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August 2001, John R. Yaws Interview sections you may visit (click)
Other poetry by John

Questions and Answers with John R. Yaws:

(08/02/01 Mark B., Osterville, MA)
Enjoyed reading your interview. I have read the interviews posted on poetheart.com in the past and, although I was entertained by them, I never wanted to ask a question before (neat idea to be able to do this!). John, my question is regarding the character (The Traveler) of your poems posted on poetheart.com. I gather that he is a Scottish patriot and is a soldier against the English so depending on which way one looks at him, he can be perceived as either a hero or outlaw. I'd like to know if he is just a wanderer or even fugitive without a clear destination - or is he moving on from place to place on his mission? I also think the dialect spoken by this Traveler is very interesting and like trying to read your poems outloud and have had fun in attempting this. This is my other question. Do you ever perform these poems for an audience? I would imagine you could recite them well. Thank you for such unique and entertaining poetry. I never get tired of reading them over again and I look forward to seeing many more of your Traveler's Tales. Thanks, Mark B.

John: The Traveler is indeed a Scottish patriot and a soldier of fortune. He is more a rake and a rogue than a hero, I think. While proud of his heritage, he has fought on virtually every battlefield, under every flag, and for gold more oft than glory. Rather than on a mission, I believe the Traveler is foot-loose, and a drifter. To date, my audiences have been very small, a friend here and there, a captive audience for the most part. I am really just a bard, I love to tell my stories. As for the dialect? I guess it belongs to the Traveler, it seems to have developed, perhaps evolved as the Tales unfolded.

(08/03/01 Sally, Ridgewood, NJ)
I was very surprised that the question of whether or not you are a published poet or if you have any plans to publish your work was not asked during your interview. Do you plan on publishing your Traveler's Tales or any part of your large poetry collection? What exactly would be involved in doing this? Sally, Ridgewood, NJ

John: I believe that the reason the question was not asked is because I made the statement, early on, in our correspondence that I was not published. Yes, I have given some thought to publishing, at least, the Traveler's Tales. I do not know what would be involved in publishing, either in format, cost, or form.

(08/03/01 Jimmy, Brooklyn, NY)
My favorite Tale is "The Traveler and Brennan" since I am reminded of an old Irish folksong "Brennan on the Moor" which starts: "Tis of a famous highwayman A story I will tell; His name was Willie Brennan, And in Ireland he did dwell" and which is about a highwayman named Willie Brennan. Could this be the same Brennan? Jimmy

John: Yes, this is indeed the same Brennan. I merely borrowed the character, and wove my own adventures around the name. The actual character is, of course, the Traveler. I even wrote of a brief meeting of Alfred Noyes' "Highwayman" in another poem.

(08/04/01 Patrick Riley, St. Petersburg, FL)
How accurate are the historical references in "Massacre at Glencoe"? Is this based on an actual event in Scottish history?

John: If you will do a small amount of research on the event, which is well documented by history, I believe that you will find the accuracy is very good indeed.

(08/04/01 Lakota, Denver, CO)
"The Forlorn Traveler" was different from the other Tales I read on poetheart.com and revealed another facet of your Traveler. Now I am interested in reading all of the Traveler's Tales. Is the complete set of Traveler's Tales available to read online? If so, where? If not, do you have a book of Tales which can be purchased? Is it one volume or more than one? I would also like ordering information.

John: Sadly, I must answer "No" to both questions. At one time I had all of the Tales online and linked to "The Traveler's Rest". Alas, the site vanished into cyber limbo. Possibly, when I can find the time, I will repost them all. If, and when, I publish, I will be sure to let Jay know. Thank you for your interest.

(08/05/01 Dana V., Richmond, VA)
My father would have so enjoyed your Traveler's Tales. He liked Irish and Scottish folklore. When we were children, he would sit with us and mesmerize us with his tales. Thank you for stirring up such wonderful and sweet memories in me about my father. I think your Tales are quite vivid and reveal a great talent. Since you have children, my question is do you or did you sit down with your family and tell them tales as my father did? Are the Traveler's Tales something which came out of that or are they a recent thing these past few years? If only my father had written down his tales, he would have left such a beautiful legacy. How does your family feel about your Traveler's Tales? Dana

John: You are very welcome. Thank you for sharing your feelings. I do read my Tales to my daughter but neither of the boys seem to care for poetry. As for when? I suppose the Tales just come as they come, dinna ye ken? All of the Tales have been written within the past four years, and most within the past two. My daughter likes my poetry, as does my wife.

