Poet Focus: Oliver Findlay Price
What is your current profession? How do you juggle your work and your writing?
I am retired – have no profession. So, I’m a free-time as opposed to full-time writer. I think-write on most mornings, and read every evening for 3 to 6 hours.
With which person, living or dead, would you most like to have a conversation?
Sylvia Plath – on the assumption that she had achieved all her poetic ambitions by the time she died (she may disagree with me on this). I would ask her to describe in detail, her inspirational process – how it worked, seen with hindsight now?
What is the most compelling lesson you have learned thus far from the Covid-19 pandemic?
I have learned that it is dangerous to give this level of power to a clique of persons in which a significant number, like the Rabbit Catcher, will shiver with anticipation at the control they have over the lives and deaths of others.
Which poets are you currently reading or which poets inspire you?
Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins – I have yet to find a more recent poet to whom I will go back again and again.
What writing project are you currently working on and where can we go to see some new work?
My first collection, catalien, was published in March 2020, and is available from Dryad Press or Exclusive Books. New poetry is forthcoming in New Contrast. I am currently working on an autobiographical collection which is nearing completion. Though, with me, a poem seems never to be done.
ADVICE TO NEW/YOUNG POETS
I am a new poet myself, but in my short career I have learned, find yourself a competent mentor – without Hugh Hodge, my mentor of several years, I would never have written a publishable poem.
BOOKS/MOVIES/SERIES/SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS YOU ARE READING OR FOLLOWING DURING LOCKDOWN
Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha, Glass Bead Game.
Stephen Taylor: Caliban Shore.
Etienne Leroux: Towards a Dubious Salvation.
Louis Leipoldt: 2 Plays.
Bertolt Brecht: 2 Plays.
Takashi Haraida: Guest Cat.
Tom Stoppard: 5 Plays.
Tracy Farren: The Book of Malachi.
Wendy Woodward: Animal Gaze.