Thursday, March 31, 2011

David Blaine's Ten Reasons to Not Buy "Border Theory"


Ten Reasons to Not Buy "Border Theory"

1. You already have a copy.
(This is the only legit reason, really.)

2. You have that copy of Moby Dick that you still haven't read from the ninth grade.

3. You're waiting for the movie to come out.

4. No Habla Engles

5. The feds are making a list of everything you read and you have to be very careful.

6. It's on your summer reading list BUT you live in Michigan, so.....

7. You are waiting for the New York Times to publish a review.

8. Spent all your spare change on coffee, cab far, a bus token, or a tall boy of Milwaukee's Best Ice.

9. As a matter of fact, you do have your head up your ass, don't you?

10. You are afraid to confront the personal demons that hold you captive in the suffocating existence that you refer to as your life. (Sorry to go heavy on you there.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Border Theory" is Now Available!

Blast Furnace Press Interview: "lavender & honey"

1.) When did you start to write poetry/what is your earliest recollection of writing? Who encouraged you? Who discouraged you, if anyone? What were some "words of wisdom" bestowed upon you about writing (pro and con)?

Embarassingly, I started writing poems in junior high to get the attention of a boy I had a huge crush on. But early on the importance of the arts and history was impressed upon me by my grandparents. They were the ones to buy me my first book of poetry and always encouraged me to do what made me happy.

2.) Who are your literary/artistic/creative influences? Whose work do you admire?
 

I am influenced a great deal by music and the visual arts. Overall, I think my greatest influences are the everyday occurrences of life. I find that my creativity is driven by the domestic. I admire writers and artists who focus on the life of ordinary people as well. Julia Alvarez and Billy Collins are my strongest influences but I also enjoy Jane Kenyon, Saul Williams, and, William Carlos Williams and Walt Whitman.

3.) Why is it important for you to write about your home?
 

Home has always been a source of confusion for me. Not so much the tangible elements of home like family but the overall environment of which I grew up in. I'm a kid from suburbia and I always thought it was kind of boring but I have wonderful memories of Northern Michigan, the Great Lakes, and camping. I guess you could say I have a love/hate relationship with Michigan. Once I moved to Pittsburgh I began to realize the influence home has on me.

4.) Other than your ties to home and your relationships there, what inspires you to write?
 

Neighborhoods inspire me. The culture of them, the businesses, the homes, the smells. The neighborhoods of Pittsburgh are so interesting. I like walking around my neighborhood. I usually get home and have a new poem to write.

5.) Your poems have a very unique architecture -- how you begin and break lines -- and in overall appearance on the page. Talk about the developmentof your structural approach to writing poetry.
 

I think the structure of my poetry is something I just happened upon. I never intentionally changed the way I wrote or broke lines, it just happened. I strive to write poetry that is approachable, poetry that flows. My structure is born from that desire.

6.) Before "lavender & honey," did you have an idea in mind for a themed book of poems? Was it similar to that of your chapbook, or different? 

Actually, I had thought about a themed collection but couldn't visualize the book. That's what made working on 'lavender & honey' so special. It felt like the collection sort of came out of nothing and took on a whole life of its own.

7.) You begin your chapbook with "Petoskey Stone" and end with "Hickory Smoked Turkey". Describe the intentional order to the poems included in the book,and also talk about why the 14 poems included in "lavender & honey" were selected. 

Well, I wanted to begin the book with a meditative poem that was serious and gradually loosen up a bit throughout the book. Most of the poems are stark observations about family, home, and relationships. Yet, in those relationships are moments of pure quirkiness that makes it all worthwhile. I wanted to end the book on that type of note. So, "Hickory" was the obvious choice.

8.) Your chapbook includes an audio CD. Why did you feel it was important/why did you agree to record your poems in this format?
 

I liked the idea of having a CD because it adds a whole new dimension to my work. Once poems are read aloud they are for the listener to interpret and make their own. I enjoy listening to other writers read their work, live or on CD, and I was very excited to have the opportunity to record my poems.

9.) What was most challenging about your chapbook project?

I think the most challenging was making sure each poem was where I wanted it to be. Each poem has undergone revisions since publication but I am very happy with the collection.

10.) Is there such a thing as being "too personal" in a poem? If so, explain. Is there any topic you consider "off-limits"?
 

Hmmm, I'm not sure. I think the only "off-limits" topic is a topic that the writer isn't ready to write about.

11.) What, do you believe, is the value of poetry? 

Poetry has great value in our world. It serves as a tool of expression, protest, and declaration. It's a beautiful art form that can create positive change. I like that poetry speaks to everyone and can be so powerful.

12.) What do you hope that people who read your chapbook will garner from it?
 

Honestly, I just hope that people enjoy reading it. It was such a pleasure to work on it with Becky. I learned so much and she was an amazing person to work with. If anything, I hope people walk away with a sense of peace and maybe a laugh or two.

David Blaine's Review of "Border Theory"

Please read David Blaine's review of Border Theory.  
Thanks, David!

http://www.thesmokingpoet.com/id6.html

Margaret Bashaar's Review of "Border Theory"

Check out the latest review of Border Theory, by Margaret Bashaar.
Thanks, Margaret!

http://karenslibraryblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/guest-review-stefanie-wiekopolan.html

"Border Theory" is Now Available!