New Occidental Poetry

Featured Poets

 

Featured Poets

Below you will find some short interviews with featured poets who have had numerous works published with Atop The Cliffs as well as links to their work hosted by the journal.

 
 
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LARSEN HALLECK

Runs his own website The Barbaric Gentlemen and has been published around the Manosphere including on Return of Kings. His artistic talents include not just poetry but an interest in music and fictional writing.

How did you end up writing poetry?
Like most people who went to public high school in the USA, I noticed that most of the poetry we had to read was...to put it bluntly, not good (My "My Brown Skin" poem is scarcely an exaggeration). So I always hated poetry until my junior year of high school when I started reading pulp fiction (thanks to an anthology in my high school library), and within said anthology were poems by Robert Howard and HP Lovecraft. While they are not particularly renowned for their poetry, I noticed that their verse more powerful and more moving than any of the rhythmless garbage we were forced to read (I was also in the school orchestra and jazz band, so my sense of rhythm was honed by that point). Once I had discovered good literature my love of reading prose and poetry were simultaneously ignited, and from there I read better literature. Around this same time I read an article on the Art of Manliness which stated that a real man creates and a bugman (the term didn't exist yet, but the concept was certainly intended) just consumes---and thus I was inspired to not only consume poetry of better men, but to create my own as well (the specific desire to flex my creative muscles are something I go into a bit more detail with in the last question).

Who Are Some Of Your Favorite Poets, and Why?
In addition to Howard and Lovecraft (both of whose poems are vastly underrated in my opinion), I am a big fan of the epics like the Iliad/Odyssey, Beowulf, Song of Roland, etc (although I'm not nearly pretentious enough to try to write an epic anytime soon). In terms of things that we have documented authors for, I am a big fan of poets from many nations---Americans like Poe, Pound, and Longfellow, English poets like Keats, Byron, and (especially) Kipling, continental Europeans like Goethe and Pushkin, poets of the near east like Hafez and Khayyam, and poets of the far east like Li Bo and Buson. Obviously, all those poets are vastly different, but I feel that they each have in common an unpretentiousness to their writing, and a great sense of rhythm (neither of which exist in modern poetry).

What Do you Think About the Public Perception of Poetry in the West today?
I think we all know that poetry is perceived today as entirely the domain of effeminate men (of hetero or homo leanings, for these guys any sense of sexuality is faint), angry minorities, and stank-faced women with problem glasses. And I'm gonna wager that part of the reason why I and Arthur both do what we do is in an attempt to change this perception---to show that masculine, virile men can be bards once again!

Can You Share Any Advice to Aspiring Poets?
Yeah, just write! Don't wait for angels to come down and give you divine inspiration---read lots of poetry, and write lots of poetry. Chuck Jones once said to aspiring animators something along the lines of "You have 100,000 bad drawings in you, better get them out now". I feel similarly about poetry---you have to get your crap over with before you can start writing good stuff. Take inspiration from the greats of the past, but make your own style.

How Would You Describe Yourself Politically?
US-Wise I am a registered independent. But in the grand scheme of things I would say "right-leaning libertarian/a mild form of Middle American Radical" is probably the closest way to describe me. Some of my political traits would be identified as leftist (or at least pre-2000s leftist) in American discourse---I'm very concerned about the environment and conservation, I'm not a big fan of the justice system, organized religion, or corporations (those being the biggest reasons I can never bring myself to vote Republican), and I generally just want you to get the hell off my lawn and leave me alone (and I will afford you the same courtesy). However, my belief in the right to bear arms, the existence (and indeed necessity) of traditional gender roles, the existence of race (As I have repeatedly made clear on my website I do NOT believe any race is "superior or inferior", but cultures and races are different and "good fences make for good neighbors" and all that), the necessity of hierarchy for functional human activity, and the outright rejection of notions of historical guilt are what push me into the right.

Or to put it another way: To paraphrase the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, the best government is the one that you don't even notice exists. In other words, I'd prefer if the government provided just enough service/entitlements to keep society functioning and then backed off.

Anything Else?
Yeah, buy my book! Speaking of; while I don't want to be a Professional Ethnic...a quick perusal of my website will show you that, yes I am indeed half white and half Asian. And truth be told, there's a part of me that wants to be known not just for my own sake, but to show people in general that A) Not every Asian is a stolid, uncreative clod and B) Not every Eurasian is a hysterical Oedipal failure one step away from a mass shooting. And now that we're on the subject...C) Not every white man is an emasculated pansy stewing in a bath of white guilt.

