interview

Writing poetry and making a career out of it: Poet Catfish McDaris

With the world becoming one due to the increasing use of technology, there is fusion taking place in cultures, fashions, styles and languages. A range of new words which no one could imagine a decade ago is becoming part of our regular parlance. Many may not be in favour of this assimilation. But it is unwise to reject these words that are born out of fusion or confusion simply because they are not clear in meaning to some traditionalists or grammar Nazis.

Striking a chord with readers requires writers to embrace new words that were unknown to them. That’s how languages have evolved over a period of time. This helps them communicate with readers, particularly Gen Z, effectively and resoundingly. Catfish McDaris, an award-winning poet from America who was born in 1953, enjoys this assimilation or fusion of multiple sounds, expressions, styles and words. He admits in a freewheeling interview with Literary Yard that he goes with the flow as far as the use of new words is concerned. His writing is, thus, not confined to boundaries or characterized by certain, limited traits. Catfish as is evident in his writing has always been receptive to different poetic forms and writing styles throughout his career. He sheds more light on his writing journey and the challenges he faced along the way. Check out the video for a detailed discussion:


Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1953, Catfish McDaris has been active in the small press world for 25 years. He’s recently been translated into Spanish, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Mandarin, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. He has won three prestigious awards:
• 1999 The Uprising Award.
• 2010 The Flash Fiction Award at Gypsy, as judged by U.S. Poet Laureate.[18]
• 2015 The Thelonious Monk Award

His Wikipedia page reads: “After 3 years serving in the military as a young man, he hopped freights and hitchhiked across the U.S. and Mexico. He built adobe houses, tamed wild horses, made cattle troughs, worked in a zinc smelter, and painted flag poles. And for a time, For a time, he lived in a cave and wintered in a Chevy in Denver. He eventually settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he worked for the United States Postal Service.”

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