Hey everyone! Hope you’re doing well where you are, and not drying out like a corn husk down here in the South like I am. This morning I had to figure out whether the poor visibility on the road was because of Silent Hill-level fog or just another brush fire started by an idiot with a cigarette butt. Fun!
In better news, here’s Daniel Tobin, who let us publish two poems in Issue 17. If you’d like to read them or subscribe, head here.
Describe your writing in 25 words or less.
Short and punchy, I try to convey a lot with little space. Thematically, I tend to deal with coming of age or maturation.
Tell me about your poems “Tutorial” and “Atlanta Strikeout.”
Atlanta Strikeout attempts to capture what it’s like to truly be enamored with someone but without any rhyme or reason, more on an inherent gut level. We’ve all had encounters that have had a profound effect on us without a clear cause. This poem is an exploration of one of those meetings.
Tutorial is about finding parallels between three distinctive relationships that span the course of ten years. It is a retrospective thru line. The idea here was for the reader to grow with speaker, bringing elements of each section into the next. I tried to do so with repetitive phrasing that I could vary contextually, as well as the use of second person.
Who or what inspires you to write?
I use writing, particularly poetry, as a way of bringing closure to events that have effected me. It’s a way of giving my own life a sense of perspective, even if it’s only thematically. I have a full time job that has nothing to do with writing and so in some ways I’m lucky enough to use my work as purely an outlet.
As cliche as it sounds, I’m also constantly inspired by other writers. There’s nothing quite like finding a piece that you really connect to, something that makes you want to sprint back to your computer and come up with something half as good. Writing is a special medium in the sense that it allows for constant exploration. There’s always room to give something new a try.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a novel as well as compiling my first chapbook.
Is there a website/blog where we can keep up with your work?
I do not have a website now but am working on one for the near future. In the meantime, I post everything I have published on my Twitter feed, @dtobin123.
Any advice for your fellow writers?
Consistency is everything! Sometimes we’re so in awe of other authors/poets that we almost get discouraged. We assume they just woke up one day as masterful writers. I think the process is as much about writing something at all as it is about writing something good. I have over 200 poems I would never want anyone in their right mind to read, but they’ve helped me find my own voice. Build writing into a routine and the good stuff will naturally start to come.
On a separate note, writing is an observation but your experiences are what bring it value. Always make sure you’re living a life worth commenting on, whether that be via personal exploration or learning to take an additional perspective on aspects of your day to day.