Sunday, July 31, 2016

FINALLY I answer the first questions.... Kerri Shying

Has It altered my creative practice? Oh yeah oh yeah. I have written more poems on the Blog than I have off it. EVER. I have returned to writing, basically and writing daily. I always wrote and in most forms, but never had a scrap of confidence as a poet as it seemed to have rules and a culture way above my head. The participation in the blogging with the bloggers scrapped that - same as all writing. Work. Lovely lovely work.
 Has reading and viewing the posts of other contributers to the project affected your creative practice?  Truly, madly, deeply. I often get sparked off by a run of subjects a line a phrase and also fall with relief at going to myself "so you can do-say-expel" that.
So for me it is a school that is replacing the school I did not go to. For a non-uni writer that is very good.
Through Participating in the project have you reassessed your personal creative practice?
More chance of me continuing to write poetry alongside other work and actually have the confidence to publish and read it out.

Kit Kelen - Topic 4 - Publication Agendas related to 366

Topic 4
Publication Agendas related to 366

Well it seems that a few of us are interested in possible continuations/morphings of the project. But there's a resistance to administrative involvement. And possibly most or many are actually not interested? Fair enough. I do also wonder if there's a lack of discussion because people are not used to / not getting used to this way of discussing things (i.e. how the blog works = Blog and Metablog – it does sound somehow biblical!). At least I'm not talking to myself entirely. That's nice to know.

I do think that this project has a lot of model potential, especially for creative writing students and/or for international collaborations among creative writing classes. Or something along those lines. I wonder how we might let the right people know about it? But we don't really have enough discussion about this happening to resolve anything really. And perhaps I'm reaching a stage in life where I should stop caring about the pedagogic potential of ideas. Tough habit to break, I guess. There is a danger with the 52 – 12 – 1 idea (well the 1 is more or less a joke!) that it's just a long drawn out demonstration of entropy. So I shall leave the idea of what might become of things next year to the other topic thread. What's really needed is for someone to pick up the ball.

And as Mikaela has pressed now towards what was my topic 4, I had might as well raise it: Publication Agendas related to Project 366. Individual and anthology. There are many possibilities!

On the anthology side, we now have more than 4000 separate entries, i.e. 4000 draft works uploaded. In what's been re-posted to wonderbook, probably there are a thousand poems more or less (and there were a lot of pictures going up until I somehow lost the ability to do that!) In other words if we collected a few per cent of what we all imagined was the best then we'd have a decent sized book full of good stuff – a kind of proof-of-the-pudding tome. And there are many ways this could be done. A poem a day would give us a pretty decent sized collection, and in general there are (imho) several fine poems each day. There is simply asking everyone to propose their best. And of course what was selected could be polished for publication. Many possibilities. But ideas need to be suggested! Nor is the best idea necessarily to think in terms of a 366 anthology per se. In fact there may be, in this project (so far and to come), the beginning of many publishable collaborative projects. I think now is the time for people to think about