Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Virtual Blog Tour , I'm a Joining

I've been asked to join the "Virtual Blog Tour" by answering the following questions.

 1. What are you currently working on?

My poetry manuscript "Linger To Look" is currently in production stage. I'm trying to get it ironed out for eventual publication. I would like to have it released in time for the 2015 Spring book buying season, but, if not, I'll aim for the 2016 Spring season (I'll keep everyone updated). "Linger To Look" is my most experimental poetry yet. It draws heavily on Middle Eastern history and influences and blends them with Appalachia.

 I'm also finishing a songwriting collaboration with Kevin Mallory. The song will be called "Solitary One". I am reading four books for review. I'm also meant to interview Lia Parisyan for this space - watch for that. A local ACT Theatre has recruited my colleagues and I to design and build the set and costumes for its upcoming production of "Alice in Wonderland". It is up to me to find a visiting artist for the annual main event at Raging Rapid Art Gallery. I am also preparing to take a Modern and Contemporary poetry class starting in September. My plate is full!

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

I attempt to honour the Appalachian tradition while updating it with the contemporary and influences from around the world with a touch of the experimental. Appalachia is a land of great change right now. I try to reflect that in my writing. Therefore, it isn't what you would expect of an Appalachian poet by any means. My work falls firmly within the school, if you will, of the Appalachian Renaissance, but is still its own.

3. Why do you write what you do?

Firstly, because I love words in a sensual way. The way each one sounds, feels in the mouth, echoes off surfaces, and the shades of meaning and connotation. I love what I do. Secondly, to shatter stereotypes: Appalachian stereotypes obviously, but also others. I love to erase boundaries and strive for the supranational. All cultures are my culture and my culture is all cultures. The variety and colors that make up mankind is more beautiful and infinite than all the variety of flowers. Why not celebrate it for what it is: when harmonious, the most glorious creation of all God's creations. It is no surprise, therefore, that love tends to be a dominant theme.

4. How does your writing process work?

Every work comes about differently and I generally let them grow as individuals - like children. But a method that has been successful more than once is to write one phrase or stanza at a time and later organise it, so that the final poem is a collage, a patchwork quilt greater than the sum of its parts. It can be a very long process. Patience is vital. And humility. I have to get out of the poem's way. My job is to jostle the words around until they tell me where they need to be. That's all. The best work emerges when you take yourself out of it.

The key to this blog tour is to keep it going, so here are the three writers I'm tagging:

Michael O'Dea, a poet who draws from rural Ireland, County Roscommon mostly, for simple but profound and beautiful verses.
Christodoulos Makris, a very busy poet currently practicing in Ireland and the U.K. His work is heavily experimental, opening up exciting new avenues for the poetry of the area. He even made a poem that continually updates itself via Twitter!
Artemis Blithe, a poet who excels at spoken word and performance and who is also bringing Appalachian poetry to the 21st century.

Friday, August 15, 2014

There Are Sparks of Amazement

The latest review of "Marrow" is in. I am floored that the reviews have all been positive so far! The blog NirvanicM says: "There are instances in your life, when you stumble upon amazing things and they form a part of your life. In a similar way, I came across this Art book ... The book is graciously simple, with a minimalistic layout ... There are sparks of amazement ... may not go well with the faint-hearted, but reality cannot be cushioned. ... Everyone should read this."

Read the full review.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tattoo Arts Festival

I will have a table set up with copies of both my books - "Following Hope" and "Marrow" - available for sale, as well as selected sketches of the "Salome Series".

See Goodreads for more info. ***UPDATE 8/23/2014: Event has been cancelled***