HER KIND Lady in the House Feature – To the Water: Speaking of the Interior (Self)

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IDA: Women in the Literary Arts recently published a LADY IN THE HOUSE Interview with me on their blog, HER KIND. HER KIND has a variety of features that come out several times a month–guest editors, interviews, essays and others–usually around monthly themes. July’s theme was “To the Water”. In this interview organized as an essay, I write about my current work, water, family narratives, memory, writing, and my first collection, Noctilucent (Shearsman, 2012). Special thanks to Arisa White, HER KIND co-editor.

Lady in the House – To the Water: Speaking of the Interior (Self) by Melissa Buckheit

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Interview with poet, Katherine Larson for HER KIND (VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts)

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Katherine Larson

 

    I recently published an interview with Yale Series of Younger Poets winner, Katherine Larson, about her poetry, her first collection, Radial Symmetry, her current work and the connections between her poetry and nature / her work as a molecular biologist and field ecologist.

The interview appeared in June 2013 on VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts’ HER KIND Blog. Check it out.

The Natural World & the Mind as Landscape: An Interview with Katherine Larson by Melissa Buckheit

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The Next Big Thing!: Kit Fryatt

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Kit Fryatt

 

I tagged poet, publisher, curator and translator Kit Fryatt to participate in The Next Big Thing! interview web last week.

Check out her NBT interview on her site, wurm im apfel, which talks about her forthcoming book, The Co Durham Miner’s Granddaughter’s Farewell to the Harlan County Miner’s Grandson, forthcoming from Knives Forks and Spoons Press in the UK.

Kit runs a lovely reading series in Aberdeen, Scotland, also called wurm im apfel at Project Slogan. I had the opportunity to read for her series this past January 2013 from Noctilucent. She also publishes chapbooks/pamphlets from a press, (surprisingly) called wurm press.  Clearly she has too much free time because she also finds a bit of time to publish a hip and alternative poetry zine called can-can. Her current books include two chaps just published this past summer and spring 2012: Rain Down Can through Shearsman Books in the UK, and turn push / turn pull through corrupt press in Paris, France.

Check out her work.

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The Next Big Thing! Marvin Gladney

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Marvin Gladney

I tagged poet Marvin Gladney to participate in The Next Big Thing! interview web this month. Since it isn’t up on his website yet, I’m posting on mine to share. Enjoy.

The Next Big Thing! as you may know is a multi-branching dna strand of poets twisting and tagging each other in the cybersphere about their digital and actual words as books or chaps, perhaps bound projects. It was spawned by Carol Mirakove.

What is the working title of the book?

The Sampler’s Attic.

Where did the idea of the book come from?

It occurred to me that there was something missing in the critical assumptions regarding sampling and copying. This misapprehension is most evident in copyright law and our assumptions about how they work, specifically how they motivate people to produce and innovate. That kind cognitive dissonance is something I always suspect to be an interesting place to hunt for poetic ideas. I kind of feel like this gamble paid off too. It seems a writer’s goal is to transform memory into new work and this project opened up the mechanics of this not only in music, but in nature and our families and in language and so on.

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry. Lyrical. Episodic Philosophy.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Andre Zachary (Renegade Performance Group) would be a great candidate. He’s actually a cousin, so he and I grew up with a similar set of artistic influences and he’s recently really gotten into film, so we’ve had a back and forth about what we’d do. Haven’t discussed this particular project with him, but he’d fit perfect.

 What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

. . . . from the gifts of physics gardens. . . .

 How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Four years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The what of this book would be the calculus of change and the desire to get ahead of it. I’ve always had a thing for data and math in general and, so obviously a personal goal has always been to somehow stay ahead of the stats, so to speak. That theme is probably hard boiled into a lot of what I write about. This project also prompted a lot of intriguing research into homebuilding and energy. Chalk that up to fascinating times I guess.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I think readers might find interesting and fun how I’ve woven together very disparate themes. So much of DJ’ing and sample based production is about continuity and erasing the boundaries between ideas, urging them to not only work together, but perform beyond themselves. Lines of poetry are like that, no?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self-published.

About the Author: Marvin Gladney is a writer, poet, and sound artist. Born on Chicago’s far south side, Gladney attended Kenwood Academy in Hyde Park, Chicago State University and the University of Denver where he received his doctorate in Creative Writing. Surrounded by music and and the extremely musical and literary environment of Chicago, he began dj’ing in his early teens and has made contributions to the arts as a writer, filmmaker, music producer and lyricist. He has also collaborated with a number of musical artists including All Natural (Chicago), Greenwilder (Mr. Greenweedz), Cosmos B (of Akasha), the Jungle Brothers, and Mane Rok (Denver). His latest volume of poems is entitled The Sampler’s Attic, a cycle of poems reflecting on sample culture.

Check out Marvin Gladney’s website.

Marvin Gladney will be reading for the EDGE SERIES on March 27, 2013 at Casa Libre en la Solana. For more info, check out the CL page or click on the EDGE link above.

The Next Big Thing!: Melissa Buckheit

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The Next Big Thing!

The Next Big Thing! as you may know is a multi-branching dna strand of poets twisting and tagging each other in the cybersphere about their digital and actual words as books or chaps, perhaps bound projects. It was spawned by Carol Mirakove.

