Kathryn Mockler asked me to participate in this blog tour approximately 12,000 days ago. You can read her post here.
What am I working on?
Gathering. Thinking. Ruminating. Reflecting. Trying to remember to breathe. Trying to make peace with the “I” who has alchemized from the “I” that I was two years ago.
I launched my second book of poetry, DOWNVERSE, several weeks ago, in Calgary and Vancouver, so one of the things I am working on is a plan to tour the book to other cities in Canada and the States. (Literary series organizers: call me!)
I struggle with depression. Sometimes it takes me a long time to complete an item of work, even a single poem, even the answers to these four questions, and I suspect that other people might produce four times the volume in the midst of being hypersuccessful human beings. But I am trying to remember to be gentle. I am trying to make peace with my limitations as a person and an artist. Do you, gentle reader, struggle with the same?
I have a digital elegy that I am writing for my brother. It has had to lay dormant over the past year while I worked through the probationary process and completed several large projects at a new job; while we moved house twice; when my cat died; when our street flooded; when I contracted cold after cold after cold flu. I hope to return to the project soon. It helps me to feel that some thread or current of my brother’s spirit is still with me in the world.
Why am I telling you this whiny shit about my non-writing work? Because it is my life, it is the material conditions under which creative work thrives or falters. Because in my fallow periods I read the internet obsessively, and Tumblr tells me that real writers are writers who write every day. I would like to respectfully disagree. Writers write. The how and the when and the why is individual.
Lately I’ve been noodling through some miniature prose pieces.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I suspect it is far more mawkish.
Why do I write what I do?
Because I am the only me that I have? Did Mr. Rogers say that? I write when emotion moves me to do so. I write to make sense of my own subjectivity. I write what I want.
How does my writing process work?
Indeed. See #1. It works in different ways at different times, when and how it can.
I’m pleased to tag two BC poets whom I know and respect. Their names both start with the letter J.
Jeremy Stewart is the winner of the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. His second collection of poems, Hidden City, is forthcoming this fall, from Invisible Publishing. He lives and writes in Prince George, BC. His blog is like his potted Aloe Vera: if it could be killed through neglect, it would be dead.
Jacqueline Turner has published four books of poetry with ECW Press: The Ends of the Earth (2013) Seven into Even (2006), Careful (2003), and Into the Fold (2000). She reviews for the Georgia Straight and lectures at Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Simon Fraser University. She was the inaugural poet-in-residence at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, Australia and an artist-in-residence in Tasmania. She is the mom of two recently turned adult men/snowboarders, raised on the north shore of Vancouver.