Klyd Watkins (pronounced Clyde Watkins)
Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)
I'll be 72, September 7 this year (2014).
Nashville, Tennessee. And proud of it.
How long have you been writing?
50 plus years
Do you have a specific writing style?
As a paper poet, I do free verse—enjambment driven American 20th Century free verse. Ghost Trees and Five Speed and more than a hundred Radnor Lake Poems (Oohlunquodee Oohknolay) are in this style. In my free verse I want to control the pace of the voice sounding in the reader's head because I think that helps the reader thru my sometimes complicated syntax.
As a recording poet, and more than half of my poet life is recording, I have several styles: I improvise single track a Capella narrative song speech; I lay down bass guitar tracks, build songs up adding guitars and drums later; I borrow music from folk like Bill Chelf, Mike Panasuk, Keith White, Cinjun Tate and The Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies' pickers—add vocals, layers of vocals; I do vocal plus percussion and add multi-layers of my own voice, jam live with bands and record it. These approaches consume me now and this is delicious. The dance poem you heard, Catfish, was in the add vocals to borrowed music style, and so is my CD Harp All Made of Gold partially.
Do you write as a career?
I haven't made much money in books or records.
Do you write full-time?
I am just this year fully retired, just a few months now, and I do get to spend a lot of time in the studio.
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Probably the Poetry Out Loud series of the seventies. Since we were militantly anti-writing, mostly building those ten lp's thru individual and group improvisation, without even written notes, it is not my greatest accomplishment as a writer but as a poet. I also developed my style of multi-tracking my own voice in this period. Those records are still collected today, and, in 2012, DE STIJL Records reissued the whole series on iTunes.
What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
To boogie forth and budden on.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Learning the complexities of the recording process.
What projects of yours have been recently published?
See YouTube for some recent work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tc1rDeXNtI
It's been several years since I've had a chap book out. I'm looking for a publisher for a manuscript called “9 Narrations,” and I need to get all of Oohlunquodee Oohknolay, the Radnor Lake poems, out there someway too.
What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
A blues, “how far away,” and a 9 minute porch story poem called “Jack and the 3.” I just finished “dance poem: Bruce in a Boat with his Saxophone.” The issue now is to learn how to balance work in all the modes. The issue is procedural. For example, I feel speaking a Capella improvisation needs to be the heart of my style and I may have over emphasized music lately. If I am where the muse wants me to be, the words come.
Where can we find your work?
Amazon has several items.
The Poetry Out Loud series is available digitally from iTunes, and the vinyl lps are available at DES STIJL records. http://destijlrecs.com/104113.html
CD Baby has both my CD's. It is the only place where Listen the Night is still available. http://www.cdbaby.com/Search/S2x5ZCBXYXRraW5z/0
Most of my books are out of print but:
5 Speed—the publisher has a handful of copies left. No website. $7.00 includes s&h from Charles Potts:the temple bookstore, POB 100, Walla Walla WA 99362.
Ghost Trees—I will send a copy to anyone who sends me a couple dollars to cover shipping. Email me at email@example.com for snail mail address.
Harp All Made of Gold (CD) Again I will mail a copy to anyone who sends me two bucks for shipping.
How often do you write?
I record most every day.
How do you react to rejections?
Stoically. I have a lot of practice.
How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
I am pleased. I don't submit individual poems anymore, except on request.
What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
Expand yr capacity for truth.
What is your favorite book?
Too may to list. I am an old English Professor, and much of what I'd include would be classics, certainly Leaves of Grass, Emily Dickinson's poems, Pound was right about Golding's Ovid being a very beautiful book, Song of Songs, Psalms, Pictures from the Gone World, The Hobbit, on and on. To represent my contemporaries I will mention Pacific Northwest Spiritual Poetry edited by Charles Potts, which includes many of the best poets of my generation like Charles himself, Sharon Doubiago, Stephen Thomas, and many more.
Who is your favorite author?
Shakespeare? Wu Men? There's no way I can narrow it down to one, or ten.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Jack the Giant Killer. He seems like a good guy.
What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?
What is your favorite word?
“room” is my favorite word. But I am not in love with words so much as with syntax and syllables.
What makes you laugh?
What makes you cry?
What is your preferred drink while you write?
Water or tea, sometimes beer
Beach or Mountains?
Cats or Dogs?
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
Shakespeare or Bukowski?
Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.
none at the moment. I'm proud of what I accomplished on my defunct website The Time Garden, but that is over and done.
Facebook profile or page:
I am on Facebook: Klyd Watkins.
Twitter profile: none
Other page(s) or profile(s):
Books for sale and/or press
Anything you’d like to share about your country, its people, or native animals?
My country would like to apologize for Ann Coulter. The bison in particular apologize for Ann Coulter.