Artist of the Issue: Brett Biscoll ’14

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Mike Stangis

This issue’s Artist of the month is senior and Impressions frontman Brett Biscoll, a true wordsmith.

Q: What kind of poetry do you write and what type or style do you write in?

A: I suppose the types of poetry I write are emotional, with metaphors, allegories and symbols, or nature-focused. As for the style that I write in, I suppose I don’t really have a preference – I just choose the type to fit what I’m trying to express. Writing is very much about finding styles that work with each other than forcing them together. I can’t say I write limericks that often.

Q: What led you to be fascinated with poetry and encouraged you to be involved in it?

A: This was a few years ago: in the bookshelf in my house was a big blue book of poems. And when I say ‘big’, I mean literally thousands of poems. I spent a whole rainy day one summer going through and reading all the different types of poems in the book- it was cut up into sections like ‘nature’, ‘loss’ and ‘freedom’ so I would spend literally an hour on one subject. That was as good a way to entrench myself in poetry as I can think of.

Q: As a kid were you a big Dr. Seuss fan?

A: As a kid? Is there anyone who wasn’t?

Q: Who are some of your favorite poets whose works you really enjoy reading?

A: Hands down, I’d say that Ogden Nash is my favorite. He consistently shows wit and humor, and has enough control over the language to do it in less than four lines. I think many people miss the fun that poetry can be, and Nash really embodies that aspect of the art. I guess that taste varies from person to person, but I prefer a lot of his clever, short and sharp works to a long, tedious elegy. He does have a few sad ones, like ‘Old Men’, though. Two of my favorites are ‘The Camel’ and ‘The Octopus’.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring poets here at Malvern?

A: I wouldn’t call myself a master of poetry, but I do know that there are two things every poet is bettered by doing; reading and writing. It’s pretty simple: like anything else, it helps to see the skill in action (read) and to practice it (write). Finding the time is tricky, but worth it. Also, you’ll find out what you like to write best, and when you know what you want to do, then actually doing it is a breeze.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?

A: We have a poetry magazine at Malvern, Impressions. I’d love to have some more work for the issue, since we start putting it together shortly after we come back from break. So anyone with anything, feel welcome to submit it to the magazine!