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Kenneth O'Shaughnessy

Molting Season, poetry, Issue 23, June 1, 2013

Kenneth A O’Shaughnessy lives in Simpsonville, SC with his wife and several children. When he is not writing, he works full time as a data engineer and attends church. He recently spent six months trying to write a poem a day, and was successful if you take an average. He is working to publish several children’s picture books, and the first middle reader book in his Meals With Monsters series.

Get to know Kenneth...

Birthdate? March 29, 1970

When did you start writing? I started writing in the fourth grade at Cherry Street Elementary in Phoenix, NY to spice up my vocabulary word papers. These were adventures about a character completely different from me, as evidenced by the name I gave him, “Kenneth Irishman”.

When and what and where did you first get published? Like most poets, I was originally published in one of those books that you can get a copy of for only $49.95. I have also had a poem printed in the August 2012 edition of Underneath the Juniper Tree, a macabre journal for children. Self-publishing has been my primary outlet; my poetry collections from the past several months and a children’s book can be found on Amazon:

What themes do you like to write about? I weave religion into many of my works, but I mainly just like the way words feel as they rub up against each other in different ways. Most of my pieces started with a phrase that began to gather other phrases around it for the company. I spent six months trying to write at least one poem a day, so I was constantly inviting words over to play. As a result, I have a fairly eclectic oeuvre.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? I like authors that use words in unusually effective ways. The fiction of G. K. Chesterton, the works of Ray Bradbury, and a picture book by Jules Feiffer called Bark, George! are primary examples.

How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I strive to use words as concisely as possible to achieve the desired effect. Sometimes, the best surprise is in what the author did not have to say.

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