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Richer Resources: When did you start writing poetry?

Kevin Taylor: I wrote my first poem in grade 3 or 4. It was called "The Highwayman." I remember a line or two. The next poems were written in around 1973 or so—social commentary, unrequited love, loneliness. I would write a poem occasionally thereafter. Later, following a period of near-death illness, I wrote in fits and starts. And these days, whenever the muse strikes!

Richer Resources: Did you study creative writing?

Kevin Taylor: I took creative writing in university and attended a few classes. I hated it from day one and by the end of a month was a drop-out.

Richer Resources: What poets have influenced your own poetry?

Kevin Taylor: Leonard Cohen. William Shakespeare, Edward Fitzgerald’s translations of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and Selwyn Image, my great-great-uncle, who had talent enough to be included in The Oxford Book of English Verse.

Richer Resources: What do you think a poem should do? That is, what effect do you want it to have on the reader? What do you hope will be the reader’s response?

Kevin Taylor: It should communicate whatever, or perhaps however, the author intends. It might inspire. Or comfort. But it must say something that the audience can receive and understand and perhaps contribute to, even if it is only on the level of recognition.  I am most happy when a reader turns to writing after reading a piece. But a willingness to read from one line to the next is enough reason to write.

Richer Resources: If you were briefly describing your poetry to an acquaintance, how would you characterize it?

Kevin Taylor: Often simple. Sometimes arrogant. Humorous at times. Much like me.

Richer Resources: What do you see as your primary subject matter?

Kevin Taylor: That is an excellent question. I might not have realized it as I wrote, but looking back over my body of work, there lies a spiritual theme (but not a religious one) as well as a spiritual recognition of the audience.

Richer Resources: And finally, do you have any advice for aspiring poets?

Kevin Taylor: Here I am in the curious position of advising myself! Produce! Produce! Produce! And then promote! I was at a cafe one time and was writing in a coil-bound book when I took the opportunity to read a few lines to a lady. She asked if I had a book of poetry. I said no. Did I have a t-shirt with a poem printed on it for sale? No again. Did I have a CD to sell? Sadly, another no. And then she looked at me and said that I was essentially abandoning my audience. The lights came on for me. I hope to read your works some day.


Kevin Taylor
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