David Melville is a poet who lives in Portland, Oregon. He has read at Portland’s Wordstock Festival and has had his poetry accepted for publication in the Sunday edition of The Oregonian. He graduated from The Attic’s Atheneum Program in poetry, and also holds an M.A. from Reed College in liberal studies where he focused on creative writing. He makes his living as an attorney.
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What is stacked up on your nightstand at the moment?
I usually read a few books at once, unless one grips me. Right now, I’m loving the last poems of Larry Levis in the superb posthumous collection The Darkening Trapeze. I’m also enjoying Adyashanti’s The End of Your World, as well as Michael Harner’s The Way of the Shaman. In fits and spurts, pages of Black Elks Speaks (as told to John Neihardt) pass by. The Power of Divine Eros by A.H. Almaas and Karen Johnson has been sitting on my night stand for a few months, patiently biding its time.
Are you a fan of print books or ebooks?
Print books — 99 times out of 100. I only purchase ebooks for trips, and not for a few years.
What’s your favorite bookstore?
I’m still partial to Powell’s on Hawthorne in Portland — large enough for an ample selection; small enough for random discoveries.
What book made the biggest impression on you as a kid?
The Lord of the Rings. I discovered Tolkien’s books in my local library at age 11, and read them over and over. It’s been a few decades since I read The Lord of the Rings, although I did re-read The Hobbit a couple years ago, and its pages still held magic.
Tell us about your writing routine. What inspires you?
The first line of the poem that appears in this issue was scrawled out on scrap paper, balanced on the steering wheel, as I drove between Sisters and Bend, the mountains close at hand. The words came into my head, and I fumbled for a pen and something to write on, somehow managing to keep the tires between the asphalt lines. First drafts are always a scramble, reaching for anything to scrawl the words down as inspiration strikes, since the thread can disappear quick as it came. I have first drafts on napkins, stores receipts, flyers, anything.