Interview: Welcome to Criticspace Journlas, Joseph Spence. First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the release of your book “Sincerely Speaking Spiritually”. The book is being loved by all; how do you enjoy this success?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Thanks, Criticspace for your assistance. I’m ecstatic the book is loved. It started after my studies at the University of Wisconsin in English literature, creative, writing, African Diaspora, and poetry. Friends requested poems I recited be included, especially: Visualization, Amazing Grace, and Suicide Prevention. Praying success continues.
Interview: Thanks for writing such an amazing book, what inspired you to create this unique idea of infusing prose and poem into this book?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Sometimes, I write short prose first. It fuses the poem with clarity. Also, I write prose with a poem encapsulating the theme at the end; fusing the poem with the modern era with understanding.
Interview: What are your early influences to write poems other than your professional life?
Joseph S Spence Sr: During high school, math, and science were relevant. Not poetry! I almost flunked a poetry class. My mother intervened, the curriculum changed, and I aced the class. She taught me to read, write, and recite poems which became my passion.
Interview: Which books have fortified you better and how you materialize it in your writing?
Joseph S Spence Sr: “Teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.” Claude McKay’s “Liberator,” Church Hymnals and Bibles. Poetic conventions are in them, such as rhymes, emphasis, repetition, imagery, metaphor, analogy, refrain, symbology, etc, I used when writings.
Interview: What is your advice to young poets and writers?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Find a computer. Print the poetry conventions, poetry types, and study them. Write continuously, read poetry books. Find your writing style; participate in recitals. Participation develops skills.
Interview: What are your hobbies other than reading?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Meditation, yoga, and tai chi. I studied various styles; love the silence and breathing, while listening to thematic music.
Interview: Do you indulge in any community services or book club activities? If so, please let us know about the same?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Helping veteran’s groups and poets with writing skills online.
Interview: Which recent book that you read has changed your perspective? Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction and why?
Joseph S Spence Sr: I love non-fiction; I read captivating fictitious novels. I love “Mack Boland” adventures. He tackles bad guys. Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” some themes are relationships, manhood, family, and pain. Chinua Achebe, “Things Fall Apart.” Interesting themes are masculinity, justice, faith, tribal beliefs, and freewill. They enhanced my literary perspective.
Interview: It is good to know more about you through this interview. Please let us know about your professional life and how it helped in shaping your writer’s life?
Joseph S Spence Sr: One of my army commanders was a poet; we shared poems. The soldiers dubbed me “Apollo” the Greek god of poetry. I wrote poems for them, which they mailed to their girlfriends with sprinkled cologne. Maintaining: business, journalistic, creative, and legal writing skills. Upon retiring from the army, I became a journalist; wrote articles for four newspapers. The editors were different. I read manuals to stay current.
Interview: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about?
Joseph S Spence Sr: Ladies love my poems and requested a love poetry book. Facebook postings brought exceptional reviews. Now researching different angles. Love interpretation differs. I need great balance. That’s my 2021 project.