L. Ward Abel, poet, composer and performer of music, teacher, retired lawyer, has been published hundreds of times in print and online (The Reader, Pisgah Review, Versal, Ha!Art, Istanbul Review, Snow Jewel), and is the author one full collection and ten chapbooks of poetry, including Jonesing for Byzantium (UKA Press, 2006), American Bruise (Parallel Press, 2012), Little Town gods (Folded Word Press, 2016), A Jerusalem of Ponds (erbacce Press, 2016), and Digby Roundabout (Kelsay Books, 2017). He presently lives in rural Georgia.
Ward is the author of The Rainflock Sings Again, available on February 19, 2019
Our team sat down with Abel to discuss writing and such...
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I'd like to cook dinner for Raymond Carver, but not before the cocktails and the storytelling, not before the showing of scars and staring out the window into the rain. I'd cook fish. (I'm allergic to fish, so I couldn't eat it.) Then I'd serve it with further requisite cocktails, and listen.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears? Strangely I've never feared the writing process; what I fear is not being able to write. So far, I haven't had to deal with the block. I've been writing, either music or poetry, non-stop since I was thirteen, some forty six years. When that day comes I won't be happy.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
I'm not sure I'd call it a crush, but it might be Sylvia Plath.
What books are on your nightstand?
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, some essays by Christopher Hitchens, The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash, Open Ground by Seamus Heaney.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Places more than faces, I'm afraid—the empty room, the open field, the slope, the plain, a sunset from my porch, a headline, the morning...
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
The period. That's when the case is closed.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
Tolkien's The Hobbit, which I adore now, by the way.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
The broken wooden fence in my yard: I can't light on it, but it offers no resistance to my going and coming.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Necessity, therapy, spiritual, travel, answers.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
Don't just write what you know; write what you don't know but would love to find out.