Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writing Process Interrogation

Thanks to Jessica Goodfellow for inviting me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Tour. Her first book The Insomniac's Weather Report just got re-issued and here is one of my favorite poems of hers on Verse Daily, if you want to see what she is capable of: "What You See If You Use Water As A Mirror" on Verse Daily.

Now for the interrogation...

1) What are you working on?

My first book of poetry The Existentialist Cookbook will be out this summer from NYQBooks, so I'm finishing up some of the final prep work (layout edits, blurbs, cover art, etc).  I'm about halfway into my next book-length collection, so I am trying to turn a portion of that into its own chapbook in the meantime.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Way back in my early days, I was one of those poets who avoided live readings. When I finally went to a few and saw/heard poets who were able to present impressive writing in a compelling fashion, it opened up new possibilities for me. Since then, I've become a somewhat popular "performer" and I have read for a wide variety of audiences. So my focus is on trying to find ways to synthesize elements that originally drew me to the page, with dynamics that work well in front of crowds.   

3) Why do you write what you do?

I try to write the kind of poetry that I would be excited to find. So in a way, I am writing for someone else, but I am that other person.

4) How does your writing process work?

It's very slow. Even short poems feel like gargantuan architectural feats to me and I construct them brick by brick over weeks (or months). I also love those occasions when I'm able to make some sort of connection between a couple of the poems I'm simultaneously working on and I get to Frankenstein them together in a way that I never expected.

Next week I will put up links to two other writers who will answer these same questions about their work, so check back then to learn about who they are and why I am curious about what they have to say.


  1. Congratulations on your upcoming book, Shawnte! I agree that the person I write for is me, and yet it is a different me than my daily me. Thanks for making me consider that.

  2. Good to see you on this blog tour, Shawnte. It's a small world. :)

  3. Thanks again, for bringing me into this.
    It was a great excuse to approach a few other writers and find out what goes on in their creative worlds.