This is the first post in my Poets of Instagram Series. I am so excited to introduce you to a poet and author who influences me greatly by his inspirational poems, the wonderful advice he shares over social media, his other books and his kindness to me in my writing journey. The interview below will show you how much of a top bloke he is and why you need to read his poetry NOW!
Thank you so much for doing this interview with me about your poetry. I have been following your works on Instagram and Facebook for a long time. Your words are very moving and uplifting for anyone who reads them, and that’s what makes your poetry so beautiful.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I am the author of five books for adults, five for children, two colouring books, and I have also composed a music album. I have been Anne Rice’s assistant for the past 10 years. And for eight years before that, I was a monk in a monastery and studying for the Catholic priesthood.
When did you start writing? Tell us a little about your journey.
I started writing when I was in the sixth grade. It was the same year I formed a music band with Sam Rivers, who eventually became the bassist for Limp Bizkit. I started writing song lyrics at that time. From there is grew into poetry. From there it grew prose.
Do you believe that your life experiences feed into your poetry? If yes, how so?
Experience is the soil for the seed of every creative endeavour. When I was young, my experience of woundedness inspired my works. Now that I am old, my experience of healing feeds my words.
What draws you to poetry?
I am not drawn to all poetry. I read the minimalistic poems of W.S. Merwin and the nature poems of Mary Oliver to phrase-build. But I also read the more floral poetry of Shakespeare and John Keats to word-build.
What is your style and why?
I prefer my poetry to be succinct and structured. I wrote haikus for a long time because I enjoyed the challenge of trying to say much with few words. Then I moved on to pi poems, or “piems,” because they afford me greater challenges along with broader skyscapes of creativity.
What inspires your poetry?
To be inspiring inspires many of my works. For some, I structure the wording to give me encouragement on difficult days, in the hope that they might help others too. I also write spiritual poetry in the guise of love poems. Often times when I write “she” I am referring to God, or to the love of God. But sometimes I am also writing about the woman in my life who has made me a better man.
What are the top three favourite poems you have written and why?
I have several that I rather enjoy working on right now. But from my Pi Poems book, my favourites are Pi Poem 1, Pi Poem 53, and Pi Poem 94.
The book is titled after its contents. It is full of nothing but poems that follow a haiku-like syllabic structure based on the number Pi. The contents of the poems range from free flowing thoughts about life, to words that I hope might inspire the downtrodden to persevere one more step with life.
Where did the title come from? Does it have a meaning?
Pi Poems are a formulaic method of writing poems that, like haikus structure lines according to syllabic counting, the syllables for each Pi poem line is determined according to the number of Pi — 3.1415926535… It can go into infinity. So the first line of the poem would be three syllables, the second would be one, the third is four, the forth is one, the fifth is five, and so on. I can write an endlessly succinct poem, if I so desire.
What inspired you to publish your book and how did you go about it?
I could have gone through a traditional publisher, but they would over-charge for both the ebook and the paperback. Because I want my poems to be helpful, I self-published them so that I can make them affordable to most people. The books are $0.99.
What is the process you take to write your poetry?
I wake up early in the morning, I pray and have coffee, then I start writing. The first draft of any work is as carefree as I like. I’ll use any word I can to get down an idea because I also work in drafts. Once I am finished with a first draft, I switch into edit mode and I dismantle my words to built it into a greater work. Six drafts later, the book is usually ready for publication.
Do you have any advice for other poets wanting to share their words?
Make everything purposeful. And when the accident happens, use it for your purposes too.
Thank you again for this interview I am really excited to talk to you about your work and to know more about your meaningful poetry!
If you want to follow Becket and be inspired in your everyday life, his social accounts are: