Everyone, welcome Shane Schick to our Contributor Interview series, a routine blog feature that introduces you to the wonderful writers whose work will be featured in our upcoming anthology, Byline Legacies.
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“‘Super Ars Poetica’ is provocative in a way that makes you stop to check yourself, check your culture, and check how writing as an industry can really help or destroy the social climate depending on how they go about speaking truth.”
— Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press
[E] Welcome, Shane, to Cardigan Press! We’d love to know: what genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?
Sometimes I feel like my work is too simple, or maybe too accessible. My role models are people like Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Kenyon, and even Clive James — poets who write to be understood by readers of all ages, and who aren’t afraid to be funny, as well as thoughtful. That means it’s sometimes difficult for me to find a home for my work — there are so many literary magazines asking for “the strange,” or “your darkest expressions.” I’m not a particularly tortured soul, and I often write from a sense of appreciation and gratitude.
[E] Darker times in life seem to be the most emotive, but we definitely need more expressions of gratitude to get us through. In what way would you say your submission to Cardigan Press is similar and/or different from your usual tone?
I’d never written anything like ‘Super Ars Poetica’ before, in the sense that I’ve never talked about poetry or poets in a poem. I didn’t really feel like I had earned the right. Although I’ve been writing all my life and have had a long career as a journalist and content marketer, I only began submitting and getting published in literary magazines in 2020. I’ve always loved the concept of “ars poetica,” but I felt like maybe I shouldn’t attempt it until I had more of a track record.
But then, out of nowhere, the idea for “Super Ars Poetica” came to me in one of those wonderful moments where it’s like you’ve finally solved a puzzle or something. The lines just fell into place in about twenty minutes. Even then, though, I didn’t plan to submit it anywhere because I couldn’t imagine it being accepted. When I stumbled across Cardigan Press on Twitter, it felt like an omen. I still can’t believe this is going to appear in Byline Legacies.
[E] We feel like the universe aligned on our end too when we read “Super Ars Poetica.” Your poem embodies everything we wanted for this anthology theme, with an execution that left us examining ourselves and thinking deeper about the influence of writing on culture. We can’t wait for readers to get the chance to think long and hard about this piece like we have. But until then: how can readers best support your writing career?
Last year I decided to do something a little nuts, which was to launch my own business publication that would be entirely funded by readers. It’s about customer experience design — basically all the things a company can do to be memorable and helpful, from the moment you hear about them, to making a purchase, and then the service and support they offer afterwards. There are actually people getting appointed “chief customer officers,” and this resource is aimed at them.
I realize the literary community may not be super-interested in this area, but if anyone knows someone who’s interested in helping their company be more customer-focused and points them to 360 Magazine, I’d really appreciate it. I even have a print edition! Every new subscriber gives me that little bit of extra income — and therefore peace of mind and time! — to write more poetry.
[E] Thank you so much, Shane, for hanging out with us! We’re so excited for readers to explore your writing and get to know you!
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