 
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FREDERICK ALGERNON

Is a writer of fiction and nonfiction currently pursuing an undergraduate history degree. When not studying and writing for school he spends his time arguing on the internet. He is currently in the process of publishing an allegorical tale at The Logos Club as well as preparing for the birth of his first son.

How did you end up writing poetry?
Poetry is something that happens to me, like a seasonal cold or an infection. I find myself in a place, feeling something uncomfortable and unexpected. The result tends to be haiku, but there is no guarantee. When I write a poem it is because there is something inside my head I absolutely must be rid of, and the poem is a phial in which to contain it.

Who are some of your favourite poets and why?
I don't really have favorite poets, but I do have favorite poems. I was a big fan of Garrison Keeler's Writer's Almanac which used to be played very early in the morning. I would hear him drone on in his pleasing baritone, reading a short poem by someone I'd never meet, nor care to, and, for a few brief moments, the concerns of the daily grind would slip away. I used to be ashamed to admit it, but I find more and more that Dickinson's work has a very powerful effect on me. She is also the OG NEET and I find much amusement in that. Of late I've been reviewing Rudyard Kipling, a writer I had dismissed long ago, and it is like a sea wind blowing over a place far from the waves.

What do you think about the public perception of poetry in the West today?
The place within culture that used to be occupied by the likes of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson is now occupied by the likes of Drake and whichever musical thot is currently in favor. I do not have a high opinion of poetry; I have always maintained that poetry is the lowest form of literary endeavour... unless it resonates with you. Then, it becomes stunningly appropriate and profound. Pop music seems to be that construct now. Most of it flows by and over you leaving no impression worth mentioning, but every person seems to have a pop song they feel embodies their personal aesthetic. This is sad but I do find it to be accurate.

Can you share any advice to aspiring poets?
Don't. I only jest in part; I firmly believe that both Poet and Musician are done best as part time pastimes. When something so frivolous, however venerated it may be by any given Society, becomes a paying job, the quality of content nosedives leaving the horrible, bottom feeding lickspittles we call famous these days. Poetry is the smoke of a life in flames. The fire may be wild and short-lived, or managed and consistent, but the moment the smoke becomes the point, the fire is dying.

How would you describe yourself politically?
I endeavour not to for many reasons, but when pressed I say I am a Monarchist as this is accurate enough. I spend a fair amount of time in the world of conjecture and devil's advocacy as it pertains to politics so sometimes I lose sight of my own concerns. To put it simply, I am for stability and security.

Anything else you'd like to add for our readers?
In all things, seek beauty and truth. When that fails, seek targets of opportunity.

 
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BENJAMIN WELTON

Is a writer originally from West Virginia, but now based in Boston.

How did you end up writing poetry?
I’ve been writing poems and short stories since I was a kid. I never dreamed of being a professional writer, but I always wanted to be a well-rounded man who also wrote in his free time. I have stuck with poetry because I love the English language and how poetry can often explain the inexplicable.

Who are some of your favourite poets and why?
My tastes tend to run towards the darker side of things. As such, my favorite poets include Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Algernon Charles Swinburne, H.P. Lovecraft, and Robert Browning. I also a big fan of Roy Campbell, John Donne, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Fernando Pessoa, and Archilochus. Finally, I love epic poems, from The Iliad to The Lusiads. Basically, I enjoy manly, Romantic, and heroic poetry.

What do you think about the public perception of poetry in the West today?
In today’s world, poetry is for  and produced by cat ladies. There’s nothing I loathe more than “woe-is-me” or “I’m super woke” verse. These poems say nothing and mean nothing. While poetry has always been an elitist art, today, in the West, poetry actively cuts itself off from the working class and working class men in particular.

Can you share any advice to aspiring poets?
My advice is to write every single day. Also, don’t get discouraged by writing bad poems—we all write loads of terrible poems.

How would you describe yourself politically?
I like to think of myself as “complicated,” but I’m really just a conservative with some anarchic tendencies. I support monarchy, authority, imperium, and Christendom, but I also support private property and state’s rights. I am an American nationalist and a proud veteran with a family that has served both the United States military and the Confederate army. My dislikes include corporate capitalism,  mainstream Protestantism, the academic-non-profit complex, the cult of middle class “respectability,” and every permutation of Jacobinism.  

Anything else you'd like to add for our readers?
I would just say supporting Atop the Cliffs goes a long way to running the cultural blockade manned by our eternal adversaries.