Xlibris Publishing introduces John S Green, author of Ordinary Light.
About Your Book and Yourself.
Please briefly describe your book.
Ordinary Light is a book of poetry attempting to chronicle a lifetime of trying to make sense of the joy and pain of living in the physical plane. I am a Child of The Sixties still hoping for the promise of Imagine by John Lennon to come true in our insane political environment.
Who is the author “behind” the book
I am an award winning actor and playwright. I won Chicago’s Jeff Award for playing George in Of Mice and Men. My play, The Liquid Moon, won Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best New Work and was subsequently nominated for the Pulitzer. It was published in New Plays From Chicago. I recently won The Leon Forrest Literary Guild Prose Award for my story, The Me Zone, which will be published this summer by Chicago Quarterly.
Do you have any particular literary influences that have helped you develop in your genre, subject and style
I was deeply influenced by Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. My favorite poets are EE Cummings, Whitman and Mary Oliver. I have also been deeply shaped by the rhythms of acting in Shakespeare’s plays.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I was acting in a repertory company where we did three plays in rotation. I enjoyed being on stage and sharing time with my fellow actors but the biggest thrill that summer was hosting poetry nights in my living room with actors, technicians and local poets. We sat in a circle with no lights, sound effects or formal audience and took turns sharing our hearts. I realized then it was time to gather a lifetime of poems and put them into a book. Also, I had a loyal acting student who said, “I want you to do this NOW! So I don’t have to do it when you’re dead.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
Poetry is the language of the heart. It approaches silence in a way that is getting harder and harder to find. That’s what these poems are for me – quiet contemplation in the midst of chaos and noise. I hope they serve that purpose for you.
Are you working on a sequel to your book?
Not formally but I do have lots of other poems to play with.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
I recently had a fundraiser in Chicago where friends and I read some of my selected poems. My brother and I played music between readings, emphasizing lyrics that are also in the book. I will be doing a presentation on August 29th at the Creede Repertory Company in Colorado.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with Xlibris?
My favorite part was exploring which poems to include and which to exclude, running it by writer friends I know and trust. I appreciated Xlibris’ steady structure and feedback.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Take a risk. There is nothing to lose and so much to gain.
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