Chris Abbate’s short fiction and poetry has appeared in Main Street Rag, Blue Heron Review, Common Ground Review, and Comstock Review among other journals. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention in the 2015 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Competition. Chris has a B.A. in English from Gordon College and an M.A. in English from Southern Connecticut State University. Originally from Hartford, CT, he resides with his wife in Apex, NC where he works as a database programmer in the field of clinical research. In his spare time Chris serves as a lead coach for The First Tee.
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What’s on your nightstand at the moment?
I am reading the novel All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and The Art of Description by the poet Mark Doty. I am a member of a monthly poetry book club in the Raleigh area and we usually read one book each year on the craft of poetry. For 2016 we chose this nice little book by Doty. I also have one or two issues of Golf Magazine on my nightstand. Does that count as reading?
Tell us about your writing routine. Do you have a favorite time or place to write?
I usually write at night or on weekends when I don’t have other commitments outside of work. I jot down ideas and fragments in a notebook, or send them as e-mails to myself, most of which I then compile in an electronic file. When I sit down to write I have a bunch of different ideas to springboard from. Some of them trigger additional thoughts that take my poems in an unexpected direction, some get combined, and some just sit and wait to be picked up.
Who’s your muse? What inspires you?
I am inspired a lot by my family and by childhood memories, memories that at the time I didn’t have the perspective to fully grasp, but that I can explore now through my poetry. I am also fascinated by the passage of time, all the seemingly insignificant moments that make up a day, all the days that make up our experience of being alive, and how these moments are imbued with a sense of timelessness. It’s great stuff.