K. D. Greene

K. D. Greene
"Too Much Like Right 2"

Interviewed by: Lauretta Pierce
August 17, 2004

Q. Who is K.D. Greene?

A. K.D. Greene is a native Los Angeles residence. One evening in 1998 as she listened to the radio while working the night shift at the post office, she heard an advertisement for a creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. The advertisement asked her if she would like to get a Masters Degree in creative writing. K.D. quickly nodded her head yes because she didn’t do a thing with the BA degree she had in Child Development and she had been writing her whole life. To make a long story short, she signed up the next day and graduated two years later with an MFA degree in Creative Non-fiction writing. After graduating, she formed Creative Expressions Publishing, Inc. with her artist sister, Sandra Greene, who designed the cover and inside illustrations of both books. K.D. is the author of two books of poetry, one play, and a memoir that will be completed in winter 2005. She has worked for the post office for the past 23 years.

Q. What inspired you to write a book of poetry?

A. K.D.’s thesis paper in graduate school was about the effect Langston Hughes’ work had on the Harlem Renaissance. She read every poem Hughes had ever written. She liked the simply yet honest way he wrote his poems. After a co-worker died, she wrote a poem about him to express her feelings. “A Hero Too Late” was the first postal poem she had ever written. She read it during a Black History Week event at work. After she read the poem, her co-workers demanded copies. K.D. thought, “Why should I give it to them for free? I’ll just write some more poetry and put them all into a book.” A year later, she self-published “Too Much Like Right and Other Poems About Postal Life, Part 1.” Langston Hughes inspired K.D. to write poetry when all is said and done.

Q. How did you come about the title Too Much Like Right 2?

A. The very night that K.D. was thinking of a catchy title for the book, she was at work. She walked past two supervisors who were complaining about a mail flow problem. One supervisor said, “If they would do it this way, which is the easiest way, there would be no problem.” The other supervisor said, “Yeah, girl I know what you mean, but it’s too much like right.” When K.D. heard “Too Much Like Right” her eyes became big and she thought, “That’s it! That’s the title for my book!” Her sister Sandra suggested adding “And Other Poems About Postal Life.”

Q. How long have you been writing poetry?

A. K.D. began writing poetry in 1999. Although she studied Creative Non-fiction writing, she found that the process of writing poetry helped her to get to the essence of what her non-fiction writing was trying to convey.

Q. Which is your favorite poem from this book?

A. K.D.’s favorite poem is in Too Much Like Right, Part 1, which is “28 years, 6 Months, Three and Half Hours and I’m Gone!” She wrote the poem for a woman who was retiring. K.D. overheard the woman tell someone that she had 6 more days to go and she was gone and that is how K.D. came up with the name of that poem.

Q. How long did it take you to write this book?

A. It took K.D. a good year to write Part 2. The poems wouldn’t stay out of her head. She hadn’t planned on writing a part 2. After a while, she counted the poems and she had enough for the second book. As she wrote the poems, her sister illustrated pictures for a lot of the poems. Also, her co-workers demanded that she write a second book because they said she didn’t write about this and that and that.

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

A. Yes and no. Actually, K.D. is working on several projects. She is concurrently working on a book of poems about life that will be entitled “Too Much Like Right and Poems About Real Life”; she is also working on a two act play entitled “Going Postal: A Two Act Play,” as well as finishing a memoir entitled “Place Stamp Here: A Postal Worker’s Memoir.” She is also working on a book about self-publishing.

Q. Why did you choose to center the majority of your poetry around postal workers?

A. A wise writing mentor told K.D. to “Always write what you know.” If K.D. had been working at a donut shop, the title of her first book would have been “Too Much Like Right and Other Poems About Donut Life” because she would have written what she knew best.

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

A. K.D. is able to write anywhere as long as she has a little notepad with her. Writing as soon as the thought hits will enable her to go back later and expound on that thought. The atmosphere can be noisy or quiet because as long as she remains focused on what she is doing, the writing will come.

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

A. The message that K.D. would like readers to receive is that you MUST have a sense of humor about life. There is no need to “Go Postal” about ANYthing. K.D.’s advice is to take the lemons you are dealt in life, make the best tasting lemonade, and share it with everyone you encounter