Interview: Poet Matt Mason, Author of “At The Corner of Fantasy And Main: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros”

Walt Disney was so profound when he explained that Disneyland would be a spot in which Guests could relive “fond memories of the past” whilst also inspiring youth (and the younger at heart) to “savor the problem and promise of the long term.” In that vein, Nebraska’s State Poet, Matt Mason, has let “The happiest spot on earth” inspire him to dream and develop a little something new. At The Corner of Fantasy And Primary: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros is a assortment of initial poems written about that unique put in Anaheim that perpetually beckons us to return, or at the very least desire about it frequently. Matt was variety ample to get the time to explain to me extra about his most current launch by way of an job interview, along with a handful of samples of internet pages from the ebook. Appreciate!

(The Old Mill Press)

(The Outdated Mill Push)

Alex: Congratulations on the start of At the Corner of Fantasy and Main. Where did your love of Disney and Disneyland commence?

Matt Mason: Well, the book really type of addresses it. It is an odd story in that as a kid I went to Disneyland with my parents and then I went to school out in the Bay Place and we designed a handful of excursions with good friends down to Disneyland. And I have generally watched Disney motion pictures, but it is never been I would assume that distinct an obsession or concentration for me. But I have acquired two daughters now and a fantastic relatives and we went to Disneyland in 2015 and experienced a blast. And then went once again a few many years later, and then anything clicked for me. I turned 49 several years old and woke up 1 working day not equipped to end considering about Disneyland. And so I was undertaking investigation by observing YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, looking at guides, looking up articles and just all this investigation. And I felt variety of weird about it. It is really like, why am I abruptly so obsessed with Disneyland? But I was not crafting about it. And last but not least, my spouse, who’s also a poet, was like, “You are clearly undertaking a good deal of investigation,” since she would get in the car or truck with me and I would immediately transform away from a podcast to pay attention to the radio station. And ultimately she was just like, “Why do not you just start out writing about it?” And it designed feeling, so I did and finished up having the most entertaining I have at any time had with a reserve task, and I’ve seriously stored with it. I nonetheless have way far too numerous Disney podcasts on my cellphone and am still doing some pleasurable analysis and examining and keeping observe of items.

Alex: It is a entertaining rabbit gap to dive down for guaranteed. You’ve prepared poems in a wide wide range of sites, like creating just one especially on Pirates of the Caribbean. Do you preserve a notepad on hand and anywhere the temper strikes, you get started putting pen to paper?

Matt Mason: Oh yeah. I’ve always obtained pen and paper with me. I imply, my cover is that I’m a diabetic, which I am, so I have usually obtained to have a kit with me and it can be bought a notebook and at the very least two or 3 pens at any provided time. (Just one of the pens is from The Disneyland Hotel).

Alex: The poem that you wrote on Pirates of the Caribbean, is it about Pirates of the Caribbean, or is it totally unrelated? Is that poem in this e book?

Matt Mason: Yeah, the poem is in the e-book. I was there doing the job on the manuscript simply because I had been writing a ton, and I dwell in Nebraska and so I was producing most of the poems from household. But I type of took a two-week writing residency in Disneyland, which is form of wonderful. Sitting down by Jolly Holiday up at 1 of the upper tables, accomplishing writings, sending poems to magazines to check out to get them posted, searching for publishers for the manuscript. And then you acquire a break and go to Pirates of the Caribbean. It can be kind of the best place ever. So I wrote a poem on Pirates, just in lights and it was a poem that the 1st draft of it on paper just appears to be god dreadful mainly because I am in the dark fifty percent the time producing. It’s referred to as “Poem Critique Composed on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean.” And it just variety of will take it issue by level, reviewing Pirates of the Caribbean as a poem.

Alex: That is remarkable and I am hunting ahead to examining that. Are they all about Disneyland or are so some of them a little more personal?

Matt Mason: The poems are a blend. Most of them are uncomplicated Disneyland. It goes back again and forth in time from the 1974 trip with my mother and father to pretty substantially as a result of the 2018 excursion with household. And most of them are about attractions, experiences in Disneyland. And a couple of of them are outdoors, just about midlife and thinking about churros and points that come about. So it’s a definite mix of that.

Alex: How numerous poems are in the e book?

Matt Mason: I assume there are about 50 poems overall in the book, and of the ones that I wrote perhaps for the book, possibly about 60 or 70… Some just didn’t healthy. You will find a good volume of B-sides that both did not fairly in shape or a couple of poems that had been about Disney California Experience Park, but just a couple, so it did not seriously fit in there. And then some I’ve just experienced that I have composed immediately after I had the reserve really effectively collectively mainly because Disneyland poetry retains coming.

Alex: I can relate to not likely a working day devoid of imagining about Disneyland. You stated that you did a two-week residency at Disneyland in which you did some creating, and I have talked to other authors who have prepared about Disneyland and did something comparable. But I am curious about the timeline of this undertaking, when was that vacation?

Matt Mason: Very well, it was Could 2018. I acquired an annual move back again in February of that 12 months when it was really reasonably priced, suitable before the charges started off definitely ramping up for Galaxy’s Edge/Black Spire Outpost. And so I went, I experienced a inexpensive lodge room and was in there every day apart from for Saturdays… And just that minimal table up at the top of Jolly Holiday, it was so comforting. And men and women variety of looked at me unusual for the reason that I have got a laptop out and it truly is 8:05 in the morning and I am not queued up ready to operate.

Alex: Because you wrote a good deal of the e book at Jolly Holliday Bakery, is the spot of that restaurant what encouraged the title of the ebook, specified its location on Main Street in front of Sleeping Magnificence Castle, the entrance to Fantasyland?

