Ben Walter, Interviewed by Daniel Young

Editor Daniel Young interviewed Ben Walter for Issue Seven of Tincture Journal. Ben’s story “Teething” can be found in Issue Seven and “City Fish” can be found in Issue Two. 

Ben Walter

DY: Ben, thanks for being part of our interview series. Could you perhaps start with a bit of background about yourself and how you came to writing?

BW: Reading was an escapist pleasure when I was young. For me it was similar to cricket; a detailed and stimulating universe of histories and possibilities that was simultaneously entertaining. I was troubled by relating to other people, so I used both of these as captivating diversions.

I wasn’t so good at cricket. But writing evolved out of reading, and I played around with poetry and short stories in my teens. There were a few years in my early twenties when I did very little of either; I took the time to fail at a few things fairly spectacularly, and then around ten years ago I started dabbling with writing again as a kind of refuge, partly because I was living with my friend, the comics artist Leigh Rigozzi. At that moment, resuming a creative practice seemed as good an idea as any.

It’s gradually grown in seriousness; now I feel it’s kind of the lot I’ve been assigned, so I may as well keep doing it.

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Tiggy Johnson, Interviewed by Stuart Barnes

Our poetry editor Stuart Barnes interviewed Tiggy Johnson for Issue Seven of Tincture Journal. Tiggy’s poems “Douglas” and “Family Secret #7” can be found in Issue Seven. Additionally, her short story “Waiting” is in Issue Six and her poem “Waiting for Mary” is in Issue Three.

Tiggy Johnson

SB: For how long have you been writing poetry, and what or who inspired you to begin?

TJ: Excluding limericks about everyone in my class throughout high school, I’ve been writing poetry for about ten years. I used to take short stories to a fortnightly writing group, and one of the poets there pushed me into having a go at poetry. I resisted for a long time, but eventually had a go and asked him for feedback on half a dozen poems.

SB: When and where was your first poem published, and what was it about?

My first published poem is “Minutes”. It was initially published in Tamba, in 2006, and later in Kipple. Rather than tell you what it’s about, you can read it here.

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Benjamin Dodds, Interviewed by Stuart Barnes

Our poetry editor Stuart Barnes interviewed Benjamin Dodds for Issue Seven of Tincture Journal. Two of Benjamin’s poems, “Save Them” and “Disturbance” can be found in Issue Seven. Benjamin’s first poetry collection, Regulator, was released in February 2014 and can be purchased from Puncher & Wattmann.

Benjamin Dodds

SB: For how long have you been writing poetry, and what or who inspired you to begin?

BD: My Year 3 teacher, Mrs P, gave a poetry lesson that resulted in my eight-year-old self writing a cringe-worthy nature poem. Of course, at the time, I was intensely proud of my four or five rhyming stanzas. Mrs P made a big fuss of the poem, which was like a steroid injection to my confidence.

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Nathanael O’Reilly, interviewed by Stuart Barnes

Our poetry editor Stuart Barnes interviewed poet Nathanael O’Reilly for Issue Six of Tincture Journal. This interview can be found in the journal alongside two of Nathanael’s poems, “Christian Girls” and “I Was Not Like the Other Kids”. Nathanael’s first full-length collection of poetry, Distance, will be released by Picaro Press in June 2014.

O'Reilly Reading

SB: For how long have you been writing poetry, and what or who inspired you to begin?

NO: I think I must have been about thirteen when I wrote my first poem, which was about a girl at school I had a crush on, and contained a terrible metaphor about my heart being kicked like an empty can down the street. That was twenty-seven years ago. I got serious about poetry while studying literature in year twelve. I had a fantastic teacher, Rob Robson (affectionately known as Robbo), who made poetry come alive for me. I will never forget his explication of John Donne’s “To His Mistress Going To Bed”, complete with hand gestures. Robbo showed me that poetry could be profound, complex, direct, irreverent, funny, even sexy—but more importantly with regard to your question, he inspired me to get serious about writing poetry. He also introduced me to Plath, Rich, Lowell, Heaney, Murray, Hughes, Keats, Yeats, and Eliot, which was an excellent start to my education as a reader of poetry.

