Interview with Rich Marcello

Rich is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

Commercial Photography

 

Tee: Firstly, talk me through the exquisite book cover.

Rich: Well, for my other book covers, Langdon Street Press did most of the work, but for this book, I had a clear idea of what I wanted.  Several years ago, I acquired the rights to the photo that eventually became the cover.  What I loved about the photo was the image of connected branches opening up to the sky.  I thought that image mapped well to the theme of The Long Body That Connects Us All, so I submitted it to Langdon Street and they took it from there.  I love all of the covers to my books, but I am particularly fond of this cover.

 

Tee: What does the title of the collection actually signify to you?

Rich: In general, I tend to not talk about the meaning of my titles mostly because titles can mean different things to different people, and all of them are equally valid.  Of the people who’ve read the book, the title has signified a number of things.  One interpretation is that we are all connected by the long history of the human race, and though we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture, there’s wisdom in our connected history if we look for it.  Another interpretation is, at its most fundamental level, being human, being a good woman or man, is about learning to see another person clearly and about being vulnerable enough to be seen by the person you are trying to see clearly.  If we could all do that not so simple thing, the world would be a fundamentally better place.  I like both of those interpretations.

 

Tee: How long did it take you to compile this collection? Which are your favourite poems from it?

Rich: I worked it for two years, and I’m really proud of how it turned out. I love many of the poems, but if I had to name three,  I would say, “Passing,” “The Blue Line,” and “Belong to No One.”

 

Tee: What are your previous books about?

Rich: My books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. My goal is to fill my novels with rich characters and ideas, to continually improve my craft as a storyteller, and to tell my stories with the eye and the ear of a poet. For me, writing and art-making are about connection and making a difference to a least one other person in the world.

 

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.”

 

The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.”

 

The Beauty of the Fall was published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

 

Tee: When did you decide you wanted to venture into poetry?

Rich: I’ve written poetry all of my life, but I didn’t get serious about until a few years ago. I had a dear friend encourage me to publish, and I took it from there.

 

Tee: How would you describe your writing style?

Rich: I write every day for five or six hours, mostly in the morning.  I find I do my best work when I go from one kind of dream time ( sleeping) right to another( writing).  My style is an interesting question.  I’m most interested in writing in a way that emotionally resonates with my readers.  Sometimes that means writing poetic passages. Other times it’s about character voice. Other times it’s about the story itself.  But overall, the more psychologically honest and emotional work is, the better. So I guess that’s my style.

 

Tee: How do you go about the process of writing poetry?

Rich: Typically, I get an idea for a poem or a single image, and then I develop it from there.  If I started with the idea,  I spend my time making the poem more physical and concrete.  If I start with an image, I spend my time working on the poem’s thematic payoff.

 

Tee: What are your upcoming books about?

Rich: The Latecomers is about aging in America and about how we as a society have systematically devalued the pursuit of wisdom.

 

Tee: How can readers get in touch with you?

Rich: The best way is through my website www.richmarcello.com

Alternately, people can find my work on any of the following websites:

Amazon

Goodreads

Instagram

 

Read the review Here

Advertisements

The Long Body That Connects Us All by Rich Marcello

Title: The Long Body That Connects Us All

Author: Rich Marcello

Publisher: Langdon Street Press

Date of Publication: 9 January 2018

Rating: 5/5

A collection of heartfelt poetry to savour for every poetry lover.

“After that, he, just a teenager,

too young to know better,

did the only thing he could:

He followed.”
A piece of bark, porchwork, cowboy boots and everything ordinary is the subject of Marcello’s poetry collection The Long Body That Connects Us All. Yet, it is his poignant, powerful and observant style that pierces the words to make things extraordinary. The poems are written in three parts- In the Coming, Yab Yum and Aether.

The first part deals with the relations that tie people together and the various roles they play within these relations that define their existence. Though that fulfills their societal and familial roles but those are not enough to wade away existential woes. The focus is on the emotions felt at the birth of a grandson or the joys of playing in a tree house. It is in the context of the larger chain of feelings that are equally felt by all and that everyone wants to feel as well. The second part maintains the subtlety but engages in the tougher passions which are equally inescapable. It deals with everyday things, things of the here and now, in English class, observations on thanksgiving and so on. Yab Yum is the last poem in this section. The third part gets emotional and abstract. The poem The Long Body precedes Aether which is the last poem of that section and of the book as well.

The poems are short and easy to read. Images of hope, loss, maturity, sacrifice and helplessness are realised through those everyday objects that surround almost all of us. These objects receive a very different signification which is oriented to the poet’s personal experiences. Nothing is overdone or utterly romanticized and though realistic the verse flows with an ease that is commendable. The whole collection can be read in a single sitting if so desired though it’s not recommendable as the poems may appear simple but have realistic and ironic twists that seem to suggest at a lot more than what is written.

The collection is earthy and life like. Marcello observes the nuances of every other things around him and converts that into the emotions that resonate with those days or things. The collection also hints at a poet who has experienced as much as he has observed and is capable of soaking it all in. It is  merely a long body that connects us all and it is in these human connections that we redefine ourselves going on to prove that we’re all similar and part of the human race.

Profound and full of positivity.

“Belong to no one except yourself.

In times of great love, take a deep

breath and remember love is fullest

when you don’t lose yourself.”

Click the book cover to grab your copy. Happy Reading!