Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interview with Mike Stevens

Although I have not posted for awhile, I wanted to share with you my questions with Mike Stevens. Mike is a poet whose work I enjoy. In addition Mike also writes some of the Red Herring Production scripts, is a history/western enthusiast and is one terrific whip handler (if that is what you call someone who is really good with the whip) Hope you share my enthusiasm.

"A little snow means big snow," as the old ones used to say,
And from the sky some tiny flakes come drifting down our way

So begins one of my favorite poems of Mike's "Little Snow"

Why did you chose to write poetry?

I think we write to be heard. There is so much noise in the world now that nobody pays attention to us. Go to a business meeting and try to inject the right answer: they’ll ignore you for an hour, and by then it’ll be somebody else’s idea. Or try to tell your kids something important: they’re so drowned in music, media, and texting that they’ll just roll their eyes at you.

But if you’ve got some talent and are willing to put a lot of effort into crafting your message, you can create a work that, at least for a moment, people will notice. It may be right or wrong, meaningful or silly, good or evil; but at least they’ll listen to it. And that’s poetry – or rap music, or a screenplay, or a novel, or ad copy, or whatever you’re good at.

What genre do you consider your poetry to be?

I write Cowboy Poetry. There is some really good Cowboy Poetry out there, and a lot of really bad. I’m somewhere in the middle.

Do you have anything published and if so where can a person find your work?

I have 5 poems published on the Cowboy Poetry Website. Try:


You also are one of the owners of Red Herring Productions, does that type of entertainment influence your writing?

I’m afraid so. It means I’m very focused on the entertainment aspect: on getting up in front of people and reciting poetry and creating a relationship with the audience that we both enjoy. I’ve read some disparaging remarks from cowboy poets about folks who are nothing but performers. I try not to be one of those. I may be a ham, but I do write my own material and I try to make an honest job of it.

Anything else that someone should know about you?

Yes. Please ask me if I “really” know how to crack that bullwhip I’m carrying. I’d love to show you, your wife, your girlfriend, or your kids how the “wrap around” trick works.