California Writer/Poet/: Interview With Apryl Skies


Apryl Skies Los Angeles author Pushcart nominee and award-winning filmmaker, has been published in the US, England, Ireland, Canada, Australia and Spain.  She currently resides in Woodland Hills CA with her husband, Yorkie, English bulldog and several fish. 
What is your writing process?
My writing process is quite disjointed.  My ideal setting is the ever-so-coveted silence, high expectations for certain. Silence is a myth, but luckily for my muse and I much of my work is inspired through dreamscape.  I have been accused of being too obscure, too obtuse and my lucid dreaming could very well be to blame.  I am comfortable with that. I would rather leave a little to mystery than give it all away by being too wooden or concrete.  There is far more beauty in the unknown than what has been defined to death and I prefer to ponder possibilities.  What I respect in a writer is the ability to acknowledge that sometimes poetry is more about what is left unsaid…

I write poems through my most lucid dreaming, but not always.  I have the ability, when truly inspired, to write through many distractions.  I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so waiting for ideal silence and solitude has never been an option.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I never set out “to be a writer” I write because I must write.  In all honesty, I believe if it was not for writing and poetry and art, I might not have survived this long.

How long have you been writing? Elaborate, not just yes, no.

I was inspired by poetry at a very young age.  While my relationship with my father was to a large extent estranged, in my early years I do remember him reading to me from a large collection of poetry he owned. My father died when I was 15, but my love for poetry has become a thing of breathing.

I wrote my first poem probably around the age of 6 or 7, but I have been reading/listening to poetry since the letter A.
As a child I was inspired by Shel Silverstein, Seuss, Jack Prelutsky and Alvin Schwartz, and remain an avid reader and re-reader. I send my regards to my 2nd grade teacher Mr. Zeller for the inspiration he provided me.  Thank you wherever you are…

As a true introvert, never really finding comfort in expressing my inner most feelings in an outward arena; I found refuge in the written word.

While I was never a very encouraged child, in Jr. High my efforts in writing poetry and stories were validated when my teacher, Miss Chisholm, asked us all to write a poem.

She gave us some quiet time to write and began circling the room to see what we had all written.  At the moment she read my piece, written with the fresh wound of mourning inspired by my father’s death; she turned to me and said, “Wow…what happened?” It was there, I was instilled an element of purpose through words, that literature can heal and inspire, and through words one can jar an emotive response with creative language and expression.  I still have that poem written on lined paper with a tearful rose drawn in the margin.

Have you always wanted to be a published writer? Elaborate, not just yes, no.

Quite honestly, no. “Being published” was not always a priority to me and to some extent seemed impossible.  When you are beginning the process of attempting to get your voice out into the ethers, it can certainly seem overwhelming and intimidating.  However, the cathartic reward of the writing process has always been enough for me.  But as I grew as a writer and was encouraged by other writers who have inspired me, publishing my work did become more of a natural progression; more so than a goal or validation.

Mainly, I started posting my work online; having (and being) a support system and inspiration to other writers is what has been truly invaluable.

Gradually there seemed to be a turning point, when my poetry , photography and journalism was being requested by editors rather than my seeking out opportunities.  This was not anything I had anticipated, but I certainly embrace an opportunity when it rears its beautiful horns.  I still have to work at it and be involved, submit to journals, but it is soul-soothing to know people appreciate what I have written.

Words to the wise… always remember that gratitude never goes out of style.  Always be appreciative to those behind the scenes, the editors and co-editors that work long hours allowing your voice an avenue to be heard.

When do you write? When do you not?

I write when inspired. I write when I am not, when I am not, I get inspired. It is not always poetry, or my own work.  I write about other writers and publish their poetry, offer commentary and for the most part it is complimentary.  I do not find depth in blasting other writers with senseless criticism.  Constructive criticism however, is and always will be, a priceless commodity to a writer and more writers need to embrace that.  There is always room for improvement and we should never stop learning.

What resources online (include links and websites) help you most as a writer? What resources would you suggest for beginning writers? I consider this question important since all need new sources to help us find publishers, forums, etc.

1. Poets & Writers 
is a huge one.
They offer daily emails for your poetry fix as well as offer informative links for online and in print journals looking for submissions, some of which even offer pay.

 Awesome resource for writers with current submission calls and contests.

3.Funds for Writers (Hope Clark) is another one, which offers sound advice for those seeking grants or publication.

4. I would be remiss in not mentioning Poetry Super Highway
Rick Lupert has been supporting the poetry community for decades and always has a unique event or contest or book exchange going on.  PSH has been a huge supporter of mine and I highly recommend writers signing up for the weekly emails.
5. Or submit to  Exciting thing are happening!

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?

I am unsure as to what I imagined for myself, but I am content in my accomplishments and accolades, but honestly there is never any breathing room for ego in poetics.  

Have you figured out a way of making money as a writer or poet? Elaborate, not just yes, no.

