TWD Magazine 4th Collection Interview: Michael Rerick — Poetry Contributor

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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.

About The Creative Process

What does creativity mean to you? And what does it mean to be creative?
This seems an impossible question to answer. I certainly would not want to be prescriptive about what creativity is, though I think it can mean many things in many contexts. For instance, even Kenneth Goldsmith in Uncreative Writing admits it’s impossible to get away from authorial intent (though the author is dead, as we all now know), even with a computer program (there is a path that always leads back to the programmer). So, we can talk, I think, about individual pieces and what they do and think, well, that was creative (as opposed to hackneyed?).

How do you make time for your creativity? Are you an early bird creative or a night owl? Or something in between?
I found a long time ago that if I wanted to do this writing/creative thing, I had to make time for it every day or I would find ways to not find time. So, I put time aside every morning for writing (even if that means getting up at 3 am) in relation to whatever daily schedule I have. Once the habit is there, it really helps keep the practice going, I think.

How much of your personal life and experiences shape who you are as a creative and as a person? Do you find that you draw much content from your experiences or have you worked to keep that separate from what you create?
To me, and what I see in other artists, it depends on where you are in your life. I have written personally, through other texts, and any combination of these. I think it best not to confine myself to any particular process and to explore whatever process seems necessary at the time. That said, I generally work on large projects, so whatever the perspective should be something I want to engage with for some time. There is a bit of a chicken or egg aspect to this, I suppose.

About Creative Moments & Inspiration

What is your most memorable creative moment, if any?
I think the best creative moments are when we feel satisfied with what we have done (how often is that?). For instance, a while back I had a project in mind, worked on it for many years, and then came to a point where I felt it was complete and it did exactly what I wanted it to do. This project was finally published, and this felt like a final completion (plug: The Switch Yards, Finishing Line Press).

Do you cross genres for inspiration? Which ones?
Ex: If you're a fiction writer, do you read and practice poetry? Do you also dabble in art?

I find more often than not I draw on other genres and texts. Some of my projects have drawn on sculpture, botanical guides, texts concerning the space race and missions to Mars, epic, prose, a field guide to western reptiles and amphibians, architecture, whales, mechanical technical manuals, folk tales, to name a few. There are so many interesting languages and ideas out there, I find great joy in drawing from them.

What/who inspires you the most?
Looking closely at anything really gets me interested. There are way too many people to mention here in terms of inspiration and influence. I learned a lot from Modernism and my peers and instructors while at the University of Arizona. But it is all ongoing.

Are there any contemporary writers/artists that you admire and think should be on everyone’s radar?
(Who do you think has been undervalued?)

This list is again too large to mention everyone, and I would hate to leave anyone out. I have many many friends who are amazing and I have been lucky to read their work as they are completing projects. They all should be read.

Someone that keeps rattling around in my head because of the scope of her work as well as well as the intricacy (how does she do it all?) of the language is Thalia Field. People need to read her.

Tips For Others, Personal Goals

What tips would you give to those who have never published anything before?
Send your work out. Read journals and find places that feel like home to you. Keep sending out. Find ways to accept rejections from journals that feel like home. Send work out. And, send work out. It’s a lot easier to submit these days, so send work out.

What goals and/or aspirations do have for your creativity? Where would you like to see your work?
For me I like to write, so I just want to keep writing. The fear that the well might dry up is always there, but as long as it’s still interesting to do, I will be happy. Oh, and to be a poetry rock star, of course. SUBMIT


About Michael

Michael Rerick lives and teaches in Portland, OR. Work recently appears or is forthcoming at Angel City ReviewParentheses JournalPorridge Magazine, and Potluck Magazine.  Rerick is also the author of In Ways Impossible to FoldmorefromThe Kingdom of BlizzardsThe Switch Yards, and X-Ray.


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