Q: When did you start writing?
A: I wrote a few short stories and poems as an adolescent, but I would consider my “serious” writing to have started in the summer of 2012 after a traumatic car accident. A novel idea popped in my head so I ran with it (still unfinished), while also delving into haikus and prose poetry.
Q: Who are your biggest inspirations/your favourite writers?
A: During my undergrad, I was a big fan of the American Transcendentalists, but now I’ve gotten into the likes of Kafka, Capote, Tolstoy, and Joyce for prose. I also love the poetry from my contemporaries such as Scott Laudati, Karina Bush, Joanna C. Valente, and Angelo Colavita.
Q: What time of day do you do most of your writing?
A: Naturally, during the evenings and nights since I have a 9-5. It’s best to have been away from work for a couple hours and a wholesome dinner/bike ride prior to writing. Maybe a cup of coffee if it’s not too late.
Q: Why do you write?
A: This question is the most opened ended, so I’ll answer in a different way. Now that I’m out of college and have indulged in different poetry scenes around my area, I continue to see new books coming out, poetry readings occurring, and many other communal efforts. It only helps spur my own creative side to push on with new work or to enable those that are underrepresented/newcomers. It (lit. community) is not based on one or a few authors, it’s much larger; a representation of the mosaic of one’s area. Philadelphia is a Neapolitan haven for all the arts, and as long as I’m residing in this area, I’ll continue to drive myself to engage in it, be it on my own accord, or others.
Q: Do you have any favourite quotes from writers?
A: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” —Confucius has been an enduring quote that helped me through those years of pain and endurance. I recently came across this quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that is simply marvellous: “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give new/aspiring writers?
A: Look around before thinking the mainstream is where you want to be. They’re many avenues to get started in writing. Opportunities for submissions and poetry open mics are wonderful ways to make connections and to get your work publicly known. Tangentially, being around artists at galleries, working at bookstores, and checking out public events at universities can supplement one’s engagement.
Q: Do you have any collections, chapbooks, or other books available for people to purchase?
Bio: Hailing from Philadelphia, Josh Dale is a Temple University alum, bicyclist, and owner of the sweetest Bengal cat in the tri-state area. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming in 48th Street Press, vox poetica, former cactus, Huffington Post, Your One Phone Call, and others. He runs Thirty West Publishing House as founder and editor-in-chief and slings words on occasion at bookstores and dive bars. He recently was a judge for the 2018 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.