(08/05/01 J.W., Redlands, CA)
I think "Forged In Flame" is excellent and I like what you said about it in your interview. It is so true that we are all forged in life's experiences just as a sword is forged in flame. A very good analogy, John. I notice that you write all of your poetry in rhyme. Do you find it difficult to do? How do you say what you want to say while enduring those limitations (word choices, rephrasing, etc.) imposed by rhyme. I am impressed by your use of rhyme and how easy and effortless you make it seem. How was this talent acquired and developed? J.W.

John: Curiously, rhyme is far more natural for me than free verse. I suppose there are limitations to rhyming poetry, but I haven't found it any more difficult than free verse. I suppose some credit goes to my having a fairly large, and inclusive vocabulary. I suppose the talent came naturally, but I have noticed that it "smooths out" with usage. By the way, I merely write most of my poetry in rhyme. I have written several pieces of free verse.

(08/05/01 Jerry, Lewes, DE)
The poem you chose as your featured poem is really good. It is also the only poem that is not a Traveler poem. Since all your other poems are Traveler poems, why didn't you pick one of those? Jerry

John: I'm not sure, Jerry. Jay asked me to pick a favorite. As I told him, that is difficult, I like them all. I guess maybe it suited my mood. I believe that it decribes not only my life, but everyone else's, too.

(08/05/01 John Davies, Alexandria, VA)
What sites other than poetheart.com have your poems on them? Why don't you have ALL the Traveler's Tales in one place?

John: John, if you will check the questions and answers already submitted you will find that I once had all of the Tales posted on one place, but the site disappeared. The Tales number over fifty, and require a lot of time to post. Perhaps in the future I will be able to post them all again.

(08/06/01 Toni, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada)
Mr. Yaws, your poetry is wonderful and I would say that you are one of the best poets on this website. Is any of your wonderful work published either in your own books or part of any collection? Have you ever won any awards for your poems? In other words, are you recognized or awarded for your poetry anywhere? Thank you.

John: Toni, I have not published, but plan to in the not too distant future. The only awards I have won were on public sites where I posted. Thank you for your kind remarks. I am glad that you find my work entertaining, however, as for me being one of the best poets on the site, I long ago learned that poets are incomparable. The reason for this is because each person must be taken for their own merit, and each writes, firstly; for his, or her, own pleasure; and secondly; for the entertainment of those whose preferences are for his/her style. I have been criticized, and applauded, for my use of rhyme. Go figger....

(08/06/01 H.W., New Haven, CT)
I am curious as to why you decided to publish your poems on someone else's site when you have a site of your own? Also, how did you become the featured poet on this site? What exactly does a poet gain by being the featured poet?

John: As for why I chose to publish my poetry at Poetheart, I liked the site, and found it well maintained, and tastefully formatted. Also, I figured that my poetry might have better exposure on an established site. As for how I became a featured poet, I suppose you'd have to ask Poetheart. He asked me if I would consider being interviewed, and I told him it would be an honor. What does a poet gain by being a featured poet? Beyond an opportunity for others to view his work, I suppose the only other gain is the opportunity to answer questions like yours. :-)

(08/06/01 Jeanette, Columbus, OH)
Since you have such a large collection of your poems, will we be seeing more variety or just the Traveler's Tales? Is it that you haven't submitted anything else or because your other work hasn't been accepted by this site?

John: I particularly chose this site because of it's "Scottish" setting -- and therefore it's suitability for the Traveler. However, Jay has since posted several other pieces of a different nature. As to what is posted here, that will remain at the discretion of the site owner.

(08/06/01 Yolie, Harrisburg, PA)
Your Traveler's Tales are great. They are unique and very well written. What are your plans for the publication of these poems? Thanks. Yolie

John: Other than, I plan to publish, I really have no plans. I will be looking into the details in the future.

