what is your name?
Drax Ireland ..aka Des Donnelly
how would you describe what you do?
I am a poet and hence an outsider, an observer not a participant.
what are you currently working on?
I am finalising my first poetry manuscript, working on a long haiku series focusing on love/loving life/ living giving and dying. I am about to launch my own publishing venture and a spoken word portal.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
The poetry of Anna Akhmatova and in particular the line from the Prologue / Requiem;- “In those years only the dead smiled/ Glad to be at rest and Leningrad city swayed like/ A needless appendix to its prisons”. This line still reverberates in my mind even though it is years and years since I first read it. I think that in that moment this poetry stopped me and made me think of how the body of an idea can hang on the rope of some plain words.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I don’t know that there is one since to paraphrase Tsvetaeva I am;- “Unseen, unsought, unopened, and unsold” and at the same time I don’t really believe in misconception. It exists primarily in the mind of the ‘misconceptor’. A person may read something about me or read my poetry and a misconception occurs, I would consider this a good thing, since each misconception could be a stepping stone to an awareness of some sort.. for either of us or both of us.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
The main strengths are the ability to draw on one’s own life experience and subjectively write about subjects that have been
written about before and before yet give them a flavour drawn from the time and circumstance one is born into. There really are no poetry police, except those who work for governments. It is possible then to spend a life writing about cheese, this is generally not a good idea. The weakness is double edged, since technology has created / is creating this gigantic level playing field, so you need to wear bright clothes.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
In a positive sense I interact with so many hugely talented creative people from all around the world and see images, art, literature I could never otherwise see in two lifetimes – on the other hand I’m running around like a dog after cars 🙂
In a negative sense with blogs, Hubpages, Facebook, ezines and all the other avenues for electronic publication one is inclined to put it out there and say well.. I’ll write more, but we are at a Y, there is almost a discrete choice to be made between the traditional route of sending material to the publications or running your own promo/sales machine…
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
write a little poetry every day, it can always be divided into the good the bad and the ugly, try to improve the good, forget the bad and leave the ugly alone. Read read read poetry every day, buy a little poetry ! and keep pumping out your work… it will never be finished, even when you die… and never ever put a job in front of your poetry, resign yourself to being poor… be humble.
where can we find you online?
what are you reading at the moment?
Doris Lessing’s Colonised Planet 5, Shikasta
what are you listening to at the moment?
Modest Mussorgsky’s Galitsin’s Exile from Khovanshchina
anything else we should know?
Don’t put off going to beautiful Paris, I waited 30 years, if there is a poem or a book or art in you get it out there, let us see it. Do not be easily discouraged since the system must breed sycophants, remember what Napoleon said;- “glory is fleeting but obscurity is forever”.
This reminds me that I need an Editor, any volunteers out there ?, drax.ireland at gmail dot com – I’ve been writing and writing and have about 1000 poems with one MS finished but 10 more in the wings, this is nearly an impossible task without professional help… no no not medical… 🙂