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?
I don’t know if it’s neurological or comes from some collective unconscious “agony of the spirit” or both. Mostly I think it’s communicating with something larger than yourself in whatever form it may take and seeing what you come up with.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
In college, I was queued up to be a microbiologist. I wanted to work at the CDC, and then I sort of fell into poetry, and went over that way. I tend to be inspired by nature or science, but I find myself returning to the works of Blake and contemporary women poets like Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Chelsey Minnis, and Alice Notley.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
My most recent memorable experience was last summer when I was an artist-in-resistance for Craters of the Moon National Monument (a dormant volcanic fissure surrounded by a lava flow the size of Rhode Island). I wrote poems about claustrophobia and eyeless cave beetles in lava tube caves, and wrote odes to the park’s plants and animals while standing over a dormant volcanic crater.
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?
I like having space and silence in that I seek out vast desolate landscapes I can be quiet in. Those help calm my mind so that I can hear myself think enough to have something to say. I also pace a lot when I work.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
In many ways, it’s a loaded question, because very few poets make a living at poetry, so everybody I know has a full-time job – usually teaching, editing, or working at a non-profit. I guess I’m no different. I’ve worked as an adjunct, a copywriter, gotten grants, and taught writing to kids to support my habit.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
What has been helpful for me is reading widely in a number of subjects, and finding a group of poets who give me feedback on my work.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
That’s hard to say. Once we put work out into the world, it belongs to everyone that reads it. We can say that we want a certain thing to come across, and then someone interprets it to mean something else. Our intentions seldom remain fixed to the work.
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
I have an MA from Miami University and an MFA from Naropa University. My work has been published or is forthcoming in Berkeley Poetry Review, ROAR Magazine, Horse Less Review, Written River, Rat’s Ass Review, Nerve Lantern, Antinarrative, & HOOT. I have a chapbook of poems out from Dancing Girl Press & another chapbook forthcoming from Another New Calligraphy. I have poetry in Flim Forum Press’ anthology A Sing Economy and Nerve Lantern’s Yoko Ono: A Tribute to Yoko Ono, a collection of writing in response to Yoko Ono’s performance art. I’ve received grants from the Idaho Commission on the Arts and the Alexa Rose Foundation, and I am the 2017 Artist in Residence for Craters of the Moon National Monument. (I am also on Twitter and have a blog/website.)
Read Hannah’s Extinction Series: Poetry & CNF In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“London Zoo, 1864” — p. 42
“Triptych on a Passenger Pigeon Specimen Found in 1886 Chicago” — p. 43
“A Market Economy” — p. 46
“Epilogue | There Will Be a Test” — p. 47
“On Individual Stories & Extinction” — p. 48