Heath Brougher, ABP’s feature artist on the month
ABP– Heath, I am thrilled to have you on as ABP’s featured artist of the month. In 2017 Alien Buddha Press had the privilege of releasing your absolutely brilliant poetry book About Consciousness. Please tell us about that, and some more of your publications.
HB- Thank you for having me as ABP’s featured artist of the month. It’s quite an honor. To let you know more concerning my book About Consciousness, it actually began as a 14-page micro-chapbook. I decided to bulk it up to a full length and did so in just one night. I’m assuming most people can guess what its main theme is simply from the title. My three previous books all had titles that had people asking me exactly what these various titles meant, so I figured I’d go with as straightforward of a title as I could think of for this book. Also, I just liked the ring of it as it reminded me a bit of Nirvana’s song “About a Girl.” In all of my previous books Consciousness was a major theme so I wanted to put together a collection solely on the subject of Consciousness itself. The book is basically a collection of poems that look at Consciousness from various viewpoints but mainly from the angle of a Pantheist. As with most of my books, it turned out being much more of a philosophy book than a poetry book. Also, I would like to thank YOU (Red Focks) for the artwork contained within this book and which, I believe, helped to enhance the reading experience.
ABP- Can you tell us about your work with the publication Into the Void?
HB- Into the Void is one of the endeavors I am most proud of since having entered this crazy literary world. I was approached by Phillip Elliott (Into the Void’s Editor in Chief) after its first two issues, asking if was interested in being one of the two poetry editors. At the time, I did not know Phillip, who is now my best friend on FB–or maybe tied with one other person. I saw how amazing the first two issues were and noticed the great potential for this magazine. I had no idea that Phillip Elliott was a total literary genius and the amazing ride the four original editors were about to go on. I was the poetry editor for Five 2 One Magazine at the time and, after trying to do both for a couple months, realized I had to choose one over the other. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. So much so, that I actually didn’t really make a decision and instead was reduced to flipping a coin in order to decide which of the two magazines I would continue on with as poetry editor. Into the Void then went on to win back to back Saboteur Awards and is, to this very day, growing faster than I’ve ever seen any other publication grow. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished because I think we’ve helped to prove the fact that if you read blind you’ll end up producing a better quality publication in the process.
ABP- You recently took a trip to Erie PA to take part in an open mic hosted by ABP. What is the poetry scene like in your neck of the woods, the town of York, across PA?
HB- The poetry scene in York is really good for a small town and has some really amazing poets that don’t get the proper credit they deserve. There is one woman in particular, Carla Christopher, who is almost single-handedly helping to improve not just the literary scene but the entire city of York itself. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life.
ABP- In addition to poetry, you also write fiction, and are also a visual artist. Is your interest in poetry stronger than that of other mediums?
HB- Yes. Poetry has always played a bigger role in my life than fiction and especially visual art. I’m really not much of a visual artist at all. I’ve just posted some of my bizarre paintings on FB before. I’ve actually always considered myself much more of a philosopher than a poet but I have always enjoyed the pure artistic freedom that poetry offers.
ABP- Who are some of your favorite writers and artists?
HB- I’ll take that question to mean my favorite writers and artists throughout history. Just to rattle off a few: Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, ee cummings, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder (the Beats are definitely some of my favorites). To rattle off some of the current day writers, my favorites are Felino Soriano, Heller Levinson, Alan Britt, Scott Thomas Outlar, Don Beukes, Matt Borzcon, Adam Levon Brown, Mark Young, Daniel Y. Harris, Allison Ross, Mary Newell, Cindy Hotchman… I could go on for a LONG while in this category so I’ll just stop myself there. Apologies to those I should have mentioned.
ABP- Heath you are an extremely brilliant writer and artist, and an unbelievable friend of the small press community. The floor is yours. Anything you’d like to share with ABP’s wordpress followers, an announcement, some art, a poem… Anything at all. Thank you for taking this interview.
I’d just like to thank Alien Buddha Press for all the support you’ve shown me over the past few years and I guess I’ll shamelessly plug my newest book The Ethnosphere’s Duality (Cyberwit.Net, 2018) by leaving links to its Amazon and FB pages. About Consciousness can also be found on my Amazon Author’s Page below.
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Heath-Brougher/e/B01NBMO1IQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
FB page for new book The Ethnosphere’s Duality: https://www.facebook.com/The-Ethnospheres-Duality-649083272134485/