Gabriela M, a writer whose work I admire, has been awarded Author of the Year 2019 by Spillwords Press. You can read Gabriela’s interview here, https://spillwords.com/author-of-the-year-2019-interview/.
Conversation with Kevin Morris about ‘Dalliance’
Thank you to Annis for taking the time to interview me. A version of this article appeared on my employer’s website.
Where did your latest collection of poems and other pieces in ‘Dalliance’ come from? What is your inspiration for writing?
I write poems that I publish on my blog. Then I collect and publish them in book form. I’ve published several collections of self-published short stories. ‘Dalliance’ is a collection of poems, vignettes and short stories about the ‘grittier’ side of life. I get inspiration from internet news reports. The inspiration for the poems comes from imagined conversations in my head which have been going on since I was a child – and from nature.
Poets tend to have better senses than the rest of us but your sense of touch and sound is very sharp. I loved your lines about the ‘eternal’ wind : ‘Eternal force blowing forever on ancient peoples and now on me. You care not for civilisation; your gusts of laughter shake the bending trees. You blew before these buildings came. When all is gone, you will remain’.
I also liked lines about the touch of acorns ‘I have always had an affinity with these great trees. I love the smooth feel of the outer shell of the acorn and how it contrasts with the softer seed within’. What is the background to these lines?
I have always been close to nature. I collected acorns with my grandfather. I loved the natural world from the time that I started stocking the nature table at school. I live overlooking a semi-rural park in south London. Bird song has always been special to me, particularly the song of the thrush. I love Hardy’s poem “The Darkling Thrush” as well as Blake, Ernest Dowson, A E Housman and Charles Causley. In my sitting room I hear the animal noises and calls – and I feel the wind on my face.
How do you feel about the shape of a poem, on the page? Often that matters to those with sight, when they see a poem for the first time.
I think there is no ultimate ‘rule’ for the shape of a poem. I believe it is the feeling and meaning of a poem that really counts.
You surprised me a bit by appreciating beauty, say, in women. Does beauty mean a lot when one has sight impairment?
I meant beauty in the essence of a person. The smell of, say, a flower can be beautiful, also the smell of certain trees.
You work in the environmental field fighting climate change. Is that connected to your love of nature?
I would probably say ‘yes’ – writing is part of my feeling for nature.
You have quite a dark view of the modern world and also write about loneliness. You get inside hard issues, such as someone finding out whether they are HIV positive.
I am quite a serious, introspective person even though I have a lot of friends and thoroughly enjoy the pub and humour. I guess I write poems when I am on my own, meditating. I think the world is quite a dark place judging by reports on the internet. Personally, I am fortunate to have a loving family. I have been well treated in the workplace.
You get good 4 and 5 star reviews for your writing, e.g. on Amazon. What do you plan to do next?
I publish new poems on my blog and I read my own and other poetry on You Tube. I would like to do an ‘open mike session’ at The Poetry Society in Betterton Street. However, these take place during the afternoon on workdays, so it is quite difficult to go.
- Kevin’s poetry blog newauthoronline.com
- The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) have published ‘Dalliance: A Collection Of Poetry And Prose’ in braille.
- ‘Dalliance: A Collection Of Poetry And Prose” by Kevin Morris can be found on Amazon at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dalliance-collection-poetry-prose-Morris-.
- ‘Dalliance’ is also available as an e-book, also with text to speech enabled allowing visually impaired people to read it.
Many thanks to Sally G. Cronin for taking the time to interview me for her blog. You can find my interview by clicking here, (https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/the-sunday-show-defining-moments-with-kevin-morris/).
My thanks goes to Jade Reyner of Jade’s Jungle for providing the inspiration for this post (see Jade’s piece entitled “Have you ever interviewed your characters” http://jadereyner.com/2014/02/13/have-you-ever-interviewed-your-characters/). Having read the above article I determined to interview a number of my characters, starting with Barry, the pimp in “Samantha” who entraps Sam into prostitution, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samantha-K-Morris-ebook/dp/B00BL3CNHI.
Me: “Are you a sociopath?”
Barry: “Are you insulting me? I don’t understand big words but if you’re fucking insulting me I’ll break your bloody neck. Whats a soio, whatever you said anyway. I grew up on a council estate and I ‘aven’t got a clue what you’re on about”.
Me: (taking a step backwards), “A sociopath is someone who sees others as means to his own ends. Others don’t matter, only the sociopath’s needs matter and he will do anything to obtain his needs. Basically he lacks any sympathy for others. So, Barry are you a sociopath?” (placing my back against the wall).
Barry: “I want to make money. All girls are dirty whores, they’ll open their legs for a guy with a bit of cash, I am the middle man allowing that to happen. Whoring is a business, I’m a businessman”.
Me: “You haven’t answered my question” (as I glance nervously towards the door).
Barry: “When I was growing up no one gave a shit about me. Mum would lock me in the cupboard under the stairs for the slightest thing. She was a dirty bitch. She never gave a fuck about me, why should I give a stuff about anyone else. You middle class types don’t ‘ave a clue about the real world. I do what I ‘ave to survive”.
Me: “Do you have any regrets about forcing Samantha and other young women into prostitution?”
Barry: “You must be fucking deaf. I told you, no one gives a shit about Barry O’Connor so I don’t give a flying fuck about them. If someone pisses on you, you piss right back. I’m getting bored with you, fuck off before I do something you’ll regret”.
(Barry clenches his fists and rises from the table he has been sitting at. I grab the door handle and run as though my life depended on it).