Interview With Poet Thomas Stemmer

Thomas Stemmer recently agreed to an interview with myself and 32 Poems. And here is what he had to say. 

How would you introduce yourself to a crowded room eager to hang on your every word? Are you just a poet, what else should people know about you?

I cannot imagine a crowd eagerly listening to poetry. However, in 2008, when I was invited to a conference in Pakistan, I took part in a Mushaira (a traditional poetry reading), and indeed, everybody was very eager to listen. Even a peasant there knows verses of – let’s say – Rumi or local poets for example. This is incredible. But, I am just a poet, yes, a romantic in a way.

Do you have any obsessions that you would like to share?

Yes: My mechanic typewriter. I JUST LOVE IT!

From Shortest Poems these Days:

The Law of Grace
There is
Some good fat
Bavarian sausage
In the refrigerator.


Poetry is often considered elitist or inaccessible by mainstream readers. Do poets have an obligation to dispel that myth and how do you think it could be accomplished?

Poetry is not elitist. If you WANT to read poetry, you can. Everybody is responsible for himself. The accusation of elitism is just an excuse to cover up a certain – maybe unconscious – unwillingness, I suppose.

Do you have any favorite foods or foods that you find keep you inspired? What are the ways in which you pump yourself up to keep writing and overcome writer’s block?

Foods? No. But in order to overcome a writer’s block, I use to draw, to make collages on paper or to do more of my scientific work as a orientalist. On of these doors is always open. In case of poetic emergency: hours of daydreaming! That helps ALWAYS.

If you’ve enjoyed Thomas’ answers so far, I suggest you check out the rest of my interview with him over at 32 Poems Blog. Once there, you can find out about his workspace, his inspirations, and much more. Feel free to leave me comments and discuss Thomas’ work (sampled above), his interview, or your thoughts on poetry in general.