(08/07/01 Ray, Tulsa, OK)
Your tales are very interesting. Bannockburn was very good because I happen to like that period in Scottish history. Bannockburn is when the Scots finally established a sovereign nation. I was just wondering if you have more Tales about this period. Have you written about John ("toom tabard") Baleol? I am Scot on my mother's side and just becoming interested in Scottish history and folklore. Thanks.

John: Ray, I appreciate your interest and suggestions. No, I haven't written about Baleol. But now that you have mentioned him, I may do a little research, and who knows what the future holds?

(08/09/01 Claudia Perez, Miami, FL)
Many times poets are influenced by other poets or a poet they admire. Has any poet influenced either your philosophy or the way you write at all?

John: An excellent question! I believe the answer would have to be a resounding, "Yes"! In fact, probably every poet whose work I've admired has influenced me to some extent. I've been told that there is a bit of similarity in my poetry to Kipling and Robert Service, but I am sure that it is only superficial, since I can hardly claim a place in such an illustrious company.

(08/10/01 Jim T., Morristown, NJ)
Do you think your best work is in the Traveler's Tales? I've read all the ones you have published on this site and also your other poems. Although I really enjoy your Traveler's Tales, I think "Forged In Flame" and "Poets and Poetry" are excellent.

John: Thank you, Jim. No, I don't believe my best work is in the Tales, but I believe I have enjoyed writing them more than most of my other work. At a later date there will be a more catholic assortment posted. And, I, too, like both of the other titles you mentioned.

(08/10/01 Joz, Chicago, IL)
When you are working on a poem, do you write several drafts first and keep polishing it until you are satisfied? How long does it usually take you to write a poem? The reason I am asking this is that you said somewhere in your interview that you have over 700 poems! (It takes me about 3 or 4 days when I get an idea for a poem - sometimes I work on one poem for weeks!) What is your process for writing? Thanks.

John: Joz, it normally takes me anywhere from five to fifteen minutes to write a poem, and no, I rarely write a rough draft. I re-read it, and still miss typos...lol, but then I post it. Occasionally, after I've posted a poem, I will see some glaring discrepancy, either in meter, or perhaps continuity, which I will edit it in the saved copy, and on-screen, if the option is available. My writing comes in spurts, but I can write "something" just about at whim. At one time, I carried on conversations in rhyme with a friend of mine. You might try that sometime, It is quite challenging.:-)

(08/11/01 H.W., Boston, MA)
Have you tried contacting the site which hosted your poems? Many times, sites have backup records for the material posted on it (the server of that site might have backup records). I wouldn't let it go that my work was "lost" and would have to pursue it. What have you done to retrieve your work? H.W., Boston

John: I did try, and received profuse apologies. I suppose that counts for something, but as the French say, "Cest la vie"!

(08/11/01 Gia, Monticello, NY)
Other than having your Traveler poems published, do you see any possibility of developing these tales in any other way? Maybe into some non poetic form like a TV series, movie, a storybook or some stage production? Is that stretching it? Thanks for answering my questions.

John: Honestly? No, I really haven't considered it. They might be woven into some sort of literary series, such as Barry Sadler's "Casca", the Eternal Mercenary, but I really believe that they are of a nature that they would never be widely received.

(08/11/01 John, Westfield, NJ)
I see a resemblance to "The Highlander" and was wondering if your idea for your "Traveler" was based on it? I hope my question isn't offensive. Even if your idea is based on "The Highlander" the tales are still original and your poetic talent is obvious. Thanks, John

John: To be quite honest, John, I've never read the Highlander, although a friend once suggested that I do so. If I ever come across a copy, I will read it. It may give me fodder for further Tales, thanks.

(08/11/01 B. Groehl, Tualatin, OR)
John, If you could be remembered for just one of your poems, which poem would you want it to be? Thanks. Barbara

John: An excellent question, Barbara! Also a question which made me pause and think... Of the poetry which is currently posted, I suppose the "The Poet's Desire" would be my choice. Of all the poetry which I have written, I suppose a piece I wrote about three years back entitled "Calvary" would be my pick.

