An Interview with Samuel Strathman

Samuel Strathman (he/him) is a poet, visual artist, and custodian. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Juniper, I-70 Review, A Thin Slice of Anxiety and other publications.  His debut poetry collection, “Omnishambles” is forthcoming with Ice Floe Press (2022).  He is currently living on the traditional land of the Anishnaabeg people.

His poem One Rainy Afternoon appears in Pinhole Poetry’s launch issue.

Would you like to tell us a little bit more about your poem? For instance, how or why you wrote it, or perhaps provide some extra context? 

I was picturing a spring scene in the middle of winter back in 2020 and the poem came to me.

Do you have a collection of poetry or even a single poem that acts as a touchstone or a lodestar? 

“Worm & Pebble” is a goofball poem that I have received some positive feedback on recently.  It is from my newest chapbook, “Holy Static” that was published by Frog Hollow Press earlier this year.

If you didn’t write poetry, how do you think you might access the same fulfillments that poetry offers in your life? 

If I didn’t write, then I’d focus more on drawing which I thoroughly enjoy.  It is a great way to relax and recharge.

What are you working on now? 

I am working on a collection of poems that plays with form.  It’s dark, obscure, and controversial.  I am staying super secretive about it, so keep it between you and I…

How or where or with what does a poem begin? 

A poem begins with an experience.  Maybe it is an observation or a situation or sentience.  

Are there other art forms that inspire or inform your poetry? 

Art and film inspire some of my work.  Some of my ekphrastic pieces are featured in my debut collection, “Omnishambles” which is set for release later this year.

How do you make space for poetry in your daily routine? 

I make time for poetry by not thinking about it too hard.  I let the ideas come to me throughout the day, and then act on the impulse to write.

Have you ever received advice (or has there been something you’ve learned on your own) about writing or revising poems that has made you a better poet? What was it? 

The best advice that I have ever received is not to force writing to happen but to come upon ideas naturally and then write about them.

Do you belong to a writer’s group? If not, where do you find poetry community and feedback? 

I am not a part of any writing groups.  I don’t go out often.  Knife Fork Book is the only place where I have found “community.”

In terms of poetic style or craft, is there a big question you are trying to find an answer for?

My main question right now is “How do I do something different every time I write?”  I want to be on a continuum where I’m out of my mind and comfort zone.

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