As an extension of The Black Lion Journal’s mission, The Wire’s Dream is a semi-annual magazine that values community, life perspectives, and different worldviews. Contributors were asked to complete a set of mini interview questions with the purpose of sharing with the readers and their fellow submitters a bit about who they are and about their creativity. All questions were the same for each contributor; and each answer given is unique, open, friendly, and candid.
Let’s start by talking about creativity — what does creativity mean to you?
Creativity for me is to be able to write good, of course. To put down one good sentence after another. And to do that every time when I sit down in front of the computer or the blank page with a pen in my hand. I like to enter the language every single day, to create words, to get into the speech, to write everything my mind and my imagination tells me to write. To think and write – that is everything for me. I really believe that when a man writes, he holds the whole Universe in his hands. And he can create another Universe.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I think I was in my early twenties when I started to write more professionally than before, whatever that means. I was reading a lot of poetry at the time, classical and modern, and I began somehow to imitate the voices of the great wordsmiths, those ancient Chinese and Greek poets and those of the present time and all in between. After that I started to look for my own voice. And that was the beginning of everything. As for the muse… Well, I really like the idea of goddess of literature (or science, arts, etc.), of that higher power representing the knowledge in poetry, but that is only mythology, unfortunately. For me, writing itself is a muse. Always has been. But sometimes a bottle of wonderful French wine could be a better muse than anything else.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
I do not think I had one of these. For me it is a process. I sit down, I think, I write. And I love that process with all my heart. On the other hand maybe every time when I write it becomes the most memorable experience for me.
People approach creativity in such different ways! What about you? What is your creative routine? Do you know of any quirky habits or creative superstitions?
The only quirky habit I have is this: if I know that the poem I’m about to write will be a tough one for me, with different or unusual flow, rhythm, style, subject, imagery, etc, I read a lot of poetry before that. Most likely, this will be the ancient Chinese poets. Or I listen to a lot of classical music: Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mahler, Shostakovich, Lizst, Bach, Wagner, Stravinsky. But I guess this is not that quirky after all.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
Well, I guess I’m stealing it form all the other life banalities. If I want to write more I have to sleep a little less or cut my movie goings, concerts, all that fun stuff. But I’m not complaining. It’s worth every single minute. I love writing and I think writing loves me back.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
First of all they have to read a lot. I mean a lot. And even more than that. And I’m not talking about poetry only. Oh, no. They have to read everything they can find. Novels, essays, nonfiction, science textbooks, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, suspense, children’s books, politics, travel books, biographies, memoirs and even romance. Everything. For example, right now I’m reading The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, A Really Big Lunch: The Roving Gourmand on Food and Life by Jim Harrison, Callings by Carl Dennis and An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki. After that they can grab the pen or start punching the keys. And when they feel ready enough they should start submitting it for publication. At least that’s what happened with me.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
I’m not worrying about that. I’m not the one of those people who make plans. For me it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I love one ancient Lakota saying that goes like this: “Take courage, the earth is all that lasts.”
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
Peycho Kanev is the author of 4 poetry collections and two chapbooks, published in the USA and Europe. He has won several European awards for his poetry and his poems have appeared in many literary magazines, such as: Poetry Quarterly, Evergreen Review, Front Porch Review, Hawaii Review, Barrow Street, Sheepshead Review, Off the Coast, The Adirondack Review, Sierra Nevada Review, The Cleveland Review and many others.
Read Peycho’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
‘The Soul’ — p. 15
‘Stars’ — p. 74