"I like to say I ditched a promising military career to write books, run a profitless press, and build blanket forts with my daughter..."
People become poets for many reasons, but stage fright is not usually at the top of the list. When Josh Gaines was an Air Force Captain he had terrible stage fright. Horrendous. "I would almost be sick and I had to give generals reports on weapons. So, I thought of the most embarrassing thing I could do. I had these 3 poems. I began reading them several times a week in front of open mike audiences, and, one day, I thought, I could do better. I can write better poetry." So, Josh became a poet and a regular at the open mike he started attending in Oklahoma, and, then, once he left the military he helped organize and run more readings in North Carolina and, then, Chicago, culminating in a graduate degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a partnership and daughter, and a press, ThoughtCrime, where he supports the work of other writers and is supporting his desire for a better country.
"I like to say I ditched a promising military career to write books, run a profitless press, and build blanket forts with my daughter. My biggest challenge in making work since having a kid has to do with alone time at the right time. I get up, make her lunch, make her breakfast, and my wife takes her to school on the way to work. Then it's my time to write, but even getting into that head space takes a couple of alone hours for me. Then I start to stress and by the time I get to writing, I only have an hour or two before I have to run by the post office to mail books out and then go pick up my daughter. I admit I kinda quit here and there, and then I'll get to a point where I become a far less happy human and a few hours of writing brings everything back in line."