Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a New Yorker living in Oklahoma. I am married with two sons. One will be attending college in the fall while the other will be entering third grade. After having spent years in corporate management, I teach college business and English classes.
When you create, what inspires you?
It can be a phrase or an image, even a word sometimes, or just a glimpse of something that gives me pause. It could also be a memory. Sometimes I write in a cloud; other times, I wrestle with words. I love the wrestling.
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
“In This World and in Others” is inspired by Adriana Devoy’s wonderful novel, The Theory of Fairies. It is a literary novel about an ethereal and mysterious young woman and her relationship with two brilliant men. A couple of the many things her book examines are parallel universes and string theory. The conversations we have had about the inspiration for her book became the inspiration for my poem. “Love Song” is an homage to Alice Oswald’s “Wedding.” The if-then relationship is found in everything from logic to science to arguments to negotiations. Being the brilliant poet she is, Ms. Oswald used it in relation to images, all while discussing love. She is the inspiration for my poem.
What is your medium of choice? Why?
Poetry in all of its forms. I have written ten children’s books, which I have yet to show to anyone. Because I write them as poetry, I enjoy that medium immensely, as well. While I have been fortunate to have had some short stories published and to have won some awards, I always return to my first love, poetry.
How did you first discover your love for creating?
I remember being six years old and knowing that all I will ever want to be is a writer. When I was nine, my teacher, Mr. Biangardi, caught me trying to pass a poem to a pretty girl named Jennifer Herman. It was his custom to read any passed notes to the class. As the students waited with anticipated glee, Mr. Biangardi read the poem to himself and said, “You wrote this?” I answered, “Yes, just now.” He told me it was good and handed it back to me, much to the disappointment of the other students. When class was over, he gestured to the students as they were leaving and said, “They can’t do what you can do.” He told me to honor my gift. It was the first time a teacher showed any real interest in me. It was sanctifying.
fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel attraction?
I feel attraction in the spiritual aspects of the natural. I am attracted to creative people and people who do not have an agenda. I am attracted to people who have ideas that are their own, not the cultish residue or brain-spill of more intelligent people. I am most attracted to positive people and supportive people, not the ones who can’t understand why I would write poetry when it doesn’t pay the bills.
Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
I would like to combine poetry with two of my passions: the first is clean drinking water for all and the second is curing myotonic dystrophy, which contributed to the deaths of my mother and two of my sisters. Instead of only financing the building of wells and funding research, I would also like to bring poetry to those affected by these abominations, particularly to the children, as a creative outlet or as a means of therapy. It is my hope that my children’s books will make a way for me to realize these dreams. I suppose I just talked myself into sending them out to publishers.