National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Ace Boggess

Each day in April, in honor of National Poetry Month and our third anniversary issue (find out how to get a copy HERE), we are running an interview with a poet who has been published in Gyroscope Review. Read on.

National Poetry Month Interview Series: Interview with Poet Ace Boggess

Ace Boggess
Poet Ace Boggess

How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? If the opportunity presents itself, I like to do at least one reading and attend as many as possible. Otherwise, I like to post poems I love or YouTube videos of poets reading their work, including quirky I-can’t-believe-he’s-a-poet poets like actor Michael Madsen:

Pen, pencil or computer first? Pen.

Who/what are your influences? I’d say the three biggest are David Lehman (his two books of daily poems), Billy Collins, and Adam Zagajewski.

What topic is the hardest for you to write about and why? The distant past. I write poems that are mostly in-the-moment (an editor once told me my poems are TOO momentary, which I took as a compliment). It’s hard for me to write about the distant past because it often sounds sappy or maudlin to me, and that makes me cringe. I keep doing it, though. Que sera sera.

What was the worst writing idea you ever had? There are no bad ideas; just bad execution. In that regard, there are too many to name.

What authors do you love right now? The poets whose names I see and drop whatever I’m doing to read their work include Kaveh Akbar, Jenn Givhan, Kenzie Allen, Chen Chen, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Keegan Lester, Matthew Lippmann, Ada Limon … damn, this is turning into an awards-show acceptance speech. Let’s just say there are a lot of outstanding poets out there that I HAVE to read. Their work is like dope. I can’t get enough.

What is the most important role of poets in 2018? Speak the truth in a beautiful way, even when it pisses people off.

Where do you go when you need to recharge? My room. Lifelong anxiety has me hiding there much of the time. Leaving the house is exhausting and enthralling at the same time.

What is your favorite end-of-the-day drink? Coffee. Always coffee. Whatever the time of day.

Ace Boggess lives in Charleston, West Virginia. His most recent book of poems, Ultra Deep Field, was published in November 2017 by Brick Road Poetry Press and is available HERE. Follow Ace on Twitter @AceBoggess.