(08/13/01 Joe R., Minneapolis, MN)
I've read your interview and the poems included, which were mostly Traveler's Tales at that point. Since your interview you have published many other poems, including two "cowboy" poems and several about writing and poetry. This reveals your being inspired to write by your own real life experiences. Do you find it easier to draw from your experiences? Or from your imagination? Which poems do you prefer to write - those from taken from reality or from imagination? Joe R.

John: Joe, I'm not sure that I have a preference. I feel comfortable writng about things the way they were, but there is a certain titillating thrill to writing about things the way they "should have been", if you know what I mean?

(08/14/01 Mary, Goshen, NY)
John, In your interview you mentioned that your discovery of the Internet played an important role in resuming your writing. I am wondering how this medium is different from other mediums? Can you tell me how this influenced you to start writing again? Mary

John: Well, Mary, the Internet requires no long term efforts of submission, and rejection, and re-submission. There is the question of wasted postage, lost manuscripts, etc. etc. etc. While there is no monetary return, neither is there any expense (with the exception of monthy ISP fees).

(08/16/01 Laurel, Memphis, TN)
I like your latest poems about Poetry and Poets. There is quite a selection of your poems about this subject on poetheart.com. (At least 5 poems). It is nice reading them on a poetry site. I also read your cowboy poems as well as all The Traveler's Tales. What type of poems do you enjoy writing most?

John: Hmm? Laurel, I guess that you have asked the unanswerable question. I write by mood, or whim; and I enjoy writing whatever I am writing about at the moment. I'm not sure that I have a preference as to genre.

(08/17/01 G.S., Oklahoma City, OK)
John, Other than the usual questions from readers, have any you had any other contacts? Like maybe from editors or publishers? G.S

John: G. S. No, I have no approaches from editors or publishers, but let me hasten to say, I really didn't expect to. I suppose that would be nice, but it has been my experience in life that Mohammed must go to the mountain, rather than vice versa.

(08/17/01 Fiona, Haddonfield, NJ)
I liked your interview and have read all your poems on this site. Even my husband (he's Irish) enjoyed your Traveler's Tales. I did notice that you continue to add more poems, which is great. My question is do you plan on continuing your association with this website? Will you keep your poems on this site and will you continue to add more of your work? Poetheart.com seems to be a very decent place. I have been visiting here for about 7 months now. The webmaster seems to be very decent also and the site shows he cares about keeping it current and interesting. Are the poets who contribute to the site treated fairly in your opinion? Fiona

John: Dear Fiona, I am glad that my work afforded entertainment for your husband, and yourself. As for my continuing to post and associate myself with this site, I certainly do intend to. The only thing I could possibly forsee that would prevent my doing so would be (i) notification from Poetheart that I was no longer welcome, (ii) if the site slipped from it's current high standards, and posted blatantly pornographic material, or merely became poorly tended. I appreciate the association that Poetheart and I have had very much.

(08/19/01 Greg, Philadelphia, PA)
I've read all your Traveler Tales and really got into them big time. The sometimes inaccurate historical references and with the "brogue" (or whatever you call it) make them very entertaining for me. I even like reading them out loud. I have pictured this traveler and even thought about illustrations for your Traveler. Do you think you might ever turn these Traveler's Tales into a comic or storybook? If you ever need an illustrator, count me in. Greg

John: Dear, Greg, while I have no intentions, at present, of turning the Tales into a comic, I would be interested in seeing your artisitic conception of the Traveler. I have a mental picture of him, myself, but have found nothing which I considered suitable for my homepage. Also, I would welcome more information on my inaccuracies. I try to be as accurate as possible. Thank you for your response.

(08/20/01 J.L., Toledo, OH)
Your poems about writing poetry and poetry are very good. How do you get your ideas for these poems and how do you transform them onto paper? Do you have a list of ideas for poems? Janet, Toledo

John: Janet, your question is actually three questions. Therefore I will endeavor to answer them in the order put. (i) As for my inspiration for poetry, I have no one source; I've written from pictures, stories, experience, other poets works have inspired me. i'm not sure that this was the kind of answer you were seeking, but I tried. (ii) As for transforming them onto paper, I drive quite a lot, and as I'm driving if I have a recurring thought which seems material for a poem, I grab anything handy, hopefully a notebook, but often an envelope, receipt, etc. And scribble (literally) as much as comes easily to mind, then at first opportunity I sit down and give it serious attention. (iii) As for a list of ideas? No, I can't say that I have. I am really an extemporaneous poet, and write as it comes to me.

