A Conversation with WV Poet Laureate Marc Harshman

By Zach Davis


The following interview was conducted by phone in October 2014. A multitude of topics were discussed, many more than can be covered in this space. However, this transcription provides a glimpse inside the work of Marc Harshman, from conception to composition.

FLUENT: I’d like to get a sense of who you are as a writer and what you do as a writer. One of the things that most interests me is writing habits.
MARC HARSHMAN: I work best in the mornings. I try and get upstairs as early as I can and stay at my desk at least until lunchtime. The afternoon is a bit of a crapshoot. If it’s a nice day, good weather, I might try and go outside with a cup of tea, books and notebooks all around me. When I’m reading, ideas are always sparking, ideas for stories, phrases for poems and I try to get them down. If you were to look at what I wrote in the notebook compared to what I was reading, you might not see any connection at all, but somewhere in the reading was its inception. And, sometimes that will become a poem or the first line of a children’s book, and other times I’ll take a look at something in the notebook and think “What the hell was that all about?” In the evenings, I generally like to try and get back to my desk. I may continue reading, but I’ve always got a notebook close at hand.

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