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?
It means to create a meaning out of the meaninglessness of life.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
During a family tour to Banff in early August 2004, I wrote my first ‘real’ poem in English on a sheet of waste paper after crying sadly over the kind of life I had been living. I have three creative muses: Nature, Poetry, and Experience.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
My first ‘real’ English poem is my most memorable creative experience. By ‘real,’ I mean the poem was inspired by my creative muse (Experience) rather than written as a language exercise as i had done before. Ever since then, I have been writing and publishing a great deal of poetry and, as a result, become probably the world’s most widely published poetry author who speaks Chinese but writes mainly in English.
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?
Finding myself truly inspired and in the right writing mood, I could compose poetry profusely; for example, I wrote as many as 33 poems from 9:14 am to 3:19 pm within three hours on 10 January 2016. Otherwise, I can not produce a single word of poetry for as long as three months in a row no matter how I try. Strangely, I can neither write any poetry nor even speak any English whenever I visit China, where I was born, brought up, educated and offered my first teaching job.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
Self-employed all my life and semi-retired now, I can write poetry whenever I am inspired.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
Write poetry whenever inspired.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
I never participate in any poetry contest; therefore, I do not expect to achieve any prize-based poetic goal, but I do hope one or two of my lines or even stanzas would outlive my own writing career, if any at all.
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart nominee and author of seven chapbooks, published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1,349 others worldwide.
You Can Find Yuan Here
Read Yuan’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“On a July Friday Evening” — p. 87