AUTHOR INTERVIEW 120 – Mark Durre


Mark Durre

United States of America

Age 45

Born 1975 in central Illinois U.S.A
I am the youngest of my parents children. Most of my childhood was in farm houses in the country.  We didn’t own any of the farms but looking back, I am grateful for the childhood I had. 

I’ve been writing poetry since I was 14. But it was not until my late 20’s that I decided to actually try and publish my work.  After many excuses and failed attempts I published my first book, Heart-N-Soul Spilled on Paper, in 2018. Since then I have completed the second book in the Heart-N-Soul series. Lost and Found, I hope to release this year. I am currently working on the third book at this time.  I am also working on turning my poetry into spoken word videos which can be seen on my YouTube channel. 


My primary goal is to spread awareness and understanding of depression and self harm. Too many people are too embarrassed or afraid to truly ask for help. Until this fear is removed, the first and most important step will continue to be the hardest. 
Take a journey of emotions with a teenager who never quite fit in. Read and experience his journey on a level like no other. Watch as he begins to grow into his own identity. Feel what he felt, the heartbreak, new love, anger, hope, depression and so much more.

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN ABOUT WRITING?

Mark Durre: Do what you feel is right. Not what you’ve been taught is right. (Specifically in writing poetry. Not life.)

Romelia: HOW MANY HOURS A DAY DO YOU WRITE?

Mark Durre: It really depends on the day. But a safe average is about an hour a day. 

Romelia: WHEN YOU ARE WRITING AN EMOTIONAL OR DIFFICULT SCENE, HOW DO SET THE MOOD?

Mark Durre: I relive the experience in my mind. Sometimes I will go to a place that gives me a better perspective. An example would be if I’m writing about loss I may go to a cemetery. If I’m writing of love, I will find a park or a beach. But if I can’t go anywhere I simply allow my imagination to take me there. 

Romelia: WHOM DO YOU TRUST FOR OBJECTIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM OF YOUR WORK?

Mark Durre: My family and a very short list of close friends. However I do read every comment left and accept the criticism as guide. Sure there are trolls that just talk, but honest criticism is like a speed sign. In the end, it’s up to you how much you choose to follow it. 

Romelia: HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH THE SUBJECT OR THEME OF YOUR BOOK?

Mark Durre: It is my life. I write what I feel, when I feel it. Every poem is dated. That date has meaning as it is a part of my life. I guess my book could be labeled as an auto-biography, just in poetry verse. 

Romelia: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WRITE IN YOUR PARTICULAR FIELD OR GENRE? IF YOU WRITE MORE THAN ONE, HOW DO YOU BALANCE THEM?

Mark Durre: Most of my life has been overshadowed by depression. I’ve lived through some very dark times. The darkest of times are when I feel alone. I often felt as though I was the only person that couldn’t just feel happy. I have to fight for that feeling every day of my life. I want others to know that they are not alone, they are loved, and there are good moments if you allow yourself to be around to experience them. 

Romelia: WHAT CULTURAL VALUE DO YOU SEE IN WRITING?

Mark Durre: Hopefully awareness. Depression, suicide, self harm, and many more are often misunderstood. It’s not that people in general don’t want to help. It’s more often that they don’t know how to help. Then there is the guilt of not being able to do better. Everyone looses. But with awareness and hopefully a view into the mind of someone who has suffered for most of my life, those on the other side may find closure. Maybe just maybe, they will understand a little better and even a little understanding can save a life. 

Romelia: HOW DOES YOUR BOOK RELATE TO YOUR SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OR OTHER LIFE PATH?

Mark Durre: The first book Heart-N-Soul Spilled On Paper, is the first book of a series. Spilled on Paper was written from age 15 till roughly 20. The second book, Heart-N-Soul Lost and Found covers age 20-40 roughly. Several poems reference religion and my view. Also my lack of understanding in some cases. 

Romelia: WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS AND INTENTIONS IN THIS BOOK, AND HOW WELL DO YOU FEEL YOU ACHIEVED THEM?

Mark Durre: My goal is to simply help people understand depression in a way that is not normally presented. Hopefully, in this at least one life can be saved. I don’t know if that has been achieved or will, but I have faith that it will. 

Romelia: CAN YOU SHARE SOME STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE YOU MET WHILE RESEARCHING THIS BOOK?

