Meet the Artist:Bryan Roessel

 

Q: What got you interested in poetry?

A: I’ve been making poems for a super long time. I got into creative-writing-for-fun originally because of my 5th grade teacher. I was terrible at it for a really long time. Post-college, I dated a poet for a couple of years. After we broke up in late 2009, I started writing a lot as a way of processing my thoughts and feelings about who I am and what my place is in the universe. I have a few poems now that I like.

Q: Is there a particular poem or poet that you can’t get enough of?

A: MANY. Three poems I could never read too many times:

  1. Percy Shelley’s Ozymandias
  2. ee cummings’ somewhere i have never travelled
  3. ee cummings’ i carry your heart with me

As far as contemporary poets, Timothy DuWhite’s work never ceases to be rich and complex and profound and moving.

Q: What inspires you to write poetry? How does a poem start for you (form, idea, something else entirely)?

A: Most of my writing happens when it needs to. Sometimes I just get a poem in my head and I have to stop and write it down or I lose it. A lot of times, I don’t know where the poem is going to go until I’m done writing it.

Sometimes I’ve been thinking about a theme or topic for a while and, once I make time to write, I lay out whatever pieces I have and try to jigsaw them together.

Q: You are involved with Suffern Poetry, tell us about that (and any other groups you are a part of).

A: Suffern Poetry is a poetry community that has a monthly poetry open mic and a monthly poetry slam (currently in Suffern and Nyack, respectively).

If something doesn’t exist and you want it to exist, you have to create it. I was tired of having to drive 45+ minutes, pay tolls, and cross rivers to attend poetry events. I wanted more arts and culture events close to where I live.

I started a monthly poetry open mic series in March 2011 in Suffern with a friend of mine. I found out about poetry slam that year and started a monthly slam series December of that year. A lot of people have helped along the way and our community currently has six people on the organizational team.

Other than SuffPo, I have hosted a poetry slam at the Warwick Summer Arts Festival and a writers open mic series at the Conscious Fork in Warwick. I don’t make it out to many other events lately because my life is already so full and my to-do list just keeps getting longer.

Q: Any recommended reading?

A: SOME OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS:

  • The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
  • Fictions, by Jorge Luis Borges
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera
  • Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
  • The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt

Q: Are you an action, comedy or romance movie lover, and what film would you then recommend? Of course you could also prefer documentaries?

A: I don’t watch very many movies lately. I like things that break my heart, that are funny, and that don’t have predictable endings. ))<>((

Q: What about music? What does your musical cup of tea sound like? (Bands? Genres?)

A: I like a lot of local bands. I usually end up with Cloud District or something stuck in my head. As far as non-locals, I feel like I can’t profess to be a true fan™ of any band, but I’m keen on Gogol Bordello, Regina Spektor, Saul Williams, Modest Mouse, First Aid Kit, Tim Minchin, and music from the game Katamari Damacy. I guess that means I mostly like alt rock?

Q: As a poet (and one who often performs live), have you faced any challenges or barriers in response to who you are as a person? Had to overcome any obstacles?

A: Not really. To be completely honest, I don’t think I’ve pushed myself very hard with my writing. A lot of the poets I look up to spend a lot more time reading poetry, writing, and editing than I do. Because my writing is so casual and personal, the worst response I ever get is indifference. I’d like to try to push more boundaries with my writing over the next decade or so, but I don’t know that I’m quite there yet.

I think the roughest room I’ve ever performed in was the Tuscan Cafe’s weekly open mic. When I started reading there, people would just talk over me. Being challenged like that made me try harder to be more dynamic in my writing and performing.

Q: How do you think the Internet has changed poetry?

A: I don’t know. Seems like it’s given people greater access to it. I don’t know how much it’s changed writing.

Q: Now for the most important question, are you a cat person or a dog person?

A: I am a human person.

Q: Free speech…(anything else you’d like to say or discuss? any upcoming projects / shows?)

A: If you live nearby, come out to one of our shows sometime.

Want to be our next featured artist? Send us a message with some info (links, who you are, what you do) to theteam [at] allwegotrecords [dot] com

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