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Reading The Accounts Of Suffering

Steven Bruce Author Interview

White Knuckle shares your experiences with grief, loss and abandonment through impassioned and raw poetry. Why was this an important collection for you to publish?

Initially, I never intended to publish White Knuckle. The manuscript came as a result of the final dissertation for my Master’s Degree. It wasn’t until I decided to start a small press that some of the poems saw the light of day. I printed ten of them in a handmade chapbook and placed copies in my local bookstores. After that, I thought no more of it.

A few months later, I was sitting in a café in Warsaw when I received a heartfelt email from a girl who’d read my work. She said she’d suffered similar experiences and found solace in knowing that she wasn’t alone.

That’s when I knew the full collection was worth publishing. And since its release, I’ve received a lot of similar emails and messages.

I believe that by reading the accounts of suffering, we get a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

My favorite poem from the collection is Black Dog. Do you have a favorite poem from the book?

I wouldn’t say that I have a favourite. However, one that sticks out for me is Sleep. Although, I’m not quite sure why. The piece originally contained over fifty places where I’d slept. But for brevity’s sake, I cut it down to fourteen.

And if I may offer a parenthesis to your favourite poem in the collection, the black dog is a metaphor for depression.

I first discovered the term when reading about Winston Churchill, but it also has interesting roots in classical mythology and medieval folklore.

What inspires you to write poetry?

On a personal level, poetry is paramount for meditation and catharsis. It’s my preferred method of coping and analyzing the internal, an exercise of introspection.

To speak broadly, I find inspiration in paintings, people, landscapes, music, literature, the follies and triumphs of society.

If you care to look, poetry is everywhere.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

To answer that, I’d like to quote one of my favourite authors:

Trust time; it usually provides a sweet way out of many bitter challenges.” – Miguel de Cervantes.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | LinkedIn

White Knuckle is a concise exposé of a severe childhood experience.

Bruce’s debut poetry collection, an autobiographical report on the reality of life in a poverty-stricken, drug and violence-fuelled environment, is a gut-wrenching composition of grief, loss, and abandonment at an early age.

This powerful book is brutal, tragic, and moving: an essential read.
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