INTERVIEW

ONLINE MAGAZINE MONTHLY u ISSUE #9 u  AUGUST 2003 u sentinelpoetry.org.uk

Poems

Alison Chisholm (Guest)
Six Poems

Richard L. Provencher
Four Poems

JB Mulligan
Five Poems

Interview:

Nnorom Azuonye
My e-Conversation with
Alison Chisholm

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NA: Last year, you adjudicated the malapropism poetry competition in Honour of Richard Sheridan on the 250th anniversary of his birth. I read in Writing Magazine, the winning poem "Misguided Tour" by Phil Powley, and the runner up "To the Manager of Gruesome Grange Hotel" by Liz Summerson, and had amazing fun with them. What is the future of Malapropism Poetry?

AC: I'm glad you enjoyed these pieces.

To be honest, I don't think that Malapropism poetry has ever been considered as a recognised form. Of course, many poets have included puns and misusages in their work, particularly for comic effect, and I know there is a lot of mileage in doing so. But this is just a device, rather than a set style. We thought it would be fun to play with malapropisms in the competition as a pleasant way of honouring Sheridan's anniversary.

NA: In your estimation, who is the finest poet writing in English today? Kindly say why this writer gets the full marks from you?

AC: I couldn't answer this - there are too many contenders, and it would be impossible to make a fair choice.

NA: Do you agree that we are now experiencing one of the most vibrant periods in the history of poetry? What would you say is the reason for the increased interest in poetry in our time and how can we make the art even more popular? Is this popularity even necessary and healthy for the art?

AC: I think we're experiencing a wonderful period in poetry ... but this probably has something to do with the fact that publishing is relatively inexpensive and easy these days, and that poetry on radio and TV makes it hugely accessible.  I am in favour of anything that helps to promote poetry, and a love of reading and writing it.  Encouraging children to enjoy poetry, and allowing poems to insinuate themselves into our lives via radio, newspapers etc. are likely to increase the level of public interest in the art.  I believe that poetry is a way of making sense of the universe, and any increase in its popularity means that more people are drawing joy and understanding from it.

NA: Thank you, Alison for making the time to talk to me. I look forward to your new collection and more educating articles in Writing Magazine which I read regularly.

AC: Thank you for allowing me to take part in this interview. Best wishes.

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