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 Mick Hugh. It’s more a homophone than an actual psuedonym, but I’m stuck working straight-tie jobs for a living and need some anonymity. I already have a hard enough time explaining background-check anomalies.
In what part of the world do you live? Tell us about it.
An hour west of New York City. From here, 30min west you’re in Appalachia, pitch-black forested hills at night, and 30min east you’re in the gray urban sprawl of howling Essex County. This is an interesting region; though boring, being so inbetween the extremes. Pick-up trucks picking up day-laborers and BMWs driving to corporate parks.
Please tell us about yourself.
I started writing seriously in college. Spent a summer on an empty campus wandering around writing a novel, dropped out, moved to a different city with a friend, hitchhiked around, then was homeless, wandered back home, fell in love, moved to another city, worked odd-jobs, finished my degree (journalism); am raising a son, working full-time, and dragging my ass out of bed early AM to write in the dark morning’s quiet.
If you have a blog or website, please provide the name and the link.
When did you begin your blog/website, and what motivated you start it?
Mick’s Neon Fog is my fourth or fifth blog. I had a journal-blog in college, then a blog about hitchhiking and “urban-camping”, then some other ones, then finally landed a form that fit well. And so stuck with it. They’re poems without stanzas, which might seem lazy, but they’re too cathartic to pay attention to line breaks. That’s my motivation – the blog’s a release valve.
What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging on your site?
The dim hope of someday writing for a living. I can’t think of anything more freeing than not having to take orders from people, and being able to sit and think and write (and of course hitchhiking to book-signings). Though, the blog’s been half-full, on a good week. I started farming poems (actual, stanza’d poems) out to magazines, to see if they’ll turn a penny or an eye. That, and I started a novel again, finally.
When did you join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective?
November of 2016. I thought Jasper was pulling my leg when he first emailed me.
Why/how did you join Sudden Denouement?
A few weeks after starting Mick’s Neon Fog I got an email from Jasper. I thought he was full of shit. Someone wanted me as a contributor? I was floored. The whole SD community is an excellent thing to be part of. It’s the frontier of literature for the digital age. I joined because that excites the shit out of me.
What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?
Weirdos who scribble weird poems in weird little dark rooms, valuing messy, raw honesty over the picket-fence poetics that somehow garner national acclaim.
SD Founder Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language’. What is it?
Metaphors. That’s the secret language of every artist. If we leave everything to definitions and boundaries, there’s no freedom. A good metaphor suggests something clear without defining it, sullying it. SD writers, like every good writer, want freedom from something, or everything. As to our specific SD secret language, there’s clearly a lot of overlap in what we’re each trying to break away from.
What are your literary influences?
I’ve a stupid breadth of literary interests. Top of the list for influences, Sylvia Plath and DF Wallace.
Has any of your work been published in print? (books, literary magazines, etc.) How did that happen?
I came across Vagabonds: Anthology of the Mad Ones shortly after bumming around the country. So I wrote a prose-poem about friends taking turns driving with their eyes shut down the highway. That was my first published piece. Then, a short story in Digging Through the Fat (I think that was it), then just SD. I just sent out a crop of poems (yes, with actual stanzas), so hopefully I can add to the list, soon.
Do you have writing goals? What are they?
I want to write for a living. I don’t want to take orders from people, and I don’t want to give people orders. I want a quiet farm house in PA close enough that I can bum around Philly as I please. And I’d like a Master’s in English. I think it’d be rad to be an English professor smelling of beer and tweed, scribbling madly in the mornings before yelling about Proust to a bunch of stunned Freshmen.
Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites? Please share a few links.
My favorites are the last 3 poems I’ve finished. I sent them out for money, and so haven’t published them elsewhere. The last few pieces are a big notch of improvement.
What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?
It’s write or die. It’s life on our own terms or it’s a slow death on our knees. Society determines success by how many people we stand on, and unless the few of us can blaze a road out of this human cluster-fuck, we’re all doomed. Writing is radical. The best writing is a great metaphor that bursts our boundaries. And that’s the only thing that’ll save anyone, bursting out of these dishonest boundaries. I feel like I should end with something hopeful, but I’m really not in the mood. Write on, SD!