Jared A. Carnie lives in Sheffield.

He also writes.

5 Questions with Hosho McCreesh

downloadHosho McCreesh is a stellar poet. A fair chunk of my bookshelves is taken up by the work he has produced over the years. They come in various styles and various sizes from various presses all over the world and each of them means a lot to me. While A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst is perhaps his most impressive achievement, I think there's magic to be found in each and every one of his chapbooks.
Hosho McCreesh was one of the first writers I discovered in the small press world. He opened my eyes to the fact that there are people out there creating brilliant things in unique places far away from the mainstream. He reminded me that it was ok to write things big publishers weren’t interested in, because there is a whole chain of independent, wonderful artists around the world doing exactly that - and they’re the ones worth looking out for.

I know you’re an avid supporter of small presses. When did you first start exploring small presses? Would you say the majority of your reading comes from stuff not published by mainstream publishers?I first remember stumbling on to the small press in the mid '90s. I'd seen the occasional zine before then, but discovering Bukowski's work helped me connect the dots. By the end of 1997, I was spending what I could on small press subscriptions. Back then most were simple fold and staple jobs, maybe a cardstock cover, put together at a copy shop, but I loved that this was where all the undiscovered writers were cutting their teeth.

I definitely buy more small press books than anything mainstream. As mainstream publishing has been razed by corporate interests and their bottom-line bean-counters, all the life and fire and danger has gone out of books. They seek out celebrity or established names, and look for easy-handled genre books they can parlay into bubblegum entertainment for their film or TV division, its gullet ram-packed with ad space for an additional revenue stream. Not only would a masterpiece like Tropic of Cancer never see the light of day in today's publishing paradigm, Henry Miller himself would probably never publish a book – unless he was cast on a reality TV show, or something equally inane. All the beautifully dangerous stuff is being publishing by small presses...but as those same corporate greedheads control all means of decent distribution, the reach of those press remains choked off...so it's truly up to the consumer to search and seek out and refuse to settle for all that compromised pap mainstream presses have to traffic in.How was the experience of putting together a themed collection for A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst? Was that the first time you’d attempted something that linked together like that?Writing that beast was a tremendous joy for me. I wrote the first drafts faster than I've ever written, 10 sometime 15 first drafts in a day. I then spent more time editing than I've ever spent, as I quickly realized that what I had on my hands worked both as each separate poem, and as a slowly building mosaic of something much larger – a kind of autobiography through the lens of booze. The major themes of love and death leapt out from the manuscript, and I knew I had a book like I'd never read on my hands. I'd done very small, linked pieces before – a small collection of Haiku-like breath poems about New Mexico (37 Psalms from the Badlands); another grip about gritty city life (4th Street Vagaries), and a tiny book for friends about the hard working life (A Battlecry From the Trenches of the American Dream)...but nothing as massive as Thirst. That beast is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book.You mention the strains of work quite often in your poetry. Do you tend to find that the more exhausting work is, the more you need to write? Or do busy, exhausting periods in your life make it more difficult to find the time to write?

I can't say there's a connection between them, for me. I can write when knuckle-dragging beat, or when I'm totally rested and alive. I think I rage about work only because it's such an insult, on an almost primal level, to the human animal. I mean, we humans have, to a large extent, invented our own misery. We invented countries, borders, gods, religions, money, the human caste system, racism, sexism, etc. In our most natural state, would we sit in gridlock traffic, headed to offices to plink away at computers or dream up pointless busywork to pass the days? Hell no. We'd hopefully work together to meet all of our basic needs...food, shelter, etc. – then we'd go paint cave walls, carve fat little fertility statuettes with giant dongs or meaty breasts, make clay pots and paint our life-stories on them. So much of what so many of us do is so meaningless...and only done for a goddamned paycheck. In the end, the sun will destroy almost everything humans have ever done. Knowing that's the ultimate end for this species should inform all our choices going forward. It truly doesn't matter – whatever we do with our lives will one day be undone. It chaps my ass that, based on all the lies we've created and swallowed over the centuries, we now have to leave our homes and our tribes to do something stupid for someone else...that THAT is what we've decided makes us "productive." So, yes, I bitch a lot about it in my work. And in my life, if the truth be told. Ask my wife! We've imagined our own prison cells, and spend our lives bashing our heads against those imaginary bars.As well as your poetry, I’ve read a few of your short stories and really enjoyed them. You’ve also mentioned starting work on a novel or two. What’s the current status of those?I've got a short story collection put together, and it sits with a publisher – though there's no official word on publication yet. Hopefully it'll go. I've put out a few of the stories as affordable eBooks  – a buck or so per story, for anyone interested. Check them out at smashwords. As for the novels, I'm doing a big, final rewrite on the first novel, Chinese Gucci, this year...while still chipping away on a few other novel projects. Generally speaking, I work on whatever ideas are firing in the moment, and compile ideas and material, until all the pieces are in place, and I'm ready to make a giant push to finish a draft. It's a product of never having long, uninterrupted hours to write. I have to work in micro-bursts, on lunch hours or breaks, over weekends and days off when there's time. I try to accomplish something on one of my projects every day. That, to me, is productive. It's slow going, but still rewarding. If I ever get retired, I'll try really hard to live and work like a professional writer. Until then, I cover up, lean back into the ropes, and ride out the tough rounds, putting in good, quick work when I get the chance.Finally, what was the last thing, book, song, artist, place etc that you totally fell in love with?

Book(s): Fiction:Burrito Deluxe by Joseph RidgwellDigging the Vein by Tony O'NeillErotomania by Francis Levyanything by Willy VlautinPoetry: The Poem Factory by Dave NewmanCadillac Men by Rebecca SchumejdaDown Where the Hummingbird Goes to Die by Justin HydeThe Trolleyman by Bob PajichFarrago Soup by Doug Draime (Forthcoming)Anything by Bottle of Smoke Press, Tangerine Press, Wreckingball Press; Two Dollar Radio; Sunnyoutside Press; Pig Ear Press; Kilmog Press, Low Ghost Press...for starters.Non-Fiction:The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious by Lori JakielaThe Business of Books by Andre SchffrinSong(s): "Down By the Sea" by Wilson Pickett"September Song" by Scatman Crothers"I'll Take Care of You" by Gil Scott HeronArtist(s):Jose Arroyo (Woodcuts)Emily Oaks - a 14 year-old wunderkindPlace(s): Truth or Consequences, New MexicoEvery little New Mexico town I have yet to spend a night or two inEverywhere I'd stop on some giant Kerouac roadtrip, were I to have the chance to do that again someday.Etc: "Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)" - Run The Jewels feat. Zack de la RochaTangerine directed by Sean BakerBoJack HorsemanThis is Not a Test podcast by Michael PhillipsOtherppl podcast by Brad ListiBernie SandersEvery first draft I finishEvery final draft I finish

More Hosho McCreesh

Official Site


Poem in Paper and Ink Zine

5 Questions with Dean Lilleyman