Alan Kissane works as an English teacher in the Midlands, UK. His poetry has appeared in Allegro, Dissonance Magazine, Dust Poetry, Emerge Literary Journal, Kindling Magazine, and Neologism amongst others. His piece, “Stockyard”, can be found in EPOCH Issue 02: Aftermath, available to purchase here.
What books did you grow up reading?
Much of my childhood was spent tucked up in bed in the day with a biscuit, or under the covers with a flashlight in the dark, consuming roleplaying games (Dungeons and Dragons, Cyberpunk), the horror stories of HP Lovecraft, Lord of the Rings and many other fantasy fiction novels. I was a real nerd in the traditional 80s sense, and would look forward to weekends when I could go into town with my friends to buy warhammer models, and spend all day trying out a new character, game or world. It was a wonderful time.
What is the most challenging aspect of your creative process?
Undoubtedly trying to say things that I would like to read, or be happy having others read. I find writing poems quite easy in truth but writing interesting ones that aren’t contrived or have something interesting to say is entirely different. I am quite prolific (I wrote nearly 200 poems in 2020 alone) but the vast majority will never see the light of day, and rightly so…
What does your writing space look like?
My writing space is on the move. I use my phone for notes whenever some inspiration hits me – at work, on a run, even in the bath. It is liberating in many ways though I spend a lot of time drafting and redrafting in more formalised settings, such as our new (and long overdue) study.
Who is my biggest artistic supporter?
I have several in truth, so feel exceptionally lucky when thinking about this question. I have my partner, who reads and critiques my work, before offering a different feminine perspective of what I write. I also have an academic friend, who lives near London, who has read every single word I have ever written (in return I have read all of his excellent short stories); we’ve been friends since the role-playing days, so it’s great to see how we’ve grown! Finally, I have two fellow English teacher friends, both of whom have read much of my work. They both understand how poetry works and are brilliant at providing advice on how to work through issues that arise.