Kenneth P. Gurney. Tells us how you started in poetry? What age?
Dan Rouse. Probably around 13 or 14. I was just coming to a realization that I was different, I didn’t feel as if I fit in, even with my friends. I was coming to terms with abuse and it made me angry so the only outlet I could find that was productive was poetry.
KPG. What is your favorite breakfast?
DR. Fried eggs, over easy and bacon with biscuits and gravy.
KPG. Does your university degree influence your writing of poetry and how?
DR. I tuned in, turned on and dropped out, man. I wanted to experience life minus the safety of a classroom.
KPG. Is there any endeavor that you are passionate about outside of poetry? How does it enrich you?
DR. Creating art, it enriches me by keeping me sober, giving me a physical outlet for images and experiences that pop up.
KPG. Tell about one of your favorite poetry experiences.
DR. I was invited to read at an event, sort of a spur of the moment “Hey we need some more performers” kind of thing. So I agree, and show up at this hookah bar. I wasn’t aware this was a legalization rally for grass. So the other 2 or 3 poets read, and do very well. I read a piece that I have about a local mental hospital. When I finish, everyone was quiet for a second, then began clapping and this girl comes up with tears in her eyes and hugs me. It was an awesome experience.
KPG. Do you have a connection to the American Civil War? Relative who served? Visited a battlefield and have a story?
DR. I don’t think my family came over until shortly after the Civil War.
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?
KPG. Where was your last selfie taken? With anyone?
DR. I took one on the last bender I went on so I could remind myself I look like shit when I’m drunk.
KPG. Recommend a poetry (or literary) website that you frequent.
DR. Poetry out loud. Those kids are fire!
KPG. What is your favorite National Park? Why?
KPG. Please tell about a dream that you work toward achieving at this time.
DR. Becoming a good enough artist and writer to sustain myself by only doing those things.
KPG. If there is a little known poet you think everyone should read, who is that poet and suggest one book of theirs we should purchase?
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?
DR. Honestly, I would like to travel to late 40’s early 50’s Harlem to hear and experience all of the great music and poetry that came from that movement.
KPG. What reoccurring themes or personal experience have you noticed in your poetry over the years?
DR. Childhood observations through the blurred lens of adulthood.
KPG. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, or some other sweet?