(08/20/01 T.J., New Jersey)
John, The poem you chose as your favorite poem is an epic poem and quite lengthy and the nature of your series of poems is epic. So how come your poems are not longer? T.J.

John: Actually, T. J., I seek to shorten my work. I really doubt that I would have any difficulty in writing longer poems, but it is my experience, that as time passes, people's attention spans get shorter. I like ballad type poetry, and epic style, but must confess, that many of the epic writers tend to bore me after two or three pages. I feel like longer poems would probably hurt, rather than enhance, my popularity.

(08/22/01 Gerri, Allentown, PA)
At first I was intimidated by your Traveler poems. I found them somewhat difficult to read because of the Scotch brogue. A few days ago I came back to your poems and saw that now you have even more of them published. I tried reading them again and feel bad that I can't seem to get into them like everyone else. Those poems seem to be so popular. I do think you are a wonderful and imaginatve writer and your creative talents are obvious. I prefer your other work, which there is also more of this visit. I am glad to see that. John, my question is: Am I the only one who does not enjoy your Traveler poems? Has anyone told you that they find them difficult to read? My intention is not to be rude to you. I really wonder if anyone else has ever said that to you. Thank you. Gerri

John: Dear Gerri, I have had a few about difficulty in reading them, but not many.Of course, the reason could be that others lack your honesty. I appreciate your candor, and am sorry that the Tales are not entertaining for you. Thank you for your input.

(08/24/01 M.B., Virginia Beach, VA)
I liked your Poetheart interview and really enjoy the idea of this question portion. Your "Massacre at Glencoe" is really a great poem. It made me do some research about Scottish Independence and I did find your poem to be historically accurate. Do you do research for the poems in your Traveler's Tales series? How do you know so much about the subject of Scottish history? Thanks, M.B., VA

John: M.B., I appreciate your taking the time to research my subject material. I must admit that my Scottish history is sketchy, at best. Yes, for accuracy's sake, I do try to rersearch the historical pieces. I use a lot of liberty in the purely fantasy.

(08/25/01 Joe, Nashua, NH)
Enjoyed reading your interview. Your poems are great. Enjoyed reading them - including the Traveler tales you published after your interview. (My favorite is still the one about Brennan!) Your featured poem is really good and I think it was a great selection. You are right about that poem being about all of us. I want to ask you a question that has sort of been hit on before in other questions. John, have you ever seriously considered self publishing your Traveler's tales? There are a few online publishing companies. Have you ever looked into them? I am to understand some print books "as needed" and a few are affiliated with book stores which promote your publication. You would collect royalties from all sales. This might be a good place to start. Joe

John: Joe, thank you for your suggestions, and yes, I am currently at least considering "self publishing" the Tales.

(08/25/01 Kara, Poughkeepsie, NY)
Do you mind revealing your educational background? This question is never asked of the poets who are interviewed.

John: Not at all.As far as formal education is concerned, I have a high school education. However, I have read literally thousands of books. I suppose that you would consider me well "read" if not well educated.

(08/25/01 F.B., Cherry Hill, NJ)
John, What exactly is the criteria for being eligible to be the featured poet? What are the rewards for contributing your poetry to someone else's site and granting an interview to boot? The site is great and seems to truly be a labor of love on the part of the webmaster, but submissions such as yours and the other poets make it even better. How did you hook up with this site?

John: Hmm? I believe these questions could be better answered by Poetheart, but I will do my best. As for the criteria, I suppose the web-master has to like the submissions. lol The rewards? I suppose (i) exposure of my poetry; (ii) the opportunity to hear how others (such as yourself) receive my work; (iii) an opportunity to evaluate my own feelings as a result of the ensuing questions. I found the site by surfing, was attracted by the format, and e-mailed Poetheart. My original e-mail is posted in the "visitor response" section.

