Charles L. Chatmon

Charles L. Chatmon
"The Depths of my Soul"

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
March 15, 2006

Q.    Who is Charles Chatmon, Jr.?

A.    I'm a native from Los Angeles, California and I still live in the city. I'm a former educator, volunteer youth basketball and flag football coach, but most of all I'm an author/poet who's trying to make a name for himself in the literary world. I've been writing since junior high and I started my writing career officially my school paper during high school days, contributed in college and community newspapers, and working on new projects.

Q.    What inspired you to write “The Depths of My Soul: Poems from the heart of a man"?

A.    I've always enjoy writing love poetry but what I try to show is the experiences of love; the ups and downs, the joys and difficulties of what we all go through in relationships, plus seeing it from a man's perspective I'm sure will help both sexes understand it's okay for a man to express his feelings, to say what he really means although the male gender hasn't been taught to do just that. In The Depths of My Soul, I just don't write about the many issues of love, but I try to lend a voice to what's going on in our society today and bring to light topics that will cause the reader to think, which is my goal.

Q.    How did you come about the title “The Depths of My Soul?”

A.    When I was thinking of a title for the first book, I had in mind an old photograph when I was three years old running in the park. I was going to use that for the proposed 'Baby Steps' title I had in my head. However, during one writers' workshop, Maxine Thompson who is a good friend of mine, suggested I use The Depths of My Soul because I have a poem of the same name in the book. I agreed, since that was my second choice anyway and went with it.

Q.    How long have you been writing poetry?

A.    I began I began writing poetry around the age of 14. I started out writing just short stories and a play for my junior high English class, but I wanted to expand as a writer, so I decided to concentrate on poetry while at the same time, work on my short stories. I wanted to be diverse in my work, and poetry has been a great tool for me to speak my mind while I try to do the same using the storytelling technique in my prose works (which I'm working on right now)

Q.    Will you give the readers some insight of the significant for your following poems: “How Can I Please You”, “This Is How It Hurts”, “The Observers” and “Circus of Life?”

A.    "How Can I Please You?" is just the tale of a man trying to woo a woman through romantic gestures such as rubbing her feet when she's tired from a long day at work, buying her flowers, things that will win her heart. "This Is How It Hurts" talks about a man's pain after losing a woman to someone else, "The Observer" is a poem that closely matches my personality and The Observerhimself is featured in the introduction and closing of The Depths. I consider him as an old soul who has seen a lot, and uses pen and paper to record all that he's witnessed, and "Circus Of Life" reflects under the huge big top of this circus that we call life, and the many attractions that it presents.

Q.    Do you write in other genres?

A.    So far, I'm working on a lot of short stories and novellas that I had stored away for a long time, but have never been published. I have a set just ready to go which are very short, but speak on the human condition; then I have quite a few detective stories that I love to release right now with the explosion in urban fiction going on, I write a series of essays on my blog (found on my webpage) that I discuss my thoughts on a certain topic of the day or my philsophy of life, and in the future I would love to write plays again. At the present time, I do freelance writing (which is how I started out) and contribute to a couple of new magazines, such as Conscioussness located in Illnois and a local magazine, the Sounds of Sisters here in Los Angeles.

Q.    How many books have you written?

A.    Up to this point, I've written two, The Depths of My Soul and The Voices of South Central.

Q.   Are you currently working on another book of poetry?

A.    Yes. "A Question of Truth: Poems from a man's heart" should be out later this year.

Q.    What type of atmosphere do you require to write?

A.    I usually enjoy a quiet atmosphere such as a library or coffee shop. I tend to find in places like that, I have a lot more creativity flowing.

Q.    What message would you like readers to receive from reading your poetries?

A.    I would hope that they will enjoy not only the poems themselves but the messages that I try to convey through them. All I want to do is to provoke thought, even if they disagree with what I'm saying. I don't claim to have all the answers in The Depths, but I write from what I've seen from my elders and individuals a lot wiser than I am. I would also hope it will encourage them to pick up The Voices of South Central and A Question of Truth when it comes out, so they can enjoy reading and will continue to support this poet! The reader is always welcome to view my website at and share their opinions with me.