Thursday, July 3, 2014

Interview with 3Po3try NYC Poet Phillip Giambri AKA The Ancient Mariner

Bookmark and Share

Phillip Giambri aka “The Ancient Mariner” will be one of the featured poets in Hot House: A Summer Poetry Extravaganza on Thursday, July 31 @ Organic Modernism in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, produced by 3Po3try NYC (

Giambri obtained his deviant perspective on life listening to Jean Shepherd on WOR radio back in the ‘50s. Fleeing Philly at seventeen, he served in the military, has been an actor, hairstylist, stoner, janitor, writer, drifter, recording engineer, hired hand, poet, traveling salesman, barfly, banker, biker, bronco buster, announcer, mail-order minister, photographer, and “Computer Guru." He arrived in NY City in ’68, joined the Hippie pilgrimage to St. Marks Place, and never left. He’s attended too many schools to mention, studying nearly everything, without ever attaining a degree in anything. He produces and hosts a popular monthly spoken word/poetry event, Rimes of The Ancient Mariner as well as special collaborative events with other artist/performers; most recently the very successful, Barflies & Broken Angels. His website “Ancient Mariner Tales” offers bored web surfers a glimpse into his futile search for self-discovery and meaning. He can be found in downtown NYC, regularly spinning yarns and telling tall tales anywhere that will tolerate him.

The following is our quick interview with Phillip:

What’s your definition of poetry?

Painting pictures with words that are absorbed and felt in the heart or the gut rather than the head.

What’s your favorite place to write?

My cabin in the Catskills.

Does your poetry have a central theme? And if so, what is it?

My work is either reflections on childhood memories or stories of my adult life in dive bars, recording relationships and encounters in that environment.

What one word describes your writing style?


What's your idea of the perfect poem?

An easily communicated story, with universal appeal, told in as few words as possible.

What's your best writing moment?

My best work has come to me during that “twilight time” when I’m almost but not quite asleep. Stories, memoirs, and visual film-like images appear in these moments.

What's your worst writing moment?

When I try sitting at the computer to meet some imagined writing deadline, stare at the screen for long periods, and nothing happens.

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

“To dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free” - Bob Dylan

What time of the day do you mostly write?

Sunday afternoons.

What do you do to get into your writing sessions?

Have a drink or two, play background music that reflects the mood of the piece I’m working on, or pick a piece of music that will bring out the words I’m looking for.

What's the weirdest place you ever wrote?

500 feet underwater on a submarine.

What's the weirdest thing you ever wrote on?

My hand and arm, when a bar napkin wasn't available.

What book changed your writing forever?

A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

What poet, dead or alive, would you like to be friends with?

Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

What comes easy to you with poetry?

Nothing with poetry. But technical writing and intellectual comedy or cynical writing are a breeze; that stuff comes from my head easily. Writing from the gut is much harder for me.

What are you hoping to accomplish with your poetry?

Effectively communicate my view of the world, people, and relationships, bypassing intellect and pushing directly for an emotional connection.

To purchase advance tickets to Hot House: A Summer Poetry Extravaganza, go to

Photo credit: Jay Franco (

No comments:

Post a Comment