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 is the undying, inescapable urge to put something where nothing was.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I started writing poems in the second grade because I wanted to make the most beautiful language. My first poem was called “Spring” and I really wanted to capture how the flowers stunned my seven-year-old vocabulary. I write poems because I want to put the harsh, sometimes-horrible world inside the beautiful capsule of my brain. I want to tell stories.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
Writing my third book, ‘Buddha vs. Bonobo’, in semi-secret at my desk in an office job over the span of a few months. My colleagues and I would block off fifteen minutes a few times per week and we’d write whatever we could (we were supposed to be working, of course). It felt dangerous to be composing these poems about jungles and great apes and free love in a stuffy office, where I could be caught and reprimanded. Also, of course, my years in Laos and South Korea were extremely valuable for my creative life in ways I can’t quite describe.
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 try to write poems at 5am when I wake up. I create in large bursts of energy and then retreat for awhile. I might write thirty poems in thirty days and then nothing for two months. The routine is coffee, sit, and write, sometimes with a clear concept in mind, other times with absolutely nothing at all.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
I get up before everyone else.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
Write first and don’t think about it–when you think you lose the spark. Read everything out loud ten to twenty times. Find quality mentors and consult/correspond–ideally they’re much older than you. Submit as soon as possible so you can get used to rejections. Once your work has been rejected a dozen times or so, start revising. Repeat, and never let it damage your soul!!!!
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
I hope to publish five more books in five years. I also hope to continue teaching writing. Mostly though, I’d like to feel more comfortable and confident with periods of non-creation or deep experimentation. It’s tough to move away from a routine when it works and it feels good, but I hope five years from now (assuming the world hasn’t ended) that I’m less concerned with efficiency (I hope I’ll have earned some time by then).
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
Brendan Walsh has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work appears in Glass Poetry, Indianapolis Review, Wisconsin Review, Mudfish, Lines + Stars, and other journals. He is the author of Make Anything Whole (Five Oaks) and Go (Aldrich). His chapbook, Buddha vs. Bonobo, was published in October 2017 by Sutra Press. He’s online at www.brendanwalshpoetry.com.
You Can Find Brendan Here:
Read Brendan’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“The Minimalists Prepare For Impending Apocalypse” — p. 52
“Hurricane Poem for the Colonizers” — p. 58