We're honored to feature new poetry by John Grey in Issue Two of Orson's Review: "She's Got the Look" and "Resident Genius". Issue Two of Orson's Review will be released on March 19th, 2019.
We're also very fortunate for the time John took to sit down and chat with us about his journey as a poet.
*The following interview involves Orson's Publishing (OP) and John Grey (JG).
OP: How did your journey with the written word begin?
JG: As a very young boy, I would scribble little stories in the borders of my oldest sister’s books. Much to her consternation, of course. A few years later, during a long bout with illness, I found writing to be the ideal and most reliable companion.
OP: Is being a poet your primary occupation?
JG: These days it is.
OP: What about these poems are you most proud?
JG: I’m most proud of the way the poems take off in different directions, that I’m not tied to the one theme.
OP: Tell us about your writing process. Do you approach all pieces of writing in the same way?
JG: I approach writing in general as a vocation. That’s why I spend my week days here in my study from 7:00 to 7:00 (with breaks, of course) typing away. Even when I’m feeling uninspired, I still make every effort to write.
OP: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that impacted your writing?
JG: I always wanted to be a writer but, knowing that it's a precarious profession at best, I also was cognizant of having to earn a living. Somehow, I managed to balance the two.
OP: Tell us about the biggest sacrifice you’ve made while pursuing writing.
JG: A more expansive social life.
OP: How many books do you read in a year?
JG: Roughly twenty. It’s a struggle to find time these days.
OP: Do you attend poetry readings? If so, tell us about the best one you’ve ever attended -- what made it so good?
JG: A few years ago, I was writing a weekly poetry column for a local Providence arts newspaper so I went to a lot of readings. Galway Kinnell stands out. He was from Rhode Island, so a lot of his work contained images and references familiar to me.
OP: What do you want most out of your literary community?
OP: Do you believe that an MFA is crucial to success as a writer today?
JG: Poets need to find their own voice. If an MFA helps, that’s fine. I’ve managed to eke out some success without one.
OP: What do you cross your fingers for as a writer?
JG: That the next email I open will contain an acceptance.
OP: Where do you see your journey with the written word going?
JG: I’ll continue to do what I’m doing.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Examined Life Journal, Evening Street Review and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, Poetry East and Visions International.
Be sure to check out John’s latest poetry in Issue Two of Orson’s Review.