An Interview with Scott E. Green conducted by Karen L. Newman for The Black Glove
KLN: Your poetry has appeared in numerous magazines, both online and in print. However, you have only four collections out for your over thirty-five years of writing. Why is that? Do you have any more collections planned after your current one, Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas?
SEG: Most of my poetry is concerned with the history and the roots of science fiction fantasy and horror. In other words I am looking backward to see where we are today. I think most publishers of genre poetry chapbooks are looking forward to where we will be. Right now I do not have plans for more collections but you never know.
KLN: Private Worlds: A Revised Atlas consists of short poems. Why did you decide to use short poems? What do you consider to be the benefits of the short form over longer forms?
SEG: I usually use short poems because it allows me to get right to the point of what I want to say. Another reason I use short poems is because typically editors are looking for shorter rather than longer pieces. I write short poems out of habit.
KLN: You are the author of the poetry reference book Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Poetry: A Resource Guide and Biographical Directory, published in 1989 by Greenwood. Is this book still available for purchase? If so, where? Do you plan on writing an updated version? What would be your criteria for inclusion, particularly for horror poetry and poets? Which is your favorite genre in which to write: horror, science fiction, or fantasy? Why?
SEG: I believe it is still available on Amazon. I do not plan on writing an updated version. If I did it would be anyone who sold 5 or more poems to paying markets and/or been nominated for a major award. I love all 3 equally and I particularly like to write poems set in Lovecraft Universe. So I get to play in all 3 genres simultaneously.
KLN: I was fascinated to discover you were the poet guest of honor at the 1985 Boston Star Trek Convention. How was that experience? Tell us your most memorable experiences from there. Why do you think having poet guests of honor at conventions has fallen out of favor? What do you think it will take for that to come back, if ever?
SEG: I loved being a big shot at that convention. Usually when you tell someone you’re a poetry program person their eyes start to glaze. My most memorable experience at the convention had nothing to do with the program. During a convention cabaret, I was sitting at a table with several convention officials and Kirstie Alley. There was this person sitting at the table with us who kept telling us not to bother Kirstie with so many questions because she needed to relax. Finally I said to her that she was fortunate to have such a protective staff person. She told us that she didn't know who the guy was. The guy soon left the table. I think it is a cycle and I don't think there is any importance to having poet guests of honor. It just goes in and out of fashion.
KLN: You have spoken at numerous horror conventions. Has attendance at poetry panels increased or decreased over the years? What are the most common questions asked and how do you answer them?
SEG: Every time I go to a poetry panel I don't know how many people are going to show up. Sometimes it is just one person, sometimes it's 30. It all depends what we are scheduled against. The most common question is where do I get my ideas from and my answer is always the same. The body of work within the field both printed and film.
KLN: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, Scott. I appreciate your time. Is there anything additional you’d like to share with our readers?
SEG: There are a few things, first, nag the magazine editors that you want to see poetry in their magazines. Secondly, tell the editors of anthology projects that they ought to buy poetry. Lastly if you’re writing in the field, keep writing, keep sending but never ever send your poetry to markets that use them but don't pay for them. If you can't sell your poems to a paying market maybe it needs to be reworked.
--Karen L. Newman
(The Black Glove wants to thank Scott E. Green for his time)