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Today in The Writer Spotlight: Bill Cushing!

How old are you and where are you from?

I am now 67, meaning I’m late to the game of writing and publishing. As to where

I’m from, that gets a bit tricky:

Although I grew up in New York city, I was born in Norfolk, Virginia while my father

was serving on submarines out of there and went to high school near

Philadelphia. After serving in the Navy myself, I continued working on ships for

about 15 years after that, a job that took me all over the place. One job took me

to Florida, and that was where I returned to school where my classmates called

me the “blue collar poet” because of my former experiences.

At any rate, I ended up relocating to Puerto Rico after graduating but met my wife

while there, so once we decided to marry, I moved to Glendale, California and

have been here for 23 years.

Tell us more about your book!

Music Speaks was the winning chapbook from last April’s San Gabriel Valley

Poetry Festival competition, but I was so happy with how it turned out, I wanted

to revisit it and make it into a more polished version. I came up with its design

and even ended up adding a few pieces that were written after the award.

I did get an offer from a London publisher for the book, but when I read their

contract, I wasn’t happy with a few details that I found key—most especially that

they wanted complete creative control over its cosmetics. I figured I’d rather take

the chance and publish it myself since I knew how I wanted it to look.

You’re sharing an elevator with a big-name publisher. Pitch your book using 20

words or less!

Music Speaks is a poetry collection delving into music with artwork that can also

serve as a coffee table book.

What does your ideal writing space look like?

Any place I have paper and pen! I write everywhere: in bed, while eating,

between other work, even in traffic (which I guess I shouldn’t admit).

If your book was turned into a movie, who would play your main characters?

Since the bulk of the work focuses on actual musical artists, I’d incorporate

footage of their performances.

You’re stranded on an island, and only one character from any book can save

you. Who are you picking?

That’s a good one, but I think I’d go with the guy I was named for, William Barker

Cushing. He was a Civil War naval hero who has had several biographies written

about him, so he qualifies as a “character” (which he definitely was that as well).

The reason I’d point to him was his daring, bravery, and resourcefulness.

Besides being a writer, what else do you enjoy?

I grew up on the water and love sailing, something I do as much as I can.

However, my wife and I both enjoy spending time at movies, art museums, the

theater, and concerts of all sorts as well as opera or musicals.

Do you have any upcoming book promotions?

I am also involved in promoting a full-length book of poetry that was just

published by Finishing Line Press last June titled A Former Life. I have several area

readings coming up for that with other poets also published by Finishing Line.

Post your social media usernames!

My Facebook name is “William P Cushing,” but the best bet for my literary work is

“Notes and Letters,” a collaboration I am involved with that includes an old New

York neighbor who is now a musician in Los Angeles. We perform periodically in

the area and have both a Facebook page and a youtube channel.

Check out his book, available on amazon!

Visit the submission page to book your spotlight feature!

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