(08/26/01 John M., Providence, RI)
Do you consider yourself a successful poet? If you do, to what do you attribute your success as a poet? What do you feel would make you even more successful at writing poetry? John M., Providence, RI

John: John, You have posed some interesting questions. I suppose success is in the eye of the beholder. Yes, I consider myself a successful poet, and I base that upon the fact that I can go back and read my own work, and derive as much pleasure from it, as from the published works of many of my favorites. To what do I attribute my success? I can only attribute my success to the mind which God has given me. As far as what could make me more successful? Again,we would have to define success. I guess it would be nice to be able to publish, and possibly receive some compensation for the efforts set forth.

(08/26/01 Spark, Chicago, IL)
Question: John, Since you have so many years experience writing poetry, what advice do you have for us younger poets just starting out? I admire your work and I think you are a great addition to this website. Your interview was a real good one and your Traveler's Tales are very original and also very well written. You are very creative and very talented. Thank you.

John: Au contraire! Thank you, Spark. However, my "so many years" really boil down to only three, or maybe four, of serious writing. As for advice, I guess that I am a purist: for me to truly spend any time on reading poetry, while it doesn't necessarily have to rhyme, it does have to have some structure and continuity. To write well, I suppose one has to decide what his, or her, style is. As for how one does this, the type of poetry you most enjoy, is your style. You will never be able to write "well" in a form which you do not enjoy. "Free verse" is certainly poetry, but mere ramble is not "free verse". As a rule of thumb, if it seems shallow,and unsatisfactory to you, it probably will to others as well.

(08/26/01 Patricia, Fort Collins, CO)
John, I have enjoyed every one of your poems posted on this website. Your interview was very interesting. I don't understand how this website makes money to support it or what the poets derive from it if they are not paid for their contributions or for being interviewed. Maybe you can enlighten me on this? Thanks, Patricia, Fort Collins, CO

John: Sorry, Patricia, I'm afraid I can't help you there. I suppose the satisfaction I derive from knowing that you enjoyed my work. :-)
*Poetheart comment: This is my own personal website - independently owned and operated. It does NOT make a profit and the staff receives no monetary compensation for their labor or expenses. It is provided at my own personal expense. (There are no paid endorsements or advertisements at all. There is also no solicitation of donations or acceptance of financial contributions of any kind). Poets receive no financial compensation for the poetry posted on this site. Poets retain all rights to their original work.

(08/28/01 George S., Miramar, FL)
Question: I've noticed that not only were you given a special page for your poems like the other poets but also an additional page for your Traveler's Tales. I thought it was a really good idea for those of us who might only want to read the Tales. Or if someone does not wish to read them, they can just read your other poems. I've noticed that some of the Tales have numbers, some have titles and some have both. Are the Tales arranged in order they were written? George S.

John: George, I, too, appreciate Poetheart's segregation of the Tales, for the very reasons which you mentioned. Many, not all, of the Tales are numbered in the sequence I wrote them. Initially I titled them individually, then I realized that with the frequency of the poems titles would be a problem. Truthfully? I'm no longer certain as to the chronology of the Tales.

(08/29/01 V.M., Jackson, NJ)
Question: John, I enjoyed reading your poems and your interview. I was wondering how this interview was conducted through e-mail, which was stated in the introduction to the interview. It all seems to flow as though it were a conversation. Were the questions tailored to what you chose to talk about, or vice versa? Were your answers changed or were they your own words? I have always wanted to ask this question since I like reading interviews and rarely get a chance at asking a question like this. I always imagine words being changed or taken out of context. Did this happen to you? Thank, Virginia

John: Virginia, Jay has a format for the interview. He e-mailed me that, and I answered the questions and e-mailed it back. Based upon the information I gave him, and my responses, he tailored some follow up questions and sent them to me, etc. etc. Thus the interview was completed. My words were not changed, nor the context changed. He may have had to juggle the chronology a little to make the interview seem more spontaneous, but I was amazed at how well it went. Especially since I have never been interviewed before.

(08/29/01 Harper, Rochester, NY)
Question: John, I like all your work but do prefer your other work to the Traveler Tales. I see you have so much more poetry posted than you did at the time of your interview. Was it planned this way so that you had more poems published during your feature month? Was there a stock- piling and buildup? I know you said you have over 700 poems. In what order are you adding your poems to this website and is there any limit to the amount of poems you can publish? I think only Dona Pearson and Richard Amoroso have as many poems as you have on poetheart.com. What are the limitations, if any?

