Hey guys! I’m back with another Interview with a Writer. This time, I’m chatting with a young writer named Shane Vaughan, the chief-editor of Stanzas (look at my previous posts if you want to know what Stanzas is). He is also an actor and editor of a new theatrical company called Cannibals Not Canadians (I will leave a link below). He currently lives in Cork in Ireland but he comes down every month to Limerick to help organise the Stanzas events.
Q1: How long have been writing?
I’ve been writing for roughly seven or eight years. I started with creative writing in English class and have been serious about it for the last three years or so.
Q2: Have you ever been published in a magazine, newspaper etc?
Yep. I’ve had a handful of poems published but my stories are doing better. I have three pieces coming out in June in three different magazines.
That’s class Q3. What books/poems have influenced your writing?
I got pretty obsessed with Sylvia Plath and J.D Salinger when I was younger, and their style really influenced me. That idea of writing as catharsis was very important to me. But as I’ve gotten older and written a bit more I’d say I’m much more influenced by Stephen King and Phillip Pullman: tell a story and tell it well.
I love Plath and Pullman. I have yet to read any of King’s books. Q4. What other writers do you idolise?
Idolise is a good word. I adore many; Rowling; Tolkien; martin; actually lots of fantasy now I think of it haha. But I try not to idolise. The writers I admire are unique in their own way. Great but unique. I want to be unique too.
Q5. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It started with my mum reading me stories. Then my teacher trying to get me to express myself.
English teacher? Q6. Are you reading any good books at the moment?
English teacher yep!
At the moment I’m reading a biopic on Robert openheimer, he helped invent the first nuclear bomb. I also just finished the first in a series of books, the mortal engine quadrilogy, they’re both great!
It was the same with my English teacher. Q7. Besides you, who else is in charge of Stanzas?
There’s me, I do the chapbook side of things, Caleb Brennan organises poets, Jared organises the non-poet events, and Dan does a lot of the on the night work. We’re a slick team
xD Q8. Who came up with the idea for setting up Stanzas?
Well to be fair it was maeve and abigail who came up with the idea. Me and the boys were chatting about writing and how we didn’t feel there was a home for younger writers. So the girls asked us to do it there and now here we are!
And here yee are Q9. What was the inspiration behind forming stanzas?
Pretty much just that we wanted a cool space in the city for the arts. That and we love listening to good writing.
Q10. How long has Stanzas been running now?
April was our tenth month!
Q11. How many people would you say attend Stanzas monthly events?
We usually rope in fifty in average. Sometimes more sometimes less. Last Friday, we had over sixty.
Q12. How do you organise and maintain Stanzas events monthly such as how do you come up with the themes, how do you chose the guest poets etc?
We meet up every few months and plough through a big list. So in January we organised the next six months’ worth of stuff. Caleb seems to know every poet on the planet which is class! We try to make the themes link up with something in the month. So may is themed in equality for the referendum (vote!). Then we also try to do something a little different each month to keep things fresh. So in April we had three limerick singer songwriters come in to showcase their work.
And each event is planned really well and finally, Q13. What do you hope that the creative people who come to Stanzas get out of the experience?
If they enjoy their night and get inspired and maybe hopefully in ten years’ time look back as they’re launching their first book and they’ll say it all started with stanzas. Or maybe they’ll just have a swell Friday. It’s all good to me. ^^
If any of yee are interested in seeing what Stanzas is about, look up their YouTube page or if you live in Ireland, come down to Limerick for the monthly events J I’ll leave links to Stanzas WordPress, Facebook and YouTube account below! Its great stuff that they are doing and I hope they keep going with it for several years.