Matt Mason: I ended up owning a whole lot of poems that are about the intersections of lands in Disneyland. So there are quite a few poems, there is “At the Corner of Fantasy and Major,” but there’s also “At the Corner of Tomorrow and Fantasy,” or distinctive destinations where by the lands meet that ended up just currently being genuinely enjoyment to document the areas.

Matt was variety enough to examine the poem that gave the e book its title and gave me permission to share it in this article.

Copyright Matt Mason/The Old Mill Press

Copyright Matt Mason/The Previous Mill Push

Alex: That built me really feel so heat and fuzzy. You might be from Nebraska. You might be the Nebraska Point out poet so you’re not automatically a Southern Californian who receives to encounter Disneyland as usually as a whole lot of Southern Californians do. How do you consider in which you arrive from has impacted the way that you seem at Disneyland? Do you truly feel like it gives you a different standpoint?

Matt Mason: Yeah. I indicate, it absolutely is various for me I consider since Disneyland isn’t really aspect of the landscape, it is a location. Though I remember when I was a kid, we might generate the interstate in the direction of downtown in Omaha and there was all this steel architecture for I imagine a Purina plant or a thing like that. And I would see that and I would always talk to my moms and dads for the reason that I was persuaded for some cause that that was Disneyland or some thing on the outskirts of Disneyland. But we would hardly ever end there. And it sort of finishes up getting that’s what the book is about, is that this area isn’t aspect of the landscape for me domestically but it is a place like a touchstone. So all these different areas of my existence intersect in this place and it just type of occurs to be Disneyland.

Alex: Midlife is in the title much too, you talked about that you happen to be 49. And you’ve got also talked about outings to Disneyland that have spanned decades and so you’ve viewed the park mature and improve. What styles of emotions do people instill in you and have those people uncovered their way into this ebook?

Matt Mason: 1 of the underlying themes of the book is memory and just the magic of it and also the challenges with it. Since you can find just one poem all about the submarine voyages, which is my beloved journey back again. I appreciate the older version although with the sea monster. And so it is neat to be there in a location that alterations but not a ton. Like the castle, the streets, a large amount of it is just the identical as it was in 1974, but just plenty of of it, like minor twinges of it continue to keep modifying. And that comes up in some of the poems with some of the discrepancies, but also just about, I am strolling the correct exact same streets I walked with my mothers and fathers. And the ebook came shortly just after my mom passed away, my dad experienced passed absent yrs right before. But with the two of them absent, for some explanation Disneyland form of crept into the landscape as 1 of the initial areas I have recollections of them. And so right after they’re absent, it can make it a little little bit much more special in these methods far too.

Alex: I’m sorry for your losses. Churros are also in the title, you talked about that you are diabetic. Does that adjust how you relate to snacks in the park?

Matt Mason: I believe sort of equivalent to how Disneyland is not portion of my landscape, food is a different element of the landscape for me in that there are limitations in having it and having it. So currently being diabetic I can have churros but have to consider insulin, have to make absolutely sure I am having work out. But Disneyland is like a magic spot for that even for diabetics simply because I am not feeding on a churro and just sitting down around on the couch, I’m feeding on churro and walking 10 or 20 miles. So it all functions out fortunately.

Alex: At The Corner of Fantasy And Most important is becoming posted by Aged Mill Push, which is run by Dave Bossert. How did this challenge end up at the Aged Mill Push?

Matt Mason: Man, it was form of luck. I signify, this is a ebook that I experienced a variation of it done by the end of 2018. But it is a reserve of poetry about Disneyland. So I attempted to method Disney publishers and they’re like, “a guide of poetry”?. I tried to method poetry publishers and they are like, “a e-book about Disneyland”? So it really is a weird combine. And even while it is been these kinds of an amazingly fun project, I kind of realized that it might under no circumstances get printed. But then I was listening to a podcast known as Mousetalgia and they experienced an job interview with Dave Bossert on 1 of his publications. And I looked up Previous Mill Push and you will find of course the Claude Coats e-book, 3D Disneyland, and a random reserve of Xmas poetry. And it is like, “whoa”. So they’ve got a handful of poetry guides, and typically Disney stuff, but I attained out to them, they took a seem at it and snapped it up. It was the appropriate area.

Alex: Are there any strategies for you to vacation to boost the book at, for example, Disney enthusiast conventions?

Matt Mason: I hope so. I have arrived at out to a few fan conventions and I haven’t listened to back… I would love to vacation and read from the book, and prepare to. I believe after I know and have the copies in hand, I’ll be arranging a great deal of readings all around Nebraska and also some people who wished to provide me out to Oregon. And then of training course, everything I can established up around Disneyland I am up for simply because then I get to go to Disneyland and have a churro.

Alex: What would you say to a Disney supporter who may well not automatically search for out poetry to get them to consider a look at your reserve?

Matt Mason: Obtaining this guide published is bizarre just since poetry is variety of an odd topic in that we are form of taught in large university that we really should be terrified of it. And this e book, it really is a guide that’s composed not essentially for poets or academics, it is really seriously prepared for Disney lovers to enchantment to them. So it can be a a lot more enjoyment read through than we normally believe of when we feel of the phrase poetry. So I glance forward to getting this into the arms of a ton of Disney admirers.

If you’d like to check out far more of Matt Mason’s poem’s about Disneyland, you can order your copy of At The Corner of Fantasy And Principal: Disneyland, Midlife and Churros directly from The Old Mill Press and from Below is one much more case in point from the book, a poem about Matt’s memories from his first check out to Walt Disney’s “Happiest Area on Earth” in 1973.

Copyright Matt Mason/The Old Mill Press

Copyright Matt Mason/The Previous Mill Push

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At the Corner of Fantasy and Main: Disneyland, Midlife, and Churros: Mason, Matt:

By Harriet