The editors of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective know that our strength is our writers. We hope that you enjoy getting to know them through our new Writer Interview Series.
What name do you write under?
I write under the name “Grumpy” Gorman. When I was in my teens, I wanted to write dark-tinged children’s poems under that pseudonym in homage to Mother Goose. Writing took a back-seat following a severely challenging mental health episode, and when I re-courted the craft, it was almost in reverse – I was writing tarred adult poems, with the familiar skip and ring of a kiddy write
In what part of the world do you live?
I live in Ottawa, Canada – a scenic city with a rich mix of cultures, but still quite conservative and stoic as a whole
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a loving, well-intentioned home that was inhabited with the beast that is mental illness. It kind of dictated the pace and direction of the family dynamic, often resulting in the throb and unpredictability of mood and behaviour. I followed by dropping high school altogether due to schoolyard violence and bullying. Later, I re-connected with post-secondary education in a Social Work capacity and spent approximately fifteen years in and out of crisis work and working with individuals living with concurrent disorders. My lived experience provided me the credibility and compassion needed to engage the ‘perceived’ unable to engage “resilients” in a helpful manner. Much of my writing is my own processing of vicarious and lived experience trauma. Some compositions are autobiographical, yet many involve my inhabiting the perspective of someone I’ve had the honour of working alongside. It’s messy, but cathartic. I am a divorced father to two wonderful children who bring ceaseless smiles in the limited time I see them. I currently work part-time as an Educational Assistant in the local school board, primarily with children with alleged and diagnosed behavioural challenges. The students know me as Mr. Gorman, “Grumpy” swapped in place of, of course. I am passionate about word manipulation, visual art, music and all things sensual. I feel deep and dig deeper.
Where do you publish your work?
Hands In the Garden – Short Poems for Short Attention Spans
When did you begin your blog and what motivated you start it?
A kindred friend introduced me to her WordPress blog about 5 years ago. We embarked on a short-lived collaborative project that involved discussion and examination of our senses and descriptions of their encounters with different world stimuli. I eventually started my own poetry and art site based on my suggested but rejected name for a band with my school-aged friends.
What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging?
As an individual who has limited social connections in my everyday life beyond the superficial and work-related, I have been able to connect with others who understand the value of the imaginative and oft affected spirit. I continue to blog because it keeps my mind creatively engaged and helps purge the clutter of the creaking brain.
How did you find your way to Sudden Denouement?
Shamefully, I was ignorant to Sudden Denouement’s existence before having connected unknowingly with one of it’s writers and editors. I had seen the name in passing and had always valued the poetry that had accompanied the name, but was that it was a collective that was so appreciative of diversity of strength/breath and nature of the beautiful, and harsh debris scattered throughout. It helps, even if modestly, a rather ghastly wound in our general societal acceptance and acknowledgement of the impacts of experienced and vicarious traumas.
What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?
I would liken my visual interpretation of divergent to that of a several-headed serpent attempting to strike in seven directions at once. That, or a muddled mind being prodded by different emotions simultaneously, often grating at each other or in complementary friction of one another. Difference, outside the norm thinking, writing free of the guilt, shame and judgment. Raw expression, met with compassion, ideally.
Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language.’ What is it?
The secret language, simply put, is the complex, cathartic and tragic feelings, emotions, experiences externalized in tangibles, cradled in the empathy of the understanding. Kind of like getting out the gross, and having others identify and appreciate the messiness of the purge.
Tell us about your literary influences.
I am not particularly well-read and haven’t been exposed to an extremely diverse or obscure breadth of literature but I have always enjoyed the writing of Shel, Silverstein, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss and other imaginative bat-crap bizarre stuff. In fact, I enjoy a children’s novels for their limitless abilities to unhinge the expected and do so with saucer-eyed innocence. I swim in the biting snark of Oscar Wilde, and appreciate widely-lauded poetry of Plath, Hemmingway, Dickinson, Eliot. That being said, there are many modern poets I have discovered accidentally online who’ve had huge influence on my writing including the compositions of Robert Okaji, Braeden Michaels, Lou Rasmus, Jeanne of Borderline Crossing, Nan Mykel, Mark Tulin, Ankit Thapa, Erroneouschoices, Rory Mattier, several of the authors featured on this site and many other fairly unknown and unappreciated writers that I have shamefully yet unintentionally unmentioned here.
Has any of your work been published in print? How did that happen?
I have had poetry featured on The Vita Brevis, The Alien Poetry site
What are your writing goals?
My goals are to keep writing, developing, learning, clawing deeper and potentially delving into children’s novels and a gratuitous and silly autobiography that might take shape in the form of a silly graphic novel as per the suggestion of a fellow online writer.
Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites?
What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?
I want to share that my illness and experiences are rich in shame, but ripe in recovery and fight and that I feel extremely grateful to have landed myself among such a fine group of talented individuals. I’ve found my people.