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Interview with A Jarrell Hayes, author of The Collected Poems of A. Jarrell Hayes


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Ladies come to me
Seeking more than I can give;
But I don’t know that

The Collected Poems of A. Jarrell Hayes combines my eight books of poetry into one volume. The writing spans my career from 2004 – 2011. Books included are Heart and Soul of a Thinker, Just Another Angry Black Man, 100 + 1 Haiku, To Woman, From Man: Love Poems; The Poets Are Dead?, Seattle’s Hymn, The Enchanted Prince and Impromptu. I’ve also added poems I have had published online and in print.

For anyone not yet familiar with your work, can you tell us what kind of poetry you write?
Contemporary poetry.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Lovers of poetry who appreciate a wide range of topics. My style is witty and humorous.

Yes, just like the Haiku above. That’s called Player, right?
Contrary to what you might think, the speakers in the poems aren’t me. They’re characters who are observing the world around them. I’m only the conduit for which they choose to speak.

Fair enough.
The idea to publish my poems in one book came from a mistake. I had ordered five of my books from my printer, and they sent me an erroneous copy which had two books combined into one book. After noticing how it felt and looked in my hands, I thought it would be a great idea to gather my poems together into one volume.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a writer, poet and publisher from Maryland. As a young kid, I wrote and illustrated my own books in the Choose Your Own Adventure style, which I sold to family and friends. I began writing poetry when in middle school a teacher asked the class to keep a daily journal. I really didn’t know what to say, so I developed a style of prose poems which I submitted.

I self-published my first two books in 2004: poetry collection Heart and Soul of a Thinker and a fantasy novel title Crowning of the Good King. Since then, I’ve written over a dozen more books and have had my work appear in 20 publications online and in print. In the beginning of this year, I founded Hidden Clearing Books, L.L.C., a small press.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
Yes. My website is and my blog is at

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
My Twitter handle is @ajh_books, and my Facebook fan page is at

What’s next?
I’m currently writing the first draft an urban fantasy novella called The Demonic Dozen, which is the 2nd book in the Detecting Magic with Dick Hunter series. Later this year I will release in print the first 3 books in the Good King Saga fantasy series. As for poetry, I’m piecing together a small chapbook under the name A. J. Hayes.

One last poem before we wrap this interview up?

I once danced atop holy water
Thinking the world would be made right
For the righteous, not the wicked.
In my fantasy the swine would lay
Their pearls before my feet, as I sat
On my regal dais and ate truffles.
I believed this was to be
Because I was chosen, I was the beloved.

But prophecy doesn’t come to pass
Without work, and fate needs a task
To complete, and destiny is merely
Looking back on the past at what happened.
If I’m to skip across baptismal waters once
Again, I need to slide off my throne
And crawl to the river’s edge,
Plunge into the crispness of the stream
And either learn how to swim
Or how to accept drowning.

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