7 Questions With Poet Arthur Turfa
Arthur Turfa has lived with dualities all his life, and has made something new from them. His careers as a Lutheran pastor, Army Chaplain, and educator have provided him with many unique insights and experiences.
He has keen insight into the concept of place: what has happened in a particular location, and how it intersects with something or someone in his life.
His poetry combines a deep appreciation of the “greats” but veers off into the alternative and imaginative as well. Some call him a painterly poet, creating a scene and inviting the reader into it. Readers will find some connection to their own lives in what he writes.
In today’s interview, Arthur Turfa talks about the sin of poetry, setbacks in writing and shares some insight about an unexpected experience.
Esther Rabbit: Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
When people ask me how long I have been writing poetry, I ask if I should include the 25-year break. The advice I would have for myself is to keep writing.
I never stopped reading poetry, and certainly read enough of other things, even writing for career purposes. But I wish I had kept writing poetry, even if I would have thrown it out later.
Esther Rabbit: How do you manage to juggle life and writing?
It has not been easy, but it is rewarding. I carve out some time. These days it is when my wife is busy with her career. Usually that is some time on the weekends, when I write, edit, and promote.
Reading I do on other days when I can, but it is not on a daily basis. Fortunately, I have learned how to be disciplined. Having been bi-vocational over the decades helped.
Esther Rabbit: We all know this industry is full of surprises. Can you share an unexpected experience?
My second book “Accents” had two offers from publishers. One of them even sent me a personal note after I turned them down. But the publisher I chose turned out not to be reliable. About half of its authors regained their rights.
“Accents” contains some of my best work, and it is thematically structured, When I gave up trying to find another publisher, I put it out on Amazon KDP.
And that other publisher put out my fourth book, “Saluda Reflections”!
Esther Rabbit: Is there anything you learned from reader reviews?
I am pleasantly surprised by some of the poems that they list as their favorites. Many reviewers get what I am about, and that is very pleasing.
Esther Rabbit: What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
- Read everything on my shelf and Kindle that I have been meaning to read
- Experiment with new poetic styles
- Find some new places for readings and signings
- Enhance my social media profile
- Participate more in the South Carolina Writers’ Association
Esther Rabbit: What’s your favorite genre as a reader?
Historical fiction. In my third book, “Gemini”, I deal with some of the dualities in my life I love history for the sweeping stories, interesting figures, and the places.
A lot of that appears to sin my poetry. I love getting lost in some tale about a time or place that intrigues me.
Esther Rabbit: What were some major setbacks of this profession?
The struggle to be published. Also, it is hard to find true friends. Poetry is more competitive than one might think. I really have to watch my back, and that is sad.
“Places and Times”, eLectio Publishing © 2015
“Accents”, Amazon KDP, © 2017
“Gemini”, Broad River Books, © 2918
“Saluda Reflections” Finishing Line Press, © 2018
Find Arthur Turfa here:
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