Robert Okaji (Chapbook Confessions #3)

If you don’t know him you should (get out your cave, quit admiring those shadows & leave); a kind chap, likes an ale or 2, cooks well apparently, a phenomenal poet & someone I am very pleased responded to my urge to make poets “confess, confess, confess”, as in the Spanish Inquisition scene from Monty Python.
Get busy reading people & if you have a book of poems loitering in the world, consider sending us a Confession on that text: the trials & tribulations, the nasty habits & the time of day, the amount of sugar in your coffee, the pinch of salt for you pre-poetry vaticum, or was it something stronger, bit more raw on the tonsils? What ever the experiences, check our guidelines & get busy writing.

Underfoot Poetry

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.

Below, Robert Okaji writes on his 2017 collection From Every Moment a Second.


 Chapbook Confession, or, How to Write Chapbooks without Knowing How

81JPWewW4yLI confess that I’ve never intentionally written a chapbook, that I’m too scatter-brained to plan one. Instead, I write individual poems, and after a suitable stack has accumulated, attempt to force them to comingle, however reluctantly, hoping to form a semi-cohesive collection for someone’s reading pleasure (or dismay, as the case may be). This is not to say that the occasional series of poems never escapes my subconscious, but I never deliberately set out to write a certain number of poems with the intention of publishing them as a discrete entity…

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John Looker (Chapbook Confessions #1)

So pleased to have John Looker (a poet I personally admire & enjoy reading immensely) to start off our new series Chapbook Confessions.
I really do encourage you, after reading John’s piece, to have a glimpse at what this Chapbook Confession malarkey is all about & if you fit the criteria & want to contribute, then we would be more than pleased to read what you send us. We are hoping this will be not only useful to readers, but perhaps…what’s the right word, Ah! Cathartic (that should do it) for the writers themselves.

Underfoot Poetry

Chapbook Confessions is a series in which poets discuss, at length, the writing of their most recent collection of poems, in whatever way they desire. For more information on the series, go here.

Below, John Looker writes on his 2015 collection The Human Hive (Bennison Books)


519wanKURJL._SY346_Asked to explain the secrets of his craft, the alchemist would wrap his cloak more tightly and withdraw to his tower in silence. The mountebank however, holding his phial of coloured water high, might become loquacious about herbs gathered by moonlight on the shores of Arabia. 

I feel uncomfortable talking about how I write my poems. I would prefer to say nothing. Saying anything at all incurs the risk of becoming a charlatan. However, as I’ve been ‘shown the instruments’ and have to say something, I’ll try to find a middle way. I am grateful to Underfoot for publishing some of my poems, and I…

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