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 largely combinatory to me. I don’t often set out to write something that is free from influence, whether direct or indirect. Usually, if what I’m doing is something I’d call “creative,” I’m doing it with an idea to form something new to my own process which is, however, derived of many sources.
How and when did you get started doing what you love to do? Who or what is your creative muse?
I began to write poetry about 15-20 years ago, upon deciding to no longer pursue jazz saxophone as a creative mode. I first attempted to write fiction, then found poetry was what moved me the most. I suppose the closest thing to a muse that I follow is absence.
What is your most memorable creative experience, if any?
Probably a musical experience — playing and recording a collection of cover songs for my wife, with friends and energy, in August of 2004.
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 thing I do most that ultimately leads to creative work is freewriting. I freewrite with each of my classes (I’m a high school English teacher) for ten minutes at the start of each period. It isn’t magic or anything like that, but it’s a practice.
Time, Tips, & Future Goals
How do you make time to do what you love to do?
My job and my family life are very demanding, and most of the time I choose to love those things. My creative work is in the background through most of each year, and yet I find at the end of every year that I’ve done a lot of writing. I’m not sure how that happens.
What tips can you give novice creatives about getting started on their creative journey and about submitting their work for publication?
Just like with writing, it helps to have an organized process for submitting work for publication. It’s helped me to get completed poems organized in groups, and then I’m able to research and submit to journals, presses, and other publication outlets when I have a spare bit of time. Without being organized ahead of time, I’d be likelier to read the news in that bit of time.
What do you hope to achieve with your creativity? Where would you like to see yourself in about 5 years, professionally and creatively?
If all goes how it’s gone before, I would be unable to answer that question from this point in time. I’d like to be able to say that my poetry has continued to change.
— TWD Magazine 3rd Collection—
Andy Stallings lives in Deerfield, MA, where he teaches English and poetry at Deerfield Academy. He taught several years at Tulane University prior to that, and has published a book of poems, To the Heart of the World with Rescue Press (2014). He has four young children, and coaches cross country running.
Read Andy’s Poetry In TWD Magazine 3rd Collection
“Paradise” — p. 24
“Paradise” — p. 29
“Paradise” — p. 88