Mark Durre: My work is my life and the poems are the stories. But specifically speaking research, it was primarily by reading and researching poetry. 

Romelia: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REFERENCES THAT YOU USED WHILE RESEARCHING THIS BOOK?

Mark Durre: Way too many hours of synonym and definition searching. I must say, when it comes to that, google is my friend. 

Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK MOST CHARACTERIZES YOUR WRITING?

Mark Durre: My ability to convey emotion while allowing your mind to invent its own story. 

Romelia: WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF WRITING THIS BOOK?

Mark Durre: Reliving the moment while it’s still painful. Then sharing it for everyone to see the real me that I otherwise hide. 

Romelia: ARE THERE VOCABULARY WORDS OR CONCEPTS IN YOUR BOOK THAT MAY BE NEW TO READERS? DEFONE SOME OF THOSE.

Mark Durre: In my newer writings I do add a few words that are not commonly used. But I do try to keep a balance. I believe understanding by the reader is more important than proving my intelligence or lack there of. An example would be 

A Validated Response      9/29/20

Just because I say I don’t care

Doesn’t mean I’m not aware

Some things just don’t matter 

Like time to the mad hatter 

One second to one minute to the next

Time is arranged apex obtuse and is inflexed 

The truth of life is relative

But the meaning is imperative 

I don’t care does not devalue you

But my obsession is not due

If it’s empathy which you seek

Look not to me, I have not what you seek

For your truth you must find

Even if the answer is unkind

My lack of care is not superfluous 

But my opinion is gratuitous 

For my words would only be nonessential 

Any truth I would speak could be torrential 

My truth is a measly nugatory response

I am no longer with heart and soul ensconce 

With you I am now at the denouement 

For I said what I meant

A promise made is a promise to be kept

Unlike yours as you laughed while I wept

You assented from us as you are aware

Dissolving any promise of care

Just because you can use big boy words, doesn’t mean you should. 

Romelia: ARE THERE UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS OR IDEAS FEATURED IN YOUR BOOK? IF SO, DISCUSS THEM.

Mark Durre: The one that comes to mind is that suicide is a selfish act. While it can be, in my experience it’s actually the opposite. When you have convinced yourself that you are the cause of others unhappiness and you have an uncontrollable urge for self harm, it’s not me I am thinking of. It’s the ones I love and the pain I have convinced myself that I cause. If I’m gone, I can cause no more pain. At the same time, I do my best to remember that I am not alone. People do love me and I am not the cause of pain. It’s hard to remember sometimes. I don’t want to glorify this in anyway though, so I always feel like I’m walking a fine line. Self harm awareness needs to be better. 

Romelia: ARE THERE MISCONCEPTIONS THAT PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT YOUR BOOK? IF SO, EXPLAIN.

Mark Durre: The obvious one is that my poetry is read at face value. How the reader interpreted it. But my poetry is filled with double or multiple meanings. It’s meant to be thought provoking. 

A great example is when I write “I release my soul” I am not saying I killed myself. I am saying that I have let go and accepted that which is holding me in depression. Releasing my soul is me finding a way to continue and move on. Not from this life, but down the path of life to experience new things. 

Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOUR SUBJETC/GENRE, THAT THEY NEED TO KNOW?

Mark Durre: There are beautiful moments in life. But there is only one way to experience them. You have to live to get there.  

Romelia: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Mark Durre: Anything really. A happy thought. A sad moment. A glance from someone I know. A smile from a stranger. Life itself is my muse. Yes it’s a contrition but it gives me the will to see what will happen tomorrow. 

Romelia: HOW DID YOU GET TO BE WHERE YOU ARE IN YOUR LIFE TODAY?

Mark Durre: A series of unfortunate events and decisions that I have made. The daily fight not just to see tomorrow, but to be a better person than I was yesterday. 

Romelia: WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS THAT YOU FEEL WERE INFLUENTIAL IN YOUR WORK? WHAT IMPACT HAVE THEY HAD ON YOUR WRITING?

Mark Durre: There are so many great poets past and present but I am a fan of the older writing. Like Browning, Barks, Abernathy, chatterton, Poe, Frost, Angelou, Blake, Boncho, Aristophanes, Aktor, Cummings, Whitman, and more. Edgar Allen Poe I have always related too though. All of these and more have influenced my writings at one point or another. 

