David can be found on their social media accounts: Twitter @DWEvans4 and Facebook as David William Evans. His piece can be found in EPOCH Issue 03: Roots, available to purchase here.
Why do you write CNF, and do you explore other genres in your work?
Writing poetry or what one hopes passes as a poem, is a compulsion, there’s no sound reason for doing so, it happens because it must. Norman MacCaig likened the impulse to write as hunger, the feeling of being hungry, and the need to satisfy that need. I think this visceral comparison is the closest truth.
Regarding an answer to the exploration of other genres, it’s probably wise to start with a truth, and that is that all poets lie, or at best tell it slant as Emily Dickinson advised.
Making a poem is an act if creation, and in relation to fictive versus fact, if that’s what one means by genres other than non-fiction, then we’re already in a grey area.
A poem starts with a germ of something real, felt, observed, or read, and this then abstracts, hibernates, or lingers without form. Now the reality, such as it is perceived by the ‘poet’ can be bent, and mutated by the imagination – think of the otherness of Bird or Sweeney for example. So, I believe there’s always a collision of worlds here, and even the most confessing of confessional poets applies artifice in order to achieve connection with the reader.
Did you have a piece already written when you learned about Epoch’s theme, or did you write a new piece? If so, how did you approach the theme of Roots in the creation of your work?
Green, Green, Grass deals with the gone, the vanished roots – family, the place you grew up – one so altered through absence it’s rendered alien. I adapted a much longer and admittedly overwritten piece to fit Epoch’s theme. I say fit, that’s not quite accurate. It required pruning to hone the lookback and weave the tense between the reflective and present form of the then, now, the knowledge of loss.
What is the biggest challenge when writing CNF?
‘Whenever I sit down to write,’ said Harold Pinter, ‘I always have an overwhelming urge to go out and buy lightbulbs.’ For most writers sitting down and writing can be the greatest challenge. But the first draft is often just the anchor, and through redrafting, you work up, link by link through the anchor chain to build the ship – and believe me they don’t always float!
What’s your favourite piece of art in your home?
My current favourite is small piece bought from Beetles earlier this year, it called Island Dog by Ralph Koltai and is a detail of the mask and head-dress for ‘Island Dogs’ in Chichester Festival Theatre production of The Tempest, July 1968.