Monday, March 17, 2014

10 Questions with...NYC Poet Graham Willner

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Graham Willner will be one of the featured poets in Raining Words: A Spring Poetry Extravaganza on Saturday, April 12 @ The Pomegrante Gallery, produced by 3Po3try NYC (

Born, raised, and still residing in Brooklyn, Willner is a pre-school teacher and poet who writes thoughtful pieces about the human condition. He says he “braids together semantics and syntax” to “rhythmically, metaphorically, and meaningfully point something out.” He finds himself most influenced by the “simple complexities of being human.”

The following is our quick 10-question interview with Graham:

What one word describes your writing style?

Metaphorocious (not a real word)

What's your idea of the perfect poem?

The perfect poem to me is based on a physiological response...when the back of your mind feels warms, your ears literally perk up, when goosebumps rise from your skin, tears form in the back of your eyes, and one side of your mouth smiles involuntarily.

What's your best writing moment? What's your worst writing moment?

My best and worst writing moments are hopefully both yet to come.

If you could steal one line from any poem, what would it be?

"Maybe there are cartwheels in your mouth, made they'll grow up to be gymnasts, maybe you've been kicking people with them by accident" - Andrea Gibson, A Letter to the Playground Bully

What time of the day do you mostly write?

I almost exclusively write while I'm on route to work...or going anywhere on the train. So, in the morning and the evening.

What do you do to get into your writing sessions?

I'll sometimes listen to a poem I want to emulate the sentiment of.

What's the weirdest place you ever wrote?

When I was the assistant teacher at a pre-school in Brooklyn, I would write during the children's nap time.

What's the weirdest thing you ever wrote on?

The underside of a giant water heater.

What book changed your writing forever?

I don't think any one book could change someone's writing "forever"... unless they never read another book again after that one...but I've been reading Salman Rushdie in hopes that it will effect my writing.

Do you have any writing superstitions? If so, what are they and how do you deal with them?

Yes...I superstitiously believe that the first way in which I phrase a line in a poem shouldn't be discarded...even if I've decided to re-phrase it. I deal with it by writing the line as it was originally phrased somewhere else.

To purchase advance tickets to Raining Words: A Spring Poetry Extravaganza, go to

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