An Interview with Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway is a poet, editor, rambler, and a long-time friend of HCR, and we're happy we got a chance to catch up with him.

Hobo Camp Review: What is the best thing you’ve read in 2016, be it poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or something else?

Kevin Ridgeway: My contributor's copies of Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy and BIG HAMMER. The more voices, the merrier.

HCR: What was your last “writing revelation,” a process or idea that made your writing easier, bolder, fresher, and/or more productive?

KR: Fucking up my health opened my eyes to having to give back to the muse, to quote something Frank Reardon hammered into my head. I'm on a psych unit as I write this—this afternoon, I facilitated a workshop on haiku that evolved into a short form poetry workshop. Everyone from the schizophrenic patients to the depressives to the manic depressives came out of their inspired and smiling—including me.

HCR: What place (city/town/region/room/middle of nowhere) has been an inspiration on your writing, and why?

KR: Growing up in Southern California, and my love/hate relationship with it. I have pride and a little bit more fondness for the place—the American Southwest in general. I'm also known to romanticize about my time in the American Northeast—the adventures, misadventures, ups, downs, marriages, divorces and nakedness.

HCR: What new project are you working on, and what’s the driving force/inspiration behind it? Tell us where we can find your work!

KR: A full length collection and perhaps a little chapbook about mental illness. I've also been trying to get an outfit of my own off the ground, Dark Heart Press—which, due to health issues, has been on hold, but she will see her day sometime in 2017 with books by Thomas R. Thomas, Catfish McDaris and my late friend, Harry Calhoun.

Other people's writing inspires me, and all the other personalities in the world that I cross paths with. And my crazy ass, I'm pretty interesting at times up here in this twisted yet semi-sweet noggin.

My work's spread all over the place—for good or ill! Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Spillway, BIG HAMMER, Hobo Camp Review, San Pedro River Review, Electric Windmill, Drunk Monkeys, Cultural Weekly, college journals like the Chaffey Review and Suisun Valley Review, not to mention Lummox Anthologies 3 & 5 plus a galaxy of other great small mags, journals and zines whose editors have been very generous toward me and my work. I've got six chapbooks via fine print makers like Crisis Chronicles in Cleveland, Arroyo Seco here in Long Beach, CA and even one out of India with my amigo, Catfish McDaris and Subhankar Das via the former's Graffiti Kolkata.

HCR: You’re on the road with three other artists, of any era and medium, of any level of fame, success, or anonymity. Who do you choose, and why?

KR: Catfish McDaris, Thomas R. Thomas and Harpo Marx. We'd raise hell but still keep the peace, and make some kind of tomfoolery disguised as surreal, moralist and absurdist art to boot.   

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The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!