February 10, 2011 § Leave a Comment
A few week’s ago I wrote about engaging in poetry more communally, and how I specifically wanted to do this by writing ekphrastic poetry here on the blog: every so often I would use a picture from a friend or somewhere and write a poem to correspond to it. I gave it a silly name, but it’s something I still want to do.
My first installation is using a piece that is not actually a photograph, but a picture of a sculpture I saw last April at the Art Institute of Chicago. The sculpture is called Veil, by Richard Rezac, and when I saw it I felt like the piece wound around its title perfectly, in complete harmony (or, perhaps, complete disharmony, depending on your interpretation). The piece is below, and you can read my poem about it after the jump.
January 16, 2011 § 2 Comments
Today on Huffington Post, writer Anis Shivani continued his annoying screed of insular self-worship with a ridiculous article claiming New Rules For Writers, most of which boil down to If you are a writer you need to be as horribly argumentative and self-important as I am. Every so often someone descends from on high and tells us all How To Be Writers – though oftentimes it’s someone who has, like, written things, and has a little more ground to be listened to – and often the most basic point is missed: there is no Way. In fact, I’d go for the literal interpretation of that sentence also: there is no way possible to become a writer. Which is awesome, because then you don’t have to worry about “Becoming A Writer,” and you can just focus on writing.
One of the things Shivani critiques strongly is the MFA system, for the usual silly reasons. Sure, an MFA program runs the risk of creating students of a specific aesthetic, but that and any other risk are far outweighed by two major benefits: 1) a funded few years of writing (non-negotiable for me), and 2) a community of other artists and writers of varying skills and aesthetics.
The second point is what I am briefly focusing on, the community of artists. I have always really appreciated being connected to other writers, musicians, etc: their work and thinking has continually changed and shaped my own for the better. Shivani may believe that artists must work in isolation, but I believe that those artists are missing out on living, breathing art that can teach us within community.
All of this is an introduction to a new semi-regular feature that will occur on the blog, which I have cheesily named Words’-Worth. Words’-Worth posts will feature a poem about a photograph from a friend, giving me a chance to indulge in ekphrastic art and to post photos from others on my blog. One of the regular contributors will be Ms. Sara Larson, who is starting her own project documenting her learning and experimenting with photography. And if you are reading and would like to send a photograph, feel free as well.
Hopefully the first of these will be up this week, as well as more work designed to connect the random reader of my blog to other amateur artists. There’s a lot of great dreams in the world, and a lot of great people trying to sculpt them into something.