Author Spotlight: Al Crow

Author Spotlight: Al Crow

Al Crow is a writer from Somerset who finds words can help his eco-anxiety a little. You can find him on Instagram. Al’s piece, ’13:17′, can be found in ‘Transitions’, issue 4 from Epoch Press. You can order the journal here.

‘Transitions’ is such an evocative theme, what compelled you to submit for this issue? 

‘Transitions’ is a really interesting theme and I’m excited to see how other writers have responded to it in different ways.

Personally, the theme made me think about how the speed of change in the world has accelerated in the last few years, so we now feel as if we are perpetually suspended between differing states of being.

As many people do, I find this state of perennial transition highly destabilising and often distressing, particularly when ours and our children’s futures seem so unsure. The continual uncertainty produces a sort of ‘ground-level vertigo’ that can sneak up on us in our daily lives, unannounced and at any time, and this is what I wanted to document in my work. 

Do you have a routine for writing? If so, what is it and how has it evolved?

I write fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry, exploring the climate emergency and human fragility through each of these mediums. However, despite having common ‘subject matter’ across these forms, my routine and attitude to writing is quite different when I am working in each.

When I write essays or prose, I get myself to a desk and force myself to stay there until the words are down. This process is so unlike my poems, which tend to come from a moment of my life that I find myself observing. These observed moments are often when I am feeling desperate about the state of our world, and they either linger in my head for a while or are jotted straight into my phone. If it’s the latter, they are usually misspelt, repetitious and with capital letters all over the place. I work the rest out later.  

What is most challenging and most rewarding about using real life in your poetry? 

The poem I have featured in Epoch is part of an ongoing series of works that track my personal response to the climate and ecological emergencies. A second poem from the series will also be featured in Broken Sleep’s forthcoming Ecology Anthology. As I’ve already mentioned, these poems often capture moments when I am hopeless and untethered. If you engage with the climate emergency, it is difficult not to feel this way.

Clearly, writing down truths – particularly emotional truths – is hard. As many people will already know, engaging with these huge and terrifying issues on personal level is even harder.

Does this also make it rewarding?

I’m not sure. But, these days, they are the only words I have. 

What is song is on repeat for you right now?

I was lucky enough to go to a gig a few weeks ago. This was only my second chance to see live music since the start of the pandemic, and it was beautiful, awe-inspiring and nourishing. I’ve got one track from this band on repeat to keep some echo of the magic alive in me for a little while longer. 

Epoch Press
Epoch Press

Epoch Press is an independent press dedicated to publishing exceptional creative nonfiction.
We publish truth in ink.

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