Provocative Works Of Art

Dean Gessie Author Interview

“Goat Song” is a captivating poetry collection that explores a diverse array of themes and invites readers to embrace the unknown and traverse a vast landscape of linguistic styles. What inspired you to explore such a diverse range of themes in your poetry collection?

Most of my writing touches upon themes related to human or animal rights and the eco-systems that support us all. There is no end to the variety of ways that we compromise, abuse and exploit all living creatures and the planet that we call home. As a result, my creative passions are diverse. I think the linguistic styles that I use – from formal to experimental – reflect my core belief in creative freedom and the need I have, equally personal, to create unique, provocative works of art that both educate and entertain. 

How did you develop your extensive linguistic repertoire, and what advice would you give to aspiring poets who are looking to improve their language skills?

I think my linguistic repertoire, such as it is, reflects my passion for language. We all have gifts and one of mine has always been to absorb and process and use language in original ways. This comes from listening and reading of all sorts. One caveat: the deep pool of reflection that produces my fiction and poetry is much different than the wading pool that informs my speaking style. In conversation, no one needs water wings to stay afloat. 

Which poem from “Goat Song” resonates with you the most, and why?

I think “Eulogy for Empire” resonates with me the most. It is the longest poem I ever written and it certainly took me the longest time to write. While “Eulogy” chronicles the last few days of a dying soldier in hospital, it is really an allegorical journey through the last years of American empire and how that is visible in the natural world and in human culture. I was very happy when “Eulogy for Empire” won the Samuel Washington Allen Prize in Massachusetts for best long poem since I had invested so much on so many levels in this particular work. 

Could you speak about the process of selecting and ordering the poems in your collection, and how you decided which themes and styles to focus on?

As I alluded to earlier, I chose poetry for this collection that reflects on some level the injustices suffered by those who have been marginalized, exploited or killed in the interests of the avarice and hubris of some. I am passionate about exposing inhumanity. The ordering of the poems, to be perfectly honest, had a lot to do with the readability or accessibility of each work. Often, my work is challenging. It’s who I am as a creator. If someone was brave enough to navigate a difficult piece, I wanted the next piece – in relative terms – to be somewhat more approachable.  Overall, stylistically, I wanted to use the whole arsenal at my disposal as a poet. I always try to set for myself the highest possible goals and challenges. These keep me interested and motivated. 

Author Links: Twitter | Website

“Dean Gessie’s scintillating goat song reveals a poet and writer at the height of his powers. Defying genre and canon, Gessie shapeshifts, skin shucks and shimmies in this masterfully crafted, explosively seditious, viscerally engaging magnum opus of satire. Equal parts alchemy, threnody and rebel gospel, goat song is a potent protest song to human, animal and planetary suffering. Threaded through with finely honed lyric, motif, imagery and metaphor, not a word is spare. This collection sings throughout with razor’s edge wit and supremely slick syntax.” Anne Casey, poet and writer, winner of multiple international awards, including first prize in the American Writers Review Contest 2021 and winner of the 2021 iWoman Global Award in the field of literature.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 27, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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