Saturday, 11 June 2011
Whilst finishing off his degree in Graphic Design, Kevin Power of Poetry from Outer Space gives us some insights into what has influenced his writing and his illustrations.
Please tell us a little about yourself, how Poetry from Outer Space came about, and why this title?
So, the idea for Poetry from Outer Space started out a few years ago in my brothers house, he is a song writer in a band and had lots of different poetry books lying around at the time, some serious, some surreal and at the same time I had just started my degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at LJMU. That summer I began preparing some sketchbooks before I started, mainly from found objects and making simple drawings from newspapers and magazines. I have always been interested in the Dadaist era, specifically the work of Hannah Hoch and Kurt Schwitters and just after the first issue was released a friend gave me Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 'A Coney Island Of The Mind' and it became a big influence on the next few issues.
The illustrations you use in the fanzine reminds me of early 20th century artists who used collage techniques for making political commentary. Tell us about your approach to your image making and what if any influences/inspiration you are drawing upon?
The process I use will usually start with a hangover! I don't know why but I will usually have been out the night before and had a conversation with someone and there will be a section that I remember combined with one of those weird little news reports you see in a corner of The Guardian like '90 year old Mexican lady wrestler saves Santiago's high street jewellery store' that I will have read that day. As soon as the idea starts to come together I type-write it up and start thinking about some imagery that might work well with it. Over a few weeks I will maybe have about 15-20 typed up bits that I stitch together on the computer to make 6 poems and 6 illustrations.
Tell us a little about the poetry you write for the zines – what inspires you, any influences?
The final part is the Letters Pages which I send out for somebody to reply to and vice versa. These are based on the ridiculous Please Help...! sections we all occasionally read at the back of the Sunday supplements and I thought it might be a funny end to each issue with. I've tried to keep them space themed so people remember the name of the zine and to remind everyone that it is nothing serious just a bit of fun. My main aim is that people who read it find at least one section so ridiculous it makes them laugh. I think that's what zines are about really, something home made, that interests people and makes them happy. No pressure of a deadline or restrictions on creative input. Spontaneity. I don't know of any sad zines.
What are your aspirations for ‘Poetry from Outer Space’?
Aspirations? well, the type-written collection is building and I usually make about 12 collages per issue so i have lots of stuff that never gets printed. If I'm still making it in a few years then I'm thinking of putting on a small show of all the typed roughs and out take collages. I've also had an idea lately to make a Short Stories From Outer Space based on an extension of the letter pages, but it's still early thoughts yet.
What fanzines would you recommend for us to read? Any favourites?
I don't really read that many zines as such but these books have been on my reading list lately and the authors have definately inspired PFOS over the years.
The Proud Highway - Hunter S. Thompson
In Watermelon Sugar - Richard Brautigan
The Road To Los Angeles - John Fante