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Chris Flint – Interview

(From an interview with Silvan House editorial staff:)

Chris is Australian by birth (no relation to any US manager, academic or poet of a similar name), growing up in rural and metropolitan settings in the 1950s and 60s. Chris has worked and written while living variously in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria. Chris is well-read, well-educated and has travelled widely. Chris’ working life included a large diversity of roles and experiences, many of which add colour and originality to Chris’ writing. Chris now lives in quiet, secluded rural lifestyle. In a rare iterview with Silvan House, Chris spoke about poetry and the writing process:

Chris Flint speaks about poetry:

‘I see a poem like a painting. It is designed to be viewed, thought about and to elicit a response. But everyone is different, we all have different values and experiences. So for each of us, some poems will resonate and some will not.’

‘For me, each word of a poem encapsulates a meaning, which in careful combination create a unique picture (an emotion, an experience, an insight or inspiration). And the meaning of the words should be easily understood, to ensure the reader has the best opportunity to see and respond to the underlying picture. While this all sounds pretty obvious really, when we reduce the number of words we use to say, eight lines, it becomes a little more challenging.

There are of course many different approaches to poetry. The sound of words, the craft of poetic forms, the subtlety of complex word play, the explicit and implicit allusions to other writers – all these things have a role. But for me, these things remain secondary, supportive. They either clearly assist or should be removed. They should not obscure, interfere with, blur, or distract from the expression of a poem’s underlying meaning. ‘       Chris Flint

Chris Flint speaks about the writing process:

Chris began writing as a teenager. ‘Virtually all my poems in my early life were written with pen and paper. This created a lot of work years later.’ Chris has variously used pen and paper, a portable typewriter, a IBM Golfball typewriter, an early electronic word processor and eventually ‘touch-typing’ on computer keyboard. Today, Chris works exclusively on computer or tablet, ‘simply to save unnecessary re-typing’. In Chris’ late twenties, Chris wrote a first ‘good practise’ novel. ‘It was a great learning experience! Perhaps one day it will see the light of day!’

Meantime in both prose and verse, Chris favours extensive re-reading and re-writing to achieve succinct, smooth and easily understood language. ‘The hope is for a crisp, clear and very readable style. Achieving simple elegance in written language is not as easy as it sounds’.

‘As a writer I think it is important to be motivated from within, and have a desire to communicate. I also think self-knowledge is the ultimate key to good writing. To understand oneself is ultimately to better understand others.
‘As for the writing process, re-reading, re-writing and then re-reading again is, for me, essential – If I am bored by my own work, what hope is there for anyone else!’

‘But’ Chris adds, ‘everyone is different and every artist strives to perfect their own approach.’
‘Life is a process of growing, learning and loving, and ultimately also forgiving.’

You can communicate with Chris at:


See Chris Flint’s books:

The Golden Hoax

Fragments – Selected Poems