What poets did you enjoy reading as a child?
I liked Mother Gooses Nursery Rhymes, but I was more into stories than poetry when I was younger. The Wind in the Willows, The Black Cauldron and The Hobbit were some of my favorites.
Do you remember the first poem that you ever wrote? How old were you? Can you share it with us?
I don’t remember the first poem that I wrote and that’s probably a good thing. I doubt I’d be impressed with it if I read it now.
Do you write mostly in rhyme or in free verse? Do you know why?
I write in rhyme because I think there’s more of an opportunity for clever and humorous wordplay.
Are your poems best performed aloud or read quietly to oneself? Can you provide an example?
Here’s an example of my work from my recently published book, The Teachers Are In Trouble And Other Rhymes. I think the poem can be read aloud or quietly and work well either way, but my audience may have a different opinion.
The End of School
School had finally finished,
and the teachers went nuts.
Frankly I was really surprised
that they even had the guts.
They jumped on top of tables,
and popped open champagne.
Some were even shouting,
‘I’ll never see you again!’
They threw books out windows,
and swung from the fans.
None of us could quite believe,
they’d broken school bans.
But we didn’t know what to do,
so we just sat and stared.
They then set off fireworks;
so they’d really come prepared!
When the party came to an end,
I thought it had been great.
The best thing that I learnt all year
was how to celebrate.
Who first published your poetry?
After I’d compiled The Teachers Are In Trouble And Other Rhymes I eventually decided to self-publish with Trafford. The major reason behind self-publishing was because I wanted to work with an illustrator of my choice and many publishers wouldn’t allow me to do that. I wanted David Jarvis to do the illustrations, because I love his work and could think of no better illustrator to work with.
Where else have your poems been published?
My poems have mostly been submitted to online poetry sites instead of magazines, and that’s how I started to reach a wider audience. I wanted to see if people liked what I was doing and I was really surprised when teachers and parents started asking me if they could read or show my poems to their kids. That made me feel that what I was doing was really worthwhile, because I felt I was making people happy.
Anthologies are often places for poets to seek publication. How would you suggest a new poet find out about upcoming anthologies?
Well, do some research on the net and you’ll probably find some valuable info eventually – you just have to be persistent. If you’re also part of a poetry group then the members might also be able to notify you if there are any anthologies that you could send your work to. There are a lot of groups on facebook like Red River Writers – Works of Writers and Artists Worldwide for instance, that might be able to help you out if you ask.
Have you published a collection of your own poems/story in verse/verse novel? Where would we find a copy?
The Teachers Are In Trouble And Other Rhymes.
You can find the book at www.trafford.com and also at amazon in the next couple of weeks.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently editing my second poetry collection, which I’m very exited about. The book is going to contain forty humorous poems about monsters. Most of the writing has been finished and David has just started doing the illustrations. When he’s finished we’ll try and find a suitable publisher. I’d love it if mainstream publisher offered to publish my new book, but if they don’t then I’ll probably just self-publish again, because an audience for my work is growing, so I think it’ll be worthwhile.
Do you have a website/blog/facebook etc – where we can find out more about you?
You can learn more about me at my official site www.authormattbutler.com. I also have a facebook group The Writings Of Matt Butler.
Feel free to join and post comments if you’ve read and enjoyed my work.
Do you have a favourite poetry website?
I like www.chapterseventynine.com, although its not just a poetry website. You can post your work there and people generally give you helpful feedback. That website was the first place where I received a lot of encouragement and it meant a lot to me.
Would you like to share one of your poems with us?
This is a poem that doesn’t have a home yet. It’s not suitable for my next poetry book, so maybe it will be in a later collection.
I would like to make a complaint,
because my present was really bad.
You might think I’m ungrateful,
but I have a good reason to be mad.
The elf that packed my present
should never have been hired.
He really ruined my Christmas,
so I believe he should be fired.
To make up for my suffering
you should send me another toy.
I don’t need this silly doll,
and that’s because I’m a boy.