John: To my knowledge, Poetheart puts no limitations to the number of poems posted. I do believe that for me to post an unreasonable number would be lacking in etiquette. I have sent Poetheart several poems at various intervals, by whim, mostly; and he posts as he has time, and sees fit. While the poetry is mine, the site is his, I may submit various types of poetry, but cheerfully submit to his discretion as to what he posts. John

(08/30/01 Lisa G., Manalapan, NJ)
I enjoyed your interview and then was surprised perusing your poetry that you were only on this site for such a short time before you became the featured poet. I was wondering if everything you've submitted was accepted and published? You have quite a few poems on this site so I am assuming the answer is yes? Are you notified if a poem is accepted or rejected? Were you notified before each publication of all those poems?

John: Lisa, I appreciate your feedback, and will try to address the questions in the order put: (i) No, everything which I have submitted has not been published. When I submitted the poetry I told Poetheart to use his own judgement as to what to post, and when to post it. (ii) I have been kept abreast of all the postings, and wish to publicly state that I am very pleased with all of the dealings which the site owner and myself have conducted.

(08/30/01 Kyle, Santa Ana, CA)
You are a very versatile poet. Your work is real good and I liked reading your interview. Your poem "Forged in Flame" was excellent and glad you featured that one. You seem to have done pretty well for yourself with those Traveler's Tales and are alreasdy "known" for them. I noticed that prior to the interview you only had those poems on this site. I take it that poetheart.com selected you based on that work. It was not until and after the interview that other work was posted. Were you satisfied with being known for only the Traveler's Tales? Did you contribute other work by request of "Poetheart" or did you submit these by your own decision? I was also wondering why the Traveler's Tales are being posted a few at a time rather than all of them at once? Good luck with your poetry. You deserve it. Hope to see the Traveler's Tales in print one day. Thanks, Kyle

John: Kyle, I appreciate the accolades. As for the Tales, they are my personal favorites (well, sort of), and the site's Scottish nature appealed to the aesthetic in me. While the Tales were all that were posted prior to the interview, I believe that I may have e-mailed Poetheart a small selection of other work. Poetheart did ask for a variety of poetry once we started the interview. I sent it, and told him to use his own judgement in posting. The Tales are being posted a few at a time for the simple reason that finding them, copying, and pasteing them take time, and time is at a premium for me. I will probably, in time, post all of the existing Tales, and new ones as they appear. Thank you for well wishes, and I appreciate your interest in my poetry.

(08/31/01 KoolKatie, Phoenix, AZ)
John, Are you familiar with the work of the other interviewed poets on this site? Which poets have you read? Which featured poet is your favorite (excluding you, of course)? KoolKatie, Phoenix, AZ

John: Katie, I must confess that I haven't read all of the poets, nor all of the posts of a given poet. I have read a random sampling of several of the poets who have not been interviewed, and at least some of the work of all of the interviewed poets. Richard J. Amoroso is my personal favorite, and his "echoes from the Wall" is my favorite piece. Perhaps because we are of a common generation, and both Vietnam-era veterans. You didn't have to exclude me, lol, I am not THAT vain.:-)

(08/31/01 Janie, Arlington, VA)
Mr. Yaws, I liked reading your various poems about poetry. It was interesting to read poems written for poets and people who either write or are interesting in poetry. I have read all the poems you have on poetheart.com and have to ask you how long it usually takes you from the time you get an idea for a poem to writing its final draft? Thanks, Janie

John: Janie, I am pretty much an extemporaneous poet. To the best of my recollection, of all the poetry currently posted on Poetheart, none of the poems took over thirty minutes to write, most more like fifteen.

(08/31/01 P.H., Newark, DE)
John, What is the biggest obstacle to writing poetry which you've encountered? How did you overcome it? P.H.

John: P.H., to be perfectly honest, I've never really found an obstacle to writing poetry, per se. Time, I suppose, or lack thereof. I guess there have been a few times when inspiration was a bit slow in coming, but not often. Maybe I misunderstood your question, but writing poetry has never placed a strain on me.

To ask a question, email : interview@poetheart.com

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