Graham Isaac Interview, Parts 3-5

Graham Isaac

Graham Isaac

Graham Isaac is a writer living and working in Seattle, Washington. He holds an MA in Creative and Media Writing from the University of Wales, Swansea, where he co-founded The Crunch, South Wales’ largest regularly running poetry and spoken word open mic. He hosts the monthly Works in Progress night at Richard Hugo House and co-curates Claustrophobia, an underground poetry and performance series around Seattle. He was also co-curator of Five Alarms: The Greenwood Lit Crawl.

In the third segment, Graham talked about the inspiration for his latest chapbook Filthy Jerry’s Guide to Parking Lots. His apartment was almost surrounded by parking lots, which provided part of the inspiration and then his foray into writing poetry from a particular character’s point of view. He read the poem Foxes of Bainbridge (1:47)from the book and discussed the notion of recognizing we are moving into a post-industrial/post-colonial reality and that systems we have come to depend on are beginning to crash, as evidenced by the treatment of Bradley Manning as opposed to Wall Street Bankers who precipitated the great financial crash of 2008. Part 3 (10:12)

In part four he discussed why he employed the prose poem form for many of the poems in the book, how he occasionally has happy accidents when composing, finding phrases of images that he may not consciously understand, but recognizes is good writing. He also discussed his own cosmology and spiritual upbringing, how he comes from a long line of Free Methodist and Advent Christians. He read All Things Return to the Shari’s Parking Lot. (3:00) Part 4 (9:21).

In the fifth and final segment, Graham discussed the degree to which these poems are autobiographical, the importance of the Hugo House and other literary centers as well as his commitment to beauty and current project, revising The Third Best of All Possible Outcomes. He read All Things Return to the Dusty Liquor Shelf (1:30) after Richard Hugo’s Death of the Kapowsin Tavern. Part 5 (9:37)

His blog is: Somewhere in Colorado. You can find work at Babel Salvage

The whole interview is linked in segments here.

About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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