I am fortunate that many of my favorite poets are within earshot of me, at least on the first Wednesday of every month. Jay Morris is one of the fine voices I first heard at Word of Mouth. Like a CPR-kick to the heart, he'll get you going. Just listen.
When asked to introduce himself:
I'm from Athens, GA. I'm studying Health Promotion and Behavior at UGA. I'm 19. I write poetry because it keeps me grounded while at the same time helping me notice the way I deal with life and give it meaning.
Do you have any touchstone poems?
I have so many touchstone poems it's hard to pick! However I guess I would say that After the Bachelor Party by Derrick Brown currently keeps popping up in my head.
Do you have any writing/revising rituals?
I don't know if I necessarily call it a ritual, but it's definitely something I do consciously. I find that I can't write poetry during the daytime. Only at night.
Someone calls you a poet--how do you respond?
I still feel pretty weird when people refer to me as a poet, particularly because people often inject a lot of pretension into that word. I'm becoming more comfortable with being called a poet as I'm more able to define what a poet is. Incidentally you helped me define a poet as "Someone who not only survives life, but does so insisting their heart and soul remain intact."
What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me creatively. Music inspires me. Other poems inspire me. Books, conversations with friends, walks, runs, social issues. I guess I have myriad sources of inspiration.
How do you deal with creative doubt?
Dealing with creative doubt is the hardest question. Being a more confessional poet I have to be aware that there's a boundary between being moving and inspiring and being depressing and pathetic. When I get to a poem I've written that makes me feel that way I think first "Is this me being as honest as possible?" and second "Is there a way I can make it universal?" and third "Is this poem solutions oriented, or am I just wallowing?"
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To read Jay's poetry (and you should), go to http://archerarrestedbukowski.blogspot.com/
Back home, the name of a road that crosses a railroad track. Here, a place to keep my verbal play-pretties and whatnot.