Dale Parnell

“Dale’s poem was the first poem that actually moved me to tears. His words perfectly articulated all the reasons why the thoughts swirling in my brain and stirring in my soul only made sense in verse.” — Lizzie Thornton, editor for Cardigan Press

What genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?

I tend to think of myself as a short story writer first, and my writing has always tended towards fantasy, or at least having some fantasy element within it. It was through self-publishing and finding local author events that I was exposed to poetry. I made a lot of close friends within my local poetry circles and gradually began to write and perform at spoken word events. At the same time, I was inspired by a lot of the same people to write more science-fiction and horror especially, so now I suppose you could describe my stories as falling under the umbrella of speculative fiction. The poetry I write usually falls in the free verse camp. I’ve come to appreciate the more structured styles as a reader, but to be honest I struggle to write in any formal discipline. I don’t think I have ever consciously decided on an age range, but most of the stories and themes I write are geared more towards an adult audience.

In what way would you say your poem in Byline Legacies is similar and/or different from your usual tone?

In terms of the poetry I write, I think ‘The Poet’s Truth’ is quite close to my usual style, or at least, the poems I find that I am most happy with. I have found over the past couple of years that my favorite poetry comes from being honest about myself, my fears and occasionally my failings. I’m always in awe of poets who are willing to bare their souls, and often these are the most poignant. This poem was originally inspired by World Poetry Day, although I could never quite find what it was I wanted it to say. It suffered several failed starts, and it wasn’t until I had the first line, “What truth is there in poetry?” that the rest sort of wrote itself. What surprised me about that first draft was the feeling of anger that I got from it, especially since I couldn’t really tell you what I was angry about. Where the short stories I write are pure fiction, I think I do tend to use poetry to show pieces of myself, and in some instances, to confront parts of myself that I haven’t openly addressed.

How can readers best support your writing career?

I’m really lucky that I have been featured in several fiction and poetry anthologies, and I’m always pleased when people pick those up, since it also supports a lot of other really talented authors and poets. And if anyone does want to read more of my own work, I have self-published two collections of short stories; “The Green Cathedral”, “Bramble”, and a short collection of poetry “If I Were Not Me”, all of which can be found on Amazon and Smashwords. If anyone would like to find out more about my writing, the anthologies and upcoming projects, then you can find me on Facebook and I have set up author pages on Amazon and Goodreads.

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"All the features in Byline Legacies speak to a specific aspect of the writer’s life. But Valerie’s poem, “Elegy for the Poems I Almost Wrote”, hit me sharply because it not only calls the bluff of ev