In June, we will be releasing Mark A. Doherty's poetry collection Walking Natural Pathways. WALKING NATURAL PATHWAYS is eclectic, each section its own ecosystem. Doherty pays special attention to the natural world, celebrating it with diverse and stylistic poems.
Before we release the book onto you lovely readers, we wanted you to get to know Mark better as a writer, and a person. Here is his interview.
If you could cook dinner for any author, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you make?
I would make a stir fry from our garden served over wild rice for naturalist and conservationist Aldo Leopold, and he would remind me of such things as the secrets in seeds and the histories told by flora.
What scares you the most about the writing process? How do you combat your fears?
I am scared that I will become cynical and lose the innocence of youthful perspective. I combat this by returning to the simple joys of nature and finding the ever-present evidence of the natural world’s capacity for healing.
Who is your biggest literary crush, author or character?
I’m in love with Rachel Carson, plain and simple. Her words are the rain that nurtures my knowledge and the creativity that inspires my nonfiction.
What books are on your nightstand?
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold has always been there since I discovered it rather late in life at the age of 30. Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire rests next to it. Now, however, E.O. Wilson’s Half Earth and Coming of Age at the End of Nature, A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet are on top.
Where do you get your ideas? What inspires you?
Half of my ideas come from time spent outdoors and away from civilization; the other half comes from teaching English students, both the honors and the regular kids. Beauty in nature of course inspires me, as well as fine writing of all forms and styles. Progressive acoustic music is also a force for my inspiration.
Favorite punctuation mark? Why?
This has to be the dash. Maybe it’s because I grew up reading Walt and Emily, beyond that, the dash is the spice that flavors both poems and prose—it creates its own meaning.
What book were you supposed to read in high school, but never did?
The Great Gatsby. Maybe I’ll get to it when I retire.
What inanimate object would you thank in your acknowledgements?
I would certainly thank a polished rock-- a piece of satin-smooth petrified wood.
Why do you write? The first 5 words that come to mind. Go.
Words are just plain fun.
If you could write an inspirational quote on the mirrors of aspiring writers, what would you write?
It is a wonder that a mere eight parts of speech can eternally create original work.
Writing Immortalizes Experience.
WALKING NATURAL PATHWAYS releases on June 19, 2018. You can purchase your copy through our store or at any other major retailer.