Talented poet, curator and editor Sueyeun Juliette Lee tagged me to participate a couple weeks ago. In turn, I’ve tagged Kit Fryatt, Rachel Lehrman, Rebecca Seiferle and Marvin Gladney. Links to their mini-interviews on their pages, or their interviews will follow soon.

 

The Next Big Thing!: Melissa Buckheit

What is the working title of the book?

Noctilucent

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I began writing this book when I was in graduate school getting my MFA at Naropa University in Boulder, CO. About a year into my time there, many of the poems in the book, especially the first two-thirds, began to surface from what was a lot of time alone, a lot of time cycling alongside the creek that moves through the center of Boulder, a lot of time of exceeding silence, and a lot of time spent in the dark, at night, moving about on foot (and on bicycle) with my Canon AE1, almost melding/assuming the space with many of the plants, such as: night-blooming Morning Glories, many cool, silver birches, red-rooted bamboo-type plants which grow along the edges of the creek, and with the dirt, in the cool air and in the darkness which exists there at night. This is a deep and abiding darkness, almost empty and truly black, punctuated by the pallid light of the moon or the small porch lights in various colors which are popular for small, older houses and cottages.

For various reasons, I didn’t have a lot to say aloud for several years, not that I wanted to say to anyone about myself, nor of any intimate or true thing (I felt and chose to be very private, which I am anyway, but this was a necessity and a natural result of place and experience and self.) For a good period of that time, I didn’t have the ability to say anything of that ilk in my poetry, as well. Therefore, there was a lot of silence and time spent doing nothing or meditating, listening, watching water, a fascination and attention to repetition and patterns–amongst work and creative writing workshops and dance in my daily life. There was ‘White Noise’ of the quotidian, to steal back a poem title from the book.

The experience of the book, therefore, is one that parallels this place (geographical and emotional), and my perception of how/what exists in darkness. Darkness, not as a metaphor and not as some trope (evil or the unconscious) in humanistic thought, necessarily, but rather darkness as itself, as the interior and privacy of the thing, anything, and almost what grows or exists or breathes in this–which is also light, eros, suffering, emptiness and many other things. The light beside/in it, such as the nightshade, or pottery shards in the dirt, or algae that produce their own light chemically in the deep darkness of the sea, the sea which reflects the night sky, the lights of stars and reflectors, and others. These are material things, a list, but inside of the energy and presence of these things, the feeling exists, the relationship of beings, the emptiness and presence, simultaneously, just like light in darkness.

There grew to be this theme (and others, in relationship, such as what is lost/from the past, particular echoes to ancient and Modern Greece, the sciences, experiences of gender, trauma, the visual/photography) which moved through the original manuscript. The last third of the book, written between 2005-2008, in Tucson, AZ (where I still live), was much a process of waiting–waiting for the what the rest of the book wanted to say, how it could complete itself like a breath but also like the desert is a continuous wave, an oscillation. In a way, the cycle of the book speaks oscillation rather than full stop. It doesn’t attempt to say how anything is, particularly, but how it can be, which includes the possibility of manythings. I don’t trust too many statements in my own poetry, and I prefer the subtle, the in-between shadows and realities, the shards or silt that accumulates in the flow.

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry, specifically lyric, prose poem and the serial poem. The manuscript form had several original pro color photography series in it, as well; the photograph on the cover is one of these images, taken in Boulder, also titled, “Noctilucent”.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Since I’m not really a ‘character’ type of writer (I read and write about novels and fiction, but unconsciously have killed off every character I’ve ever tried to develop in short, long or flash fiction, since high school), this is a bit of an odd question that requires a strange answer. I’m not narrative by nature as a writer, nor do I prefer it in my work; if I could assign stars, and starfish and Athens and orange night-lanterns, and willows as well, anonymous people and voice-overs, that would be best. Perhaps I’d want it to be a bit like the way Inagaki Taruho’s One Thousand and One Second Stories gives the moon a personality and a voice, with humor and sadness, both. I have personally worked with video and film for years for play, performance and collaboration, often as installation conjoined with my own Modern Dance and Aerial Trapeze choreography. A video installation of moments in the book could exist someday in one of my dances.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Nocti-lucent (use an etymological dictionary or the notes at the back of the book).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

As stated, early 2002-early 2008 (the final draft).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I think we already covered most of this. In terms of outside sources, I was reading a lot of science books and journals–Astrophysics, Marine Biology, Astronomy, Physical Sciences; Photography art books; Archaeology; Tibetan Buddhism; Somatic Psychology and Trauma theory texts; as well as Eleni Sikelianos, Jane Miller, Lynn Hejinian, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Alice Notley, Olga Broumas, Homer, Sappho, Thoreau and Roland Barthes.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There are a lot of words in the book that are old or come from the Greek or Latin or require stipulative definitions (see the notes, again), combined with more common words. I’d also like to think that the musicality, the sound of the poems is particular and evocative and strong. I feel the music and spirit and feeling lead the meaning, rather than the other way around. There is a sense of the empty spaces in space and around us in the book, and darkness. Some people might read this as something sad, although I do not; I feel it is simply what is. I mean emptiness in reality and also in a Buddhist sense.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Noctilucent was published by Shearsman Books, Ltd, in the UK, in March 2012– www.shearsman.com

My tagged writers for next Wednesday are: Rachel Lehrman, Kit Fryatt, Rebecca Seiferle, Ann Seiferle-Valencia and Marvin Gladney