It should not be about that, really. Any money I have made has been minimal and has been on the publishing end of things, which allows for my website to publish other writers and keep the site free. is a site dedicated to preserving the integrity of poetics in art, culture and community and strives to support contemporary writers and artists. It is a site that has grown from one page to several hundred since 2007.

Now a full blown publishing outfit, Edgar& Lenore’s now has 10 titles, the tenth to be released this January 2013 – Men in the Company of Women with over 100 male writers edited by myself, Apryl Skies & Alicia Winski.

Having said that, it is always hard work and dedication and its reward has not been in income, but in heartfire.

What inspires you to write and do you remember the exact moment you knew you wanted to be a writer?
I am inspired by everything and nothing.  The very essence of existence is so daunting, the mystery and beauty of being human and how each of us are so similar yet so different and that we each have purpose and choice and freedom and power, but we were never meant to be gods… it is all inspiring.

Who are notable authors who have influenced your writing?

Who does not? This is a loaded gun of a question. Omitting my childhood inspirations noted above, I am inspired by so many authors although I am often inspired by artists as well, but that was not the question…

Without a doubt: Cummings, Eliot, Poe, Rilke, Keats, Sexton, Roethke, Mary Oliver and so many of my fellow modern day poets have inspired me in ways beyond words. You know who you are…

Do you follow a strict writing schedule or just write when the spirit hits you?

I wish I could be on a strict writing schedule, though I do not operate like that. I work and have a ton of responsibilities as a wife and business owner, publisher and poetry junkie. My own writing has been compromised to some extent, but it’s all important and makes being a poet more human in some faint light.
What stimulates or motivates you to write: nature, human events, a little wine or vodka, or did I miss something?-this is a being honest with yourself question. Where/how do you find the most inspiration?
I love nature and when time allows I am an avid and adventurous hiker.  Nature always inspires.  The human condition does as well.  I love telling stories.  I love creating imagery and imprint with words. Finding the beauty in the unexpected I presume, is my forte.
What type of stories, poetry, and/or fiction do you like to read, imitate, or write?

I love writing with an imagistic sway, lyricism, writing that offers an element of simplistic wisdom and depth.  Something I can sink a fang into.

Can you tell me what tools, resources, or how or your working to grow as an artist? Please list their names, websites and links.

I guess reading books would be the first tool to use if you want to grow as a writer, but that seems far too obvious.


Use a thesaurus so that you expand your vocabulary, never become a stagnant stone.

Read your work out loud.

Avoid cliché, be original.
Bend your language.
If you had to choose, what would you say are the two best poems, flash fiction, or short stories you have ever written to this date?

I cannot claim a favorite myself…I would to a certain extent argue that each poem I have written or published has emitted its fair balance of light and shadow, but I have received significant regard from other writers and editors or a palpable reaction from a live audience that puts certain pieces on the map for me (feel free to omit one…) Poems such as:

Backshadow (2012 Pushcart Nominee)

Cenotaph of the Swallowtail

And/or one of my personal favorites to read aloud to an audience

That Whiskey Blue Sway (With Original Artwork by Carlos Scalise)
Nominated for poem of the year by Muses Review

What is your opinion on self-publishing as opposed to traditional publishing? Please list for our readers the publisher(s), POD (print on demand) or self publishing you use or have used. If use have used traditional publishers who are they? Give us a sense of your personal experience and attitudes toward them. Please understand there is a difference between POD publisher who request money to publish you ie iUniverse, etc and those like and where you publish yourself and edit yourself. How do you feel about traditional publishers?

I feel self publishing is evolving and offers writers far more creative liberty.  With traditional publishing, I have had bad experiences.  I do not feel I have been offered the aesthetic or attention to detail required for my level of particularities by so-called traditional publishing when poetry is the highlight of the muse.
The experience with my first release was not satisfactory and why I founded Edgar & Lenore’s Publishing House in October 2009.  While there is little beauty in perfection, a certain level of commitment is required to sustain a publication that reflects the unique nuances a poet maintains.

Do you have any parting words for our readers; any words of wisdom to share?
Listen to the intuition




I just made that up, but really do not ever force a closure.  When frustration calls, step away and return, do not give up to don’t force an improper end to a work…never, ever do that.

Where can we find your works?

Editor notes by Michael Lee Johnson: 

Apryl Skies, is one of the hardest working individuals I have met in all avenues of small press and publications.  Apryl is right in pointing out , Poetry Super Highway, Rick Lupert who is relentless in his support of small poetry press.  Visit Rick’s his website:








  1. Apryl Skies has become one of my favorite poets. She designs her poetry with purpose. Her imagery and immagination combine to bring the intended message cleary in view. If ever a person took time to insert positive honest in delivery is is Apryl. She has not only become a complete student of the art, she has also demonstrated aplomb as a teacher.

  2. R.E. Smith thank you for your kind comments about Apryl Skies I totally agree with you. Michael Lee Johnson, poet, editor of this site.

  3. Thank you both Rick and Michael. I appreciate the sentiments and the encouragement I receive from fellow poets is truly invaluable.