Romelia: WHAT DID YOU FIND MOST USEFUL IN LEARNING TO WRITE? WHAT WAS LEAST USEFUL OR MOST DESTRUCTIVE?

Mark Durre: Most useful has been learning that I do not need to follow the standard rules of what is poetry. 

Least, learning the standard rules of poetry. lol. 

Romelia: ARE YOU A FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME WRITER? HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR WRITING?

Mark Durre: I am part time. I write when my heart says it needs to be heard. 

Having to work a full time job, I have lost more poems than I have written. You can’t stop doing your job to write a poem much less write the idea of the poem down. It’s a quick way to loose your job. 

Romelia: WHAT ARE SOME DAY JOBS THAT YOU HAVE HELD? IF ANY OF THEM IMPACTED YOUR WRITING, SHARE AN EXAMPLE.

Mark Durre: I have worked in fields from security, to cook, to receptionist, to hole digger and an assortment of factory jobs. Sometimes the experience at work leads to a great poem once I clock out. 

Bored is a poem that was written after a slow day at work. 

I was bored bored bored and I’m still that way 

I look to the wisdom of the Lord to help me through this day 

shed your love upon my soul 

like the sun in a lonely dark hole 

at 1 PM all my hopes went away 

like the night invaded by day 

as time goes by I seek the wisdom of why 

why does the day lie 

like a thief in the night 

everything seemed all right 

till the day was half through 

and after the morning withdrew

at 1 PM all my hopes went away 

like the night invaded by day 

hopefully someday 

I won’t feel this way

Romelia: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT EBOOKS VS PRINT BOOKS AND ALTERNATIVE VS CONVENTIONAL PUBLISHING?

Mark Durre: I still prefer to hold a book in my hand. Feel the paper between my fingers. But I also like the ease in which ebooks are available. Everyone has a phone in there pocket. Not everyone carries books around. 

As for the publishing, I love alternative publishing because it allows people to publish and have their art seen much more easily than before. You used to be at the mercy of another person’s opinion. Many great works will never be seen because of this. But today, nearly anyone can publish their work on one platform or another and be seen by countless people.

Romelia: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FUTURE OF READING/WRITING?

Mark Durre: Hopefully we will get to the point where people can simply speak their words and it will be auto loaded and corrected as needed in real time. Then it’s only a proofread and a click to be published. 

Romelia: WHAT MAKES YOUR BOOK STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD?

Mark Durre: I have never seen a poetry book that has dates on each poem and as you read, you grow with the writer over a span of their entire adult life and more. That is what my series does. As you read, you can see me grow from a teenager to an old man. 

Romelia: DO YOU WRITE MORE BY LOGIC OR INTUITION, OR SOME COMBINATION OF THE TWO? SUMMARIZE YOUR WRITING PROCESS.

Mark Durre: Definitely intuition. Logic is but a side effecting my work. Basically I get an emotion, find a few words that embrace the emotions and begin to write what my heart feels and the experience of the moment. I do exaggerate and make events more profound than they were to ensure the emotion is felt more than the words are heard. 

Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE WRITING COMMUNITY?

Mark Durre: Right now I believe I am a Ming thousands that want to share. Share hope, understanding, and love. But someday I hope to be a true voice for poets and seen as an example that anything is possible. 

Romelia: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE PRESENT? WHAT DO YOUR PLANS FOR FUTURE PROJECTS INCLUDE?

Mark Durre: Right now I am working on publishing book two in the Heart-N-Soul series. I am currently writing book three in the Heart-N-Soul series. I am working on making some of my poetry into songs with people who can sing far better than I. And, I have a newly opened YouTube channel where I read my poetry and I’m accompanied with music and videos to display the thoughts and emotions. 

https://youtube.com/channel/UCri_sv6t6kY76-tnTgOgdgg

Romelia: DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN A FEW SENTENCES. TELL US SOMETHING WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU AND SOMETHING YOU HATE ABOUT THE WORLD.

Mark Durre: I am just an average man. I’ve had good days and bad. My heart is too big and too easily hurt. I have made a lot of poor decisions and I’ve saved more than one life directly. I am shy, a little awkward and crowds scare me. 

The biggest thing I hate about the world is the lack of compassion. How it’s seems to be easier to ignore and hate than it is to accept and love. We as a race, need to evolve. 

One race + One goal = Human Co-existence

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