A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… John D Robinson

Why do you write?

I write because I need to; it is a compulsion; an addiction; an obsession; I cannot and would not imagine life without writing/poetry; it is one of the most important things in my life; capturing life as it happens; poetry is everywhere at all times but mostly people don’t care for it or just don’t see it;

What books do you read?

Poetry mostly; occasional biographies; I very rarely read ‘traditional fiction’. I particularly enjoy the work of the Cuban writer Pedro Juan Gutierrez;

What inspires you?

Waking up in the morning is always a good starting point; I’m inspired by damn near anything; wine; poetry; watching a spider weave a web; clouds; cats;  my strong, understanding, compassionate and resilient wife of 30 years, Carmelina; my wonderful daughter Bonita Rose and my beautiful twin grandchildren, Grace and Ava;  crows; a breeze; wolves; sharks; drugs; women; the Lakota Nation; music; smiles; quality lit publications like ‘Your One Phone Call’; 48th Street Press;  love; beauty and the ugliness; the mad wonder of just about everything

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

Reasonably early on; I was about 15 or 16;My first poem was published when I was 17; at 18 I read ‘On The Road’ and this, just like countless others have experienced, had a major impact upon my life; still relevant  and with me today; Kerouac’s sheer unshakable belief, dedication and commitment as a writer blew me away;

How do you deal with rejection?

Well, I never take it personally; rejections are a part of it all; however; if I’ve received a number of rejections back to back it can be a little unsettling;; this poetry business is like a drug to me; and I frequently need a hit, a rush;

Who are some writers you admire?

Doug Draime is a fucking truly inspiring poet, there can’t be too much of his poetry that I haven’t read and I have never felt disappointed; Charles Bukowski; Dan Fante; Gary Aposhian; James D Quinton; Wolfgang Carstens; Ben John Smith; John Grochalski; Bradford Mason Hamlin; Ally Malinenko; Janne Karlsson; George Anderson; Karina Bush; Angelica Fuse; Alan Catlin; Chris Butler; Thomas Vaultonburg; I could go on here…….

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

Every couple or 3 years I get a compulsion to paint; mostly abstracts, acrylics; large and colourful; I also like to work in inks on a smaller scale; figurative pieces; I’ve exhibited my work on half a dozen occasions;

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Don’t be such an asshole;

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you love writing; if you cannot live without writing; if you believe in yourself as a writer then write no matter what the fuck others may think, fuck them; keep writing and keep sending your stuff out; there’s no time to fuck about;

What is your writing process?

I write in the evenings; the assistance of wine and other relaxing substances play a part; I write everyday; I never miss a day; life is very rich and I try and capture just the merest hint of it no matter how awkward or painful or beautiful it might be I try and get it down; a lot of the times the poems roll out themselves in a natural flow; I’ll read and revise as much as it takes until I feel okay with it.


John D Robinson is a published poet; ‘When You Hear The Bell, There’s Nowhere To Hide’ (Holy&intoxicated Publications 2016) Cowboy Hats & Railways’ (Scars Publications 2016); a contributor to the 2016 48th Street Press Broadside Series; his work appears widely in the small press and online literary online journals including Rusty Truck; Red Fez; Outlaw Poetry; Degenerate Literature; Haggard & Halloo; Beatnik Cowboy; Boyslut; Anti Heroin Chic; In Between Hangovers; Your One Phone Call; he is married and lives in the UK with his wife a dog 3 cats and copious amounts of wine.



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