Sunday, February 3, 2013

Author Talks: Robert M. Chute


A Maine mystery by Chute
Robert Chute came to Just Write Books with a book of poems, Reading Nature, in 2005. Over the past seven years, we have worked together on additional poetry works and several Maine mysteries. A humble and talented man, Robert is dedicated to revealing Maine through his poetry and fiction.

We took a moment to catch up with Robert Chute and asked him a few questions we thought would be intriguing to hear the answers.

JWB: When did you start writing?
Chute: I was about 11 years old, sitting by a window on a rainy autumn night. I wrote a four-line conventional rhymed verse about the sound of rainfall in a puddle outside. I can visualize the event but can’t recall the exact lines.

JWB: What are some of the themes that you return to regularly in your writing?
Chute: It was, is, never easy to say I love someone but I can easily and freely talk to a tree or a rock. Also, as a scientist as well as a poet, poetry is another way to explain—you choose what.

Woodcut by Chute
JWB: What is one event that has shaped your writing?
Chute: Finally, at age thirty-five, meeting a practicing poet, who became a friend; and I learned you could not only write poems, but be a poet.

JWB: What are three of your favorite books to reread?
Chute: First I must admit I find it difficult to think of an answer, to think of three books I want, right now, to reread. The only book I can recall rereading in the last five of six years was John Livingston Lowes’ The Road To Xanadu. An American novel I would like to reread: The Scarlet Letter. Poetry I frequently return to: Emily Dickenson.

JWB: Any advice for young authors?
Chute: Find a true friend who is also a critic and editor. Writers who have only themselves as an editor may have a fool for a client.

JWB: What are you currently working on?
Chute: A conglomerate book of poems inspired by and about Thoreau, my thoughts about Thoreau life and works, spliced, if not spiced with autobiographical relevant aspect of my life.

Expect Robert’s next book, Excuse for Being Here, in the fall 2013.

Author Bio
Robert M. Chute is a seventh generation Maine native. A retired professor of biology, most of his nonscientific writing has been poetic in nature. He is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Bates College and served as director of the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. He lives on Middle Range Pond in Poland, Maine.

1 comment:

Another Ped fan said...

I was one of Robert Chute's biology students, 40 years ago, but an English major, so really was more impressed by his lovely poetry. I have a couple of his books, including Wildness within Walking Distance. I haven't lived in Maine since the late 70s, and I will never stop missing it. I visit often, but not often enough. Professor Chute's poetry fills in the lean times.