BIO: As a recovering alcoholic, Carlus Wilmot struggled most of his life to overcome the power and influences of his past. Now sober, he expresses deep regret and writes poetry to remove shadows of history. In 1982, while at the University of Wisconsin, Carlus had a short story published called Cleo Don't Cut That Man, in the book Barnaby Street. In 1991, Carlus had a poem published in a book titled Dreams and Secrets, which was a collection from Milwaukee's best poets. In 1995, he also had three poems published in First Choice Magazine, which is no longer in print. Born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, he now resides in Arizona.
Thanks for being here, Carlus. It’s a pleasure.
Thanks for having me, friend.
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I work at a treatment center for addicts. I spend the majority of my time with family and friends…which usually involves giving advice or comforting someone during their time of crisis.
#2- How long have you been writing poetry, and are there any plans to write in a different genre?
I’ve been writing poetry since about 1976. My first attempt at writing was in 1974 when I wrote a short story, which became very popular in my area (Milwaukee). It was at that time that I thought I could be a writer. I eventually plan to go back to writing stories about characters I’ve met in my lifetime.
#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
I have learned that not everybody is going to like what you write. So, with that knowledge, I can accept the good as well as the bad—As long as it is constructive criticism, not malicious.
#4- You are a recovering alcoholic. How do you feel writing poetry helped you through that and kept you clean?
Yes, I am a recovering alcoholic and addict. Writing poetry helped me in one aspect only: it got me in the habit of being honest with myself and others by way of self-observation and expression.
#5- You now work in a treatment facility helping others. Can you tell us a bit about that and what you take away from it?
I work at a level-one psychiatric hospital, which is dedicated to the treatment of substance abuse, affective disorders, and behavioral disorders. It is gratifying knowing that you are helping someone rather than enabling them to continue in their addiction. Not only do I help patients get well, but I also get free medical training on how to obtain blood pressures, electrocardiograms, urine screens, and overall daily assessment of patient needs. Being that I am a recovering addict, they feel I am an asset to the facility.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I hope to revise the poetry manuscript from 2007 and the story, Cleo, from 1974. I have found new material, which I think is more suitable for the poetry collection. In the story, Cleo, I am incorporating my life story while being the narrator at the same time. I think my greatest strength as a writer is deeply embedded in my ability to tell stories, so narration is power for me.
You can find me on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000155764115&ref=nf
Or on Blogger, http://midnightriderbk-poetry.blogspot.com/
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just that I am honored to have this interview, yet humbled by being in the presence of such a great writer. Your accomplishments and help you give aspiring writers has inspired me to continue developing my skills.