Returning to Writing

Writing for me has become a process linked to separation from the world. The greatest work of the past few weeks that I’ve produced has been that created at residencies: Vermont Studio Center, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Montana Artists Refuge, Macdowell Colony, Cave Canem, etc. It’s in those places, surrounded by the inspiration and encouragement of other artists, literary and visual, that I find myself more able to immerse myself in a project. My first book focused on uncovering the hidden/glossed over humanity of saints, idols, pillars of Catholic womanhood. My second manuscript is centered on the boogeyman, child abuse, child loss and neglect. My third manuscript is more centered on passionate turns and the absence of that “closure” that so many crave after a loss. I’m conceiving of a new manuscript now, one that I can write without the comfort and push of a place away from home.

I’m really interested now in writing beauty. I live now in Germany, have done so for a year. There’s something about living between bridges, in the descent from an ancient cathedral, that reminds me of living in the postcard one sends baptized in happiness. The crazy thing is that I don’t think that I’ve written a solid poem for much of this time. I have been reaching back to heaviness, the spirit of writing that infused my work once, rather than focusing on the new essence all around me. I realize that now.

In ten days or so, I return to Germany, dedicated once more to creation of poetry and the continuation of a longer fiction project that has been published in pieces up to now. I’m really excited about this new motivation. I’m hoping to upload pieces of what I write, perhaps once a week, in addition to ruminations on contemporary inspirations such as recent books of poetry or prose, snippets and quotations that inspire me with the hope that perhaps someone else might be so inspired or that a dialogue might begin/continue.

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