Sweet Poetry: Q&A with Paul David Adkins

Today’s brief Q&A is with Paul David Adkins, a poetical contributor to the inaugural issue of Sugared Water.

Paul David Adkins lives in New York and works as a counselor.

a little taste of “Romancing Christin Garren’s Among the Monarchs in Iraq Despite Central Command’s General Order 1,” his poem:

The order states No Drinking No Drugs No
Gambling No Converting the Afghans to Christ

No Bringing a Girl to your Room No Mailing Home
a Weapon or Live Spiders No Sex with Anyone
not Your Wife No Destroying or Stealing
National Treasures

Polled, you answer

Yes Yes No Yes
Yes Definitely No Maybe No

It’s hard
to figure you out.

SW: What are you currently reading?
PDA: I just finished reading Sally Rosen Kindred’s Book of Asters, Natalie Diaz’ My Brother was an Aztec, and Tarfia Faizullah’s Seam, and I am revisiting Carolyn Forche’s The Angel of History, as well as the work of Robin Behn.

SW: What are you working on now?
PDA: I am attempting to finalize a manuscript entitled La Dona La Llorona, a series of poems addressing the Mexican diaspora as seen through the eyes of a murderous, legendary ghost.

SW: What writers/works have inspired you?
PDA: I often return to Edgar Lee Masters, Weldon Kees, Gregory Orr, and Amiri Baraka, and particularly enjoy current authors Rachel Contreni Flynn, Rebecca Dunham, Christine Garren, and Cate Marvin.

SW: Where do you seek inspiration?
PDA: I use my memory primarily for inspiration:  stories or books I heard years ago often earn my attention.  Musically, the work of Throwing Muses, Einstuezende Neubauten, The Residents, and The Birthday Party hold special sway.

SW: Would you talk a bit about your writing process?
PDA: I tend to let an idea germinate regarding a poem, then find a quiet time to write it on a word document.  I usually revise as I write, and often will google or research terms or phrases which I need while composing the piece.  I will write until I feel I have a work about 80-90% complete, then return to revise until I feel it is sufficiently polished.

SW: With what are you obsessed?
PDA: I am currently obsessed with WWI German U-Boats, and have written a book on the submarines, both WWI and II, entitled U.  I am also preparing, I think, to explore the harrowing confines and horrors of the Bangladesh garment industry.

Paul David Adkins | website | @koenigsburg14 | SW#001

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