1. What inspired you to write the prose poem/microfiction which is published in Stoned Crows & other Australian icons?

‘The Veteran’ came out of a number of dream sequences I’d written that formed part of a novel. Now in about its sixth draft. I no longer needed them in the novel, but I always liked them. I decided to play around with joining them together, condensed, into a dreamy prose poem. ‘The Old Man and the Pool’ came out of an experience I had at the pool, strangely enough. And I wanted to play with The Old Man and the Sea in a contemporary context then blow it all apart with some bicycle references.

2. Tell us about your process. (Do you start sparse and widen out, or do you write down every possible association and cut back? Do you research the subject matter you are writing about? Is it pure intuition?) Take us through an example if you want.

I don’t write a lot of prose poetry or microfiction. But if they come that way I don’t hold them back. Just let them be themselves.

3. What advice do you have for other writers ? about the first or last line?  About how to choose the title?  Do you follow any rules?

Again, I don’t have any advice about this kind of writing. Except to say that if it takes this form, let it. Don’t let a good piece of writing become ordinary by trying to force it to fit another form.

4. Who or what inspires your writing?

When it comes to prose poetry, Charles Simic, Charles Wright and Kevin Brophy work this territory with aplomb. Simic, especially, makes me want to argue with him, in a cheeky way, with a prose poem fired in his direction.

5. Tell us what you do if you haven’t written anything in a while and you want to get started writing again? Could you share your favourite writing exercise with our readers?

I remember not being able to write poetry after my first book came out. I panicked. Then I realized I had about nine voices in my head. So I 3D front stoned crows smalllet them argue and then melded most of what they had to say into the poems for my second book. I should have called it a Univocal Decadron, not Awake Despite the Hour.

Paul Mitchell has published a short story collection, Dodging the Bull (Wakefield Press) and two collections of poetry, Awake Despite the Hour (Five Islands Press) and Minorphysics (IP).

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