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Friday 6 November 2020





The Pivot Questionnaire comprises 10 questions. I have seen it used on the television show Inside The Actor's Studio, presented by James Lipton. Apparently Proust was the original inspiration. The modern questions originated on a French TV show called Bouillon de Culture, hosted by Bernard Pivot. I have expanded the questions to 12, and left room at the end for encouraging words.

This run of A Dozen Questions is by invitation only - 12 writers (of many) I admire.

Matthew M. C. Smith is a Welsh writer from Swansea. He writes about landscape and place, history, identities, family and cosmology. He received a 'Best of the Net' nomination in 2020 for 'Teithio: Journeys' published by Icefloe Press. 
Matthew published Origin: 21 Poems in 2018 and is working on his second collection of poetry. His writing is published in Barren Magazine, The Lonely Crowd, Anti-Heroin Chic, Wales Haiku Journal and Fly on the Wall Press. He spent five years doing a PhD on the subject of Robert Graves and Wales at Swansea University, completing this in 2006, whilst teaching. Matthew is also the editor of Black Bough poetry, a project created to promote imagist micropoetry in 2019.

(Matthew's book covers and links at the end).

Matthew M. C. Smith's Dozen Answers, 

and some encouraging words in conclusion.


Q: What is your favourite word? 

A:  I like the word 'dawn'. It conveys hope, purity and light. 

Q: What is your least favourite word?

A: No single word. But two words I don't like stuck together - 'emotional rollercoaster'. Just gets on my nerves.


Q: What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? 

A: People who work really hard on anything creative and have hidden talent, yet retain modesty.

Q: What turns you off? 

A: People with a sense of entitlement; also compulsive moaners - energy-drainers. Rudeness - I hate rudeness.

Q: What is your favourite song? 

A: 'Strange Days' by The Doors - a highly-charged, psychedelic song about alienation - 'Strange days have found us/ strange days have tracked us down/ they're going to destroy/ our casual joys.' A really topical song for how things are at the moment. There are some beautifully-dark words in the song.

Q: What is your favourite film? 

A: Apocalypse Now. It's epic and affects you deep down.

Q: What is your favourite curse word?

A: I can't tell you. I'd have to curse you and I really don't want to do that, Joe.


Q: What sound or noise do you love? 

A: My children singing - even when it deteriorates into noise.

Q: What sound or noise do you hate? 

A. The sound when people eat crunchy food - cereal, apples, crisps. And scraping plates with cutlery. 

Q: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

A: It's cliched, but Astronaut. Imagine really getting out there and looking at the stars, unhindered by light pollution. Also being the first person to set foot on Mars after the long trip.

Q: What profession would you not like to do? 

A: Be a full-time writer at home. Writing is a reflective, creative activity away from a busy job and life, which keeps me motivated. Writing all the time could really dull and isolating.

Q: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? 

A: "Get ready. We're going on a galactic tour".

Q: Any words of encouragement for writers and writing?

A: I would say to all writers to read as widely as they can to get ideas, to experiment with different styles and to get inspired. Writers must also be open to feedback, resist defensiveness and not get downhearted if their work is rejected from being published. All journals and publishing houses have their own tastes, so submit widely and make it an enjoyable process.


Thank you Matthew for your dozen answers

and words of encouragement.  

Origin: 21 Poems


Matthew M. C. Smith's writing page: Twitter: @MatthewMCSmith also on facebook and Instagram


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