We're also very fortunate for the time Brandon took to sit down and chat with us about his journey as a poet.
*The following interview involves Orson's Publishing (OP) and Brandon Marlon (BM).
OP: How did your journey with the written word begin?
BM: At 15, I began writing plays during high school, for drama class, as well as screenplays on my own time outside of school.
OP: Is being a poet your primary occupation?
BM: Being a writer is my vocation.
OP: What about "Arcticana" are you most proud?
BM: If I was able to convey to readers a humbling sense of nature's grandeur, I have fulfilled my modest intent.
OP: Tell us about your writing process. Do you approach all pieces of writing in the same way?
BM: I let the topic (and the amount that I have to say about it) inform me of its medium, genre, and mode, then begin accordingly. Revisions ensue.
OP: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that impacted your writing?
BM: As a Canadian boy, I wanted to be Wayne Gretzky, or else Grant Fuhr, premier goaltender of (the Edmonton Oilers and) the entire NHL.
OP: Tell us about the biggest sacrifice you’ve made while pursuing writing.
BM: Writing is usually a solitary communion between the writer's imagination and conscious mind. Social activities often take a back seat.
OP: How many books do you read in a year?
BM: Never counted. I normally am reading 3-4 books at a time, a combination of nonfiction and non-nonfiction (scripture/fiction/poetry/drama).
OP: Do you attend poetry readings? If so, tell us about the best one you’ve ever attended -- what made it so good?
BM: I have attended, and have recited poems at, poetry readings. The best ones involve brevity and finger foods.
OP: What do you want most out of your literary community?
BM: Unfailing support and heartfelt loving-kindness.
OP: Do you believe that an MFA is crucial to success as a writer today?
BM: Only for those who need them.
OP: What do you cross your fingers for as a writer?
BM: Finger crossing is for the superstitious, which I am not. I hope for seasoned editors with reserve, and publishers with impeccable taste.
OP: Where do you see your journey with the written word going?
BM: I am no seer, per se. I intend to write until such time as I can go without writing. For as long as I can recall, if I go more than 4 days without writing something creative (or critical-creative) I feel physically unwell, ill at ease. So long as I imagine and ideate, I'll be impelled to write things down.
Brandon Marlon is a Canadian-Israeli writer. He received his B.A. in Drama & English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry was awarded the Harry Hoyt Lacey Prize in Poetry (Fall 2015), and his writing has been published in 225+ publications in 28 countries. Visit Brandon's website for more of his work.
Be sure to check out Brandon Marlon's "Arcticana" in Issue One of Orson's Review.