Today I will be chatting with Kathleen "Kat" Mortensen. She just recently published her first book of Poetry. Please tell us a bit about your background, and why did you chose to be a poet?
I've been a poet all my life, really. As a child, I was introduced to "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson when my grandmother used to read it to me as I sat on her knee. Then it was the wacky Dr. Seuss who got me forming my own rhymes.
As a youth and young adult, I wrote occasionally, but it was usually for an occasion or to get some emotion off my chest (usually to do with a boy, if I'm honest).
It's only in the last four years that I've come to see my poetry as a vocation and not just a hobby. As an adult, I made a decision to take it on as my sole occupation and I haven't looked back. Mind you, it's never going to be much of an earner. Still, I feel good about the fact that I will be leaving something behind to say who I was as a person.
2. How did you come up with the title for your book? And just what does "Shadowstalking" mean?
I struggled to come up with a title that I liked, that was unique and that meant something. A blogger friend advised me to look at all my work as a whole and see if there were any themes, write them all down and find the top two most prevalent ones. I must assure you that the word "stalk" is not one of them, although I think it may appear in my "Lament of the Fiddleheads" poem.
The word "shadow" did make a fairly regular appearance, but more importantly, the idea of shadows in my life seemed to fit. The shadows that haunt me in the wake of my father's death, the shadows we all face just by being here, and the natural shadows that play in my garden and provide a canvas for the wildlife that I love.
The title, "shadowstalking" is meant to be ambiguous. The reader is allowed to interpret it any way it suits them. It can be "shadows talking" or "shadow stalking", depending upon your mood or inclination.
3. Who are some of your personal role models or mentors?
I suppose my father was my biggest role model, especially when it came to love of words. The book is dedicated to him.
As for poets, I find the greatest satisfaction in reading the classical, romantic poets like Robert Browning, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but I also greatly enjoy exploring and supporting new and fresh poets all over the world. I'm pleased to say that I enjoy friendships with a goodly number of them.
Thank you, Ann for spending some time with me to discuss my work and the book. I hope your readers may be inclined to visit my blogs: http:://stalktheshadow.
blogspot.com and http://hyggedigter.blogspot. com to discover more.
Thank you, Kat for taking the time to chat with us for a few minutes.