HADWEN-bio-pic-small1. What inspired you to write the prose poem/microfiction which will appear in Writing To The Edge?

The piece is what I would call a sequence of prose poems, and is mostly made up of observations I made in the rather colourful suburb of Brisbane where I live. Some of these observations are real, and some imagined, and I have combined them with thoughts about how our lives are reflected back on us from the lives of other people, even complete strangers.

 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.

These pieces were mostly the result of automatic writing, but I am actually using them to create longer, entirely fictional short stories, imagining these characters into certain scenarios and situations.

 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?)

I am still very much working out my own writing practice for prose writing. I actually had a rather boring title for this work, and it was my writing group that suggested I use the phrase from the piece, “all the wasted heat”.

4. Who or what inspires your writing?

I am in a writing group and I am definitely inspired by the work they produce. I also read a lot of poetry, and have just started reading short fiction more widely. At the moment I am loving the short stories of Alice Munro, the Canadian short fiction writer who won the Nobel Prize last year.

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 like automatic writing or stream-of-consciousness writing for getting started on a piece of prose. For poetry, reading poetry is definitely the most important thing for me to get new poems taking shape in my mind. There is something about the rhythm of poetry, and how the normal chaos of thinking will slow, and the thoughts will line up quietly to be written down.

WTTE-frtJonathan Hadwen is a Brisbane writer whose poetry has been published in Westerly, fourW, and foam:e, as well as other publications in Australia and overseas.

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