Cultured Llama poet Gordon Meade is the author of Sounds of the Real World, with a new collection forthcoming in 2015. He is interviewed by Cultured Llama editor Anne Marie-Jordan, who discovers how an accident over thirty years ago influenced his writing. Gordon says:
On Friday 13th March 1981, I was involved in an accident on London Transport, which resulted in my sustaining a fractured skull. When I woke up three days later, I had lost both my memory and my speech.
It was while recovering from the accident that I began to take my writing seriously. A part of my re-entry into writing was the awareness of both the importance of language and its arbitrary nature.
In my early sessions of speech therapy, if shown a photograph of a dog and asked what it was, I would be just as likely to answer ‘cat’ (its opposite), ‘wolf’ (a similarity), ‘log’ (another similarity, in sound) or ‘dog’ (the right answer!).
As I began to regain specific memories, in a very random manner, this early grounding in speech therapy somehow gave me the right to play with language in a way I had not been interested in doing before the accident.
On a lighter note, Anne-Marie uses her investigative skills to ask about Gordon’s much-admired moustache. You can read the full interview and see a photograph of Gordon’s moustache here : An interview with Gordon Meade
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What does the word “story” mean to you?
It’s a self-contained narrative that has possibilities for the characters outside of the story. For me, the best stories are in a contained setting or world with the minimum of characters. Something must happen in a story, some kind of change must occur. And the reader must leave with a lingering memory and want to know more. Ends must be left untied.
Maria talks more about short stories on her website. Read the post here.
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