SB: When and where was your first poem published, and what was it about?

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Stu Hatton, interviewed by Stuart Barnes

Our poetry editor Stuart Barnes interviewed poet Stu Hatton, whose poems “hail the goer” and “i sit unfinished in breath” appear in Issue Six of Tincture Journal. Stu’s second full-length poetry collection, Glitching, will be released by (outer) publishing in mid-2014.

Stu and Arthur

SB: For how long have you been writing poetry, and what or who inspired you to begin?

SH: In my school days I wrote a few poems, most of which were exercises set by teachers. I wrote a lot of stories and songs in my own time too. But I first became committed to writing poetry in my first year of uni, which is nearly twenty years ago now. I took a unit in twentieth century literature; along with a lot of modernist fiction, I studied the work of TS Eliot and WB Yeats, as well as imagist poetry. I remember being stunned by HD’s poem “Oread“. As part of my Arts degree I also took poetry writing seminars led by Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Dorothy Porter. I learnt a lot from Chris about form and the technical aspects of poetry; Dorothy unlocked other things, such as poetry’s connections with mythology and magic. She also introduced me to poets such as Catullus, Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Cavafy. So I was exposed to a lot of exhilarating poetry and ideas, thanks to my teachers, my fellow students, and from reading my way around the library. I was convinced—I wanted to be a writer, a poet—and I tried to choose units in my course that would help me along this path.

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Angela Meyer, interviewed by Daniel Young

This interview between Tincture editor Daniel Young and writer Angela Meyer took place via email, to celebrate the release of Angela’s book Captives (Inkerman & Blunt), which is a remarkable collection of flash fiction. Two of Angela’s flash pieces can be found in Issue One of Tincture Journal.

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DYHi Angela. Firstly, congratulations on the publication of your flash fiction collection Captives. Can you tell me a bit about your writing background and elaborate on the process of getting this book published?

AM: Thank you! I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and writing seriously for about ten years now. I’ve written in many different forms, short and long, but when I began writing more of these morsels of fiction—very short stories—something really clicked. First of all, they just felt wonderful to write. Secondly, people were responsive to them, including your good self. My publisher, Donna Ward, decided to publish a collection of them after having only read a few. She’s incredibly supportive of my writing and I still can’t quite believe my luck. It’s true what a lot of writers say: that all it takes is one person to come along and take a chance on you. There’s a lot of work before and after, but that moment and that person will present themselves when you least expect it.

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David Lumsden, interviewed by Stuart Barnes

This interview between our poetry editor Stuart Barnes and poet David Lumsden first appeared in Issue Five of Tincture Journal alongside David’s poems “The Demographic Decides” and “The Next Turn in the Maze”.

David Lumsden

1. For how long have you been writing poetry, and what or who inspired you to begin?

I started writing poetry in the last couple of years of high school, although the memories go further back: memorising A. A. Milne poems when I was five; really enjoying writing verse in Grade Three classes when I was eight. In Year Eleven I borrowed, from the local library, Poet in the Making[: The Notebooks of Dylan Thomas], which presented in annotated form the contents of the four exercise books Thomas kept between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. Thomas is quoted on the first page of the introduction: “my [work] method is this: I write a poem on innumerable sheets of scrap paper, write it on both sides of the paper, often upside down and crisscross ways unpunctuated, surrounded by drawings of lamp posts and boiled eggs, in a very dirty mess, bit by bit I copy out the slowly developing poem into an exercise book; and when it is complete, I type it out”.

As a teenager I of course emulated this, without the lamp posts and boiled eggs, but certainly the scraps, the exercise books, and the typing. I had an ancient Remington typewriter from the 1920s or before; a sticker on it read “To save time is to lengthen life”. I got good at an improvised form of six-finger typing, which later served me well for years as a computer programmer.

2. When and where was your first poem published, and what was it about?

Overland Extra, which was a large format folded sheet included in Overland magazine. I was twenty-seven.

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