What is your current poetry diet?
The past month and a bit has been frantic, as I've recently begun a new job. My poetry diet has been interrupted, and quite frankly I'm beginning to starve.
Regular engagement with poetry is otherwise the norm; a stable diet of old and new saturate my life. John Milton, Shakespeare, Timothy Donnelly and Lawrence Ferlinghetti are some of the poets I enjoy. Constantly Risking Absurdity by Ferlinghetti is a good example of what I like to see in a poem - creative use of imagery and strong metre combine to make a profound piece of poetry.
John Donne is my favourite dead poet at this point; his strong visual style and blunt wit fascinate me.
Who is your favorite living poet? Why?
Timothy Downey is my favorite living poet at this time; his postmodern style deals with themes of disillusionment with the modern world which fascinate me.
Should a reader have to work hard to understand the meaning of a poem?
Poetry is all about communication between the poet and the reader. In order for a successful communication to happen, both reader and poet must put in effort.
So yes, a reader should work to understand a poem, because only by actively engaging with a given work will they be able to form their own interpretation. This interpretation is vital in the message conveyed by the poet.
What does poetry mean to you?
The written word is powerful beyond belief; it holds leaders accountable, overthrown oppression and upholds truth and justice. It is poetry's job to make sure that the reflections of any given point in history are preserved in a form that is cryptic enough to pass buy a hate fueled oppressor but not too cryptic that some effort won't unearth the message within the poem.