The eyes and the mind of a poet, work in a completely different way then any other person, creative or not. Yes, an artist observes and records life in an interesting way, a photographer's eye is so true and clear, but it is the poet's eye that can record the essence of the mundane and make it beautiful. It is the poet's that eye that can view an average man correcting a document on a bus and turn it into the centerpiece of a chapbook. That is exactly what poet Christian Ward has done in the chapbook "The Grammarian and Other Poems" that was released last October by Lily Press. The Grammarian is an excellent collection of 15 of Christian's poems, and contains unique observations on love, life by the sea, Sylvia Plath, and life in general.
We recently caught up with Christian Ward to talk about "The Grammarian" and find out what he is currently working on:
Orange Alert (OA): How did you find Lily Press, and how was the decision made to release your chapbook for free made? How has the internet (websites, webzines, blogs, publishers, etc) affected you as a writer?
Christian Ward (CW): I found Lily Press by accident. I was trawling through different zines online and came across the journal. The internet has affected me greatly as a writer. It has given me new outlets for my work and opened up new audiences.
OA: Who are your biggest literary influences?
CW: Difficult question. There are so many different writers that have left their mark on me. Probably would have to narrow it down to Ray Bradbury, John Steinbeck, Ted Hughes and Elizabeth Bishop.
OA: Why do you write? Is it a release, is it to leave a legacy, or does it simply just flow out of you?
CW: It's a combination of things. I write to express how I feel and it is something that I am compelled to do. If I go a day without writing I suffer withdrawal symptoms.
OA: "watching life only to correct it" This is the last line of "The Grammarian", and it is a very powerful statement. What is the story behind this piece?
CW: The character in the poem was based on someone I saw on a bus once. As the journey was progressing, I saw him take out some notes and correct them in a very meticulous way, underlining and circling every little thing.
OA: Who are some of your favorite musicians currently? Does their music affect your work in any way?
CW: I'm currently listening to bands like Bloc Party and Cold War Kids. I find listening to music helps me relax when I write.
OA: What is next for Christian Ward?
CW: I'm going to be May's featured poet at Chantarelle's Notebook and my poem, 'Poetry', will be up at Nthposition that month as well.
OA: Coffee? If yes, what is your favorite type of coffee and where is your favorite spot?
CW: I love coffee and I'm fortunate that I live near so many great places in London to enjoy it. One of my favourite places is the Caffe Nero in the Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road. The view is amazing and it has some of the most comfortable chairs to sink into.
OA: What is the last great book you read?
CW: The Trial by Kafka. Quite a thought provoking, intriguing novel.
Christian Ward is a London based poet whose poetry can be seen both in print and online. His poem "Mosquito Mask" is currently being featured over at decomP.