Interview with Peycho Kanev by Eric Perez

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After writing poetry for over 10 years, how do you think you and your poetry have matured?

First of all I grew stronger in the poetic kind of way and surer of my self. More and more convinced in my ability to play with the words, to put them in the right order, on the exact place on the sheet or on the computer screen. It is easy for me now, 10 years later to write a poem. It becomes some kind of practice, everyday routine. I think that every writing career starts as a personal quest for sainthood, for self-betterment. Sooner or later, and as a rule quite soon, a man discovers that his pen accomplishes a lot more than his soul.

Is your writing planned or spontaneous?

I think that is more spontaneous than planned. I never sit at the machine, scratching my head, thinking: “Man, now I will write some great poem!” It never works that way. Every time I start to write it is like a new beginning for me, a fresh start. I learn the craft all over again. And then the magic happens.

What other writers have influenced or motivated you to write?

Oh, they are more than a hundred. This is a difficult question. I cannot pick any names. I learn from all the great boys that were here before me. Every individual ought to know at least one poet from cover to cover: if not as a guide through the world, then as a yardstick for the language. But let me say that I learn to write from the life itself, than from any other particular poet or writer. Life is a game with many rules but no referee. One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, includ­ing the holy book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose.

You’ve been published in over 400 literary magazines, what are tips you can give upcoming writers to help in the publishing process?

Well, I cannot give them any tips, really, just this one and it is to write. No rest, no doubts. Each and every day they have to write. Writing is a craft like any other craft and it has to be practiced. We need more and more good practitioners. For the poet the credo or doctrine is not the point of arrival but is, on the contrary, the point of departure for the metaphysical journey, because poet is a combination of an instrument and a human being in one per­son, with the former gradually taking over the latter. The sensa­tion of this takeover is responsible for timbre; the realization of it, for destiny. The destiny of Poetry. There is no other. For me!

Eric Perez
Poetry Editor

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