Why Poetry: An interview with Brad Gilmore

Driven by the desire to raise his voice for those who are not heard, Brad Gilmore uses his poems to address social issues in his home country. As a medical doctor by profession, it is in his innate characteristic to help people, one patient at a time. His career would have been enough to make the world a better place, but he realized that he can use his talents in other creative ways as well. 

Brad began writing poetry as a positive distraction after being emotionally ill and traumatized. From then on, he has been writing poems that cater to different readers: spiritual, social, economic, and even mundane. Writing under the pseudonym of AgapePhileoEros and Jackson Ford, he has inspired plenty of readers, both online and offline, to pursue social and economic change.  

Q. What made you to decide to be an author?

At first and from time to time, emotional illness and personal trauma.  I find writing to be absorbing and a positive source of distraction.  I would say following from that it was akin to an innate altruism.

The urgency of the times we live in and the abundant crises in our nation and beyond made it imperative for me to write. I just started writing poetry for the first time in Spring of 2016.  At that time and since the presidential election of that year, I was stirred to raise a voice above the din for those who had little or no voice.  I got profoundly ill that year and ended up being in the hospital for 2 months.  It was then and there that I started ardently to pursue writing and began with poetry which I now prefer.

Q. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I am building a body of work.  My. First works are part of a trilogy called “Arid Willows and Hallowed Haunts”

Q. If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

I would my younger self that I should have started this part of my career long ago.

Q. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Publishing work is as or more difficult than composing my writing.  Editing, putting works in an order that makes sense, applying artwork strategically and marketing.

Q. What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

Poets I disliked at first but now attached to would be W.B. Yeats, Oscar Wilde and the Romantics like Lord Byron, Samuel T. Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Q. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I grew up under the tutelage of my mother who studied journalism and critiqued my writing from first grade through college.  When she would be angry without a cuss word in her vocabulary, she be able slice and discipline you strongly without it being physical.

Q. What sets your books apart from others who write the same genre as you do?

My poetry is influenced strongly by my medical and public health training.  It stems from a non-lazy, self-interested faith in Jesus Christ based on His teachings especially the Sermon on the Mount.  I am committed to an Anabaptist (not anti-Baptist) way of life where pacifism is not passive and a strong believer in the community as opposed to a commitment to American individualism.

Today, Brad is juggling his time between working on his poetry trilogy, getting ready to submit a play, and starting his novel. It’s a lot for one person to handle, but he loves what he’s doing. In the coming years, his readers should expect to see more of his work being published. No matter what it is – poems, novels, plays – Brad Gilmore’s works will always seek to spark a change in the social and economic status of the world.

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