Jim Nye | Interview

Kenneth P. Gurney. What got you started into poetry? What age?

Jim Nye. I started trying to write decent poetry 15 years after returning from Vietnam. I had just watched “The Best Years of Their Lives” and everything bubbled up. I was 47.

KPG. What is your favorite breakfast?

JN. My favorite breakfast is cereal and toast.

KPG. How much influence does your university degree(s) has on your writing of poetry and how?

JN. I went to the University of Tampa and Dickinson School of Law, but neither influenced my work.

KPG. Is there any other endeavor that you are passionate about outside of poetry? How does it enrich you?

JN. I love reading and fly fishing. Both are separate realities.

KPG. Tell us about your favorite (or one of your favorite) poetry experience.

JN. My favorite poetry experience is finding that special poem you can read again and again.

KPG. Do you have a connection to the American Civil War? Relative who served? Visited a battlefield and have a story?

JN. I went to Gettysburg College for two years so I knew the battlefield well.

KPG. If you could wave a magic wand and place a poetry book into every high school english classroom as required reading, which one would it be and why?

JN. So much accepted and approved poetry is being clever with words and doesn’t tell you anything. I would put “Here, Bullet” by Brian Turner is schools. The language is incredible and it takes most people to a place they’ve never been.

KPG. Recommend a poetry (or literary) website that you frequent.

JN. My favorite literary website is AbeBooks.

KPG. If you could be present at any moment in history as a safe observer or unsafe participant, what event would you visit and why?

JN. The historical event would be either The Gettysburg Address or jumping in on D-Day. Why? Every month 6-8 of us that have a CIB (combat infantry badge) meet for drinks. The last time someone asked had anyone noticed that we’re different from “normal’’ people. We agreed.

KPG. What reoccurring themes have you noticed in your poetry over the years?  Is there a point of personal experience you revisit often?

JN. My work is pretty much centered on the effect combat has on soldiers and how they are changed. I try to let the reader know and appreciate what these kids have endured.

KPG. Green, Red or Christmas when you order Huevos Rancheros?

JN. For Mexican food green.

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