Aidan Coleman–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I like the idea of writing in coffee shops, and often do drafting there but the main business of writing takes place in my cluttered study at home.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I mostly work on the computer … Boring, I know.

What is your routine for writing?

With poetry at least, I’m usually working on something else and I’m taken by a line – never by an idea. I try to write the line down as I receive it, and that usually provides a way into something. Often my first draft is quite similar to the final version in terms of the trajectory, rhythm, tone etc. but some of the language will sharpen through drafting. I have more of a set routine writing prose because you can just turn up with prose and some days are better than others, but you know you’ll get something down. With poetry you’re really at the mercy of the Muse.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I wrote limericks and stuff like that as a kid but I started writing seriously when I began university—so about 22 years now.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I would have said in the past for as many people as possible, but I have come to the reluctant conclusion that most people like clichés, and as poetry is a war against cliché (a statement that may be a cliché itself) the poet really can’t write for everyone if they want to be true to their art.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

Reading great poetry, especially contemporary work.

I’m not particularly prolific, but I’ve never worried about writer’s block.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I teach, play with my kids, read, watch soccer, and go to church.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

The initial rush of a line, and the final edit.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Read all you can … and—if they’re not too famous—seek out those writers you admire and ask for some pointers. Most likely, they’ll have done the same in the distant past, and they will be happy to help. This is an easier proposition if they’re poets. If you are aspiring to be a poet, just enjoy being part of the community and you will quickly improve. Once that happens, never assume a poem you write is good just because you’re a good poet. Resist becoming one of the two or three stereotypes society assigns to poets. … Keep reading.

Check out Aidan’s work in Volume 5, Issue 1.

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Volume 5, Issue 2


The issue is available here.

Campus at night by Riku Ylönen

The optional theme is Questions.

Contributors: Bill Abbott, Maya Alexandri, Gary Beck, Adam Levon Brown, Frank De Canio, Kayson Carlin, Satya Dash, Maria Espinosa, Marie Fields, Alexander Garza, Laura Goodman, Kara Goughnour, Jacob Greb, A. Elizabeth Herting, Mark Hudson, Maranda Huffort, Phil Huffy, Caitlin Johnson, Thomas Kearnes, J.D. Kotzman, Michelle Kouzmine, Courtney LeBlanc, Kate Maruyama, John Maurer, Andrew Miller, Keith Moul, Ben Nardolilli, Robert P. Parker, Fabrice Poussin, Nicolas Ridley, Taylor Risinger, John Timothy Robinson, David Rogers, David Anthony Sam, Jessica Seaborn, Margarita Serafimova, David K. Slay, J. Conrad Smith, J.R. Solonche, J.B. Stone, Richard Weaver, Katie Wolf, and Riku Ylönen.

Reviews: The Anatomical Venus by Helen Ivory (Reviewed by Michael Paul Hogan)

Winner of The Magnolia Review Ink Award to be announced!



Riku Ylönen

Riku Ylönen is an amateur photographer from Central Finland. He has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, specialized to language philosophy and semiotics, from Jyväskylä University. Ylönen studied creative writing in Open University of Jyväskylä, and his poems have been published in anthologies. He was also a finalist in the national poetry slam competition, as well as annual competition of Kauhava city “Puukko ja runo” (puukko knife and poetry). Among photographing, drawing and writing, Ylönen is interested in bouldering and collecting bladed weapons.

aamupitsi, Harbour, Heartseed, The Gates Within, Meditation, unitalvi, and Campus at Night, Volume 5, Issue 2

J.B. Stone

J.B. Stone is a writer from Brooklyn, now residing in Buffalo. He is the author of two digital chapbooks, A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018) and forthcoming, Fireflies & Hand Grenades (Stasia Press 2019). His work has appeared in and/or is forthcoming in BlazeVOX, Occulum, Crack the Spine, Maudlin House, Glass, and elsewhere. His work will also appear in the following anthologies such as Your Body Is Not a Temple: A Tribute to Anthony Bourdain and Mansion: An Anthology.

Ode to Waterfalls by TLC, Ode to It’s the End of the World As We Know It by R.E.M., Ode to Heart of Glass by Blondie, and Soliloquy for my 16 Year-Old Self, Volume 5, Issue 2

David K. Slay

After retiring from full-time work, David K. Slay completed two years of short story writing workshops, primarily in the University of California, Los Angeles, Writers’ Program. His stories have appeared in Gold Man ReviewImageOutWrite, Wards Literary Magazine (Editor’s Choice Award for Fiction), and elsewhere. He currently is a fiction reader for CRAFT Literary Journal.

Hide and Seek, Volume 5, Issue 2

J. Conrad Smith

J. Conrad Smith studied poetry at Kansas State University, and he currently works as a Lead Editor for a govtech company that creates and designs websites. His work has appeared in Touchstone. Smith grew up on a farm on the Great Plains of North Central Kansas, and he now writes and resides in the Flint Hills.

Hummingbird in the Petunias and Dormant, Volume 5, Issue 2