Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jim Hart, Author & Poet

From Brooklyn, New York, USA, welcome author and poet Jim Hart. Besides his published collection Ramblings of a One-Eyed Garbage Man, his work has appeared in more than fifty poetry journals and reviews. Jim’s poetry has appeared in many countries, including the United States, England, Austria, India, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand.

Jim was raised in Brooklyn where he still resides.  He retired from the New York City Sanitation Department to pursue his love for writing.  During his thirty-year career he worked his way through the ranks to serve in such positions as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs and Director of Correspondence for the Sanitation Police.  Jim says inspiration can come from the strangest places.

What was it like growing up in Brooklyn, New York?
The early part of growing up in my 1950’s Brooklyn was the perfect baby-boomer, enough guys living on the same block to support softball, punch ball, stickball games all at the same time. We had a vacant lot and two alley ways which were the fields of our dreams. This was marred only by the personal tragedies that befell my young life in the form of Aunts and Uncles dying young and the loss of sight in one of my eyes. The teenage 1960’s brought bands, (I was a drummer) booze and bars – never a good mix – less so in the City of Churches where even a slightly too long stare can be construed as a challenge.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
I’m not sure I knew exactly that I wanted to be a writer but as one of the poems in my book, “The Eight-Year Old 1950’s TV Writer” would indicate I enjoyed making up or filling in stories from a very young age.
Where do you like to write?
I enjoy writing at my desk and in coffee shops. And gather initial ideas anywhere I hear a good sentence fragment. The New York Subway is great for this kind of half sentence eavesdropping. I like to listen to just fragments and then let my mind go with it, now totally oblivious to the rest of the overheard conversation which may or may not still be going on.
How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
I always have a small book in my pocket and write ideas or poems as they come, usually to be worked on at a later time.
What is the premise for your new book?
My book is basically…what it is. As I’ve said I played in bands and most musicians call the free flow playing after a gig or at a rehearsal “jams” but there are some who call them “rambles”…  I am blind in one eye and I spent thirty years working for the NYC Sanitation Department. Ramblings of a One-Eyed Garbage Man just seemed like a natural title. The book is broken into three sections Ramblings – or narrative poems – Free – or free verse poems and Bursts – or short poems.
What other books have you written? 
I have written a couple of novels – but to date they have not seen the light of day. For now I am concentrating on my poetry and continue submitting to journals. I am considering a collection of poems that deal strictly with family and think Inside an Irish Suitcase might be a good title. I have recently returned to my musical youth, not as a player, but as a co-writer of songs for The Peter Stevens Band with two songs appearing on their soon to be released CD.
Who is your favorite author?
I do not have one favorite author although I do lean toward the Beats. They were the first poets to trespass on my soul and make me want to do the same to others. And if I cannot trespass on the souls of my readers I would at least like to bump into them. Poetry needs more appreciation in this country and I think some of the bookstore and cafĂ© readings along with the younger “slam” poets are doing a great deal to make poetry more accessible. I also like to read a good mystery, as they seem to keep the mind sharp.
List 10 things that your fans may not know about you…
I don’t think most people would know that I collect toy garbage trucks, after years of being somewhat of an extrovert now have a reluctance of public speaking, am extremely passionate about baseball, love my wife of forty years with the same fervor as when we met and am more proud of my son and daughter than of everything I have accomplished in my entire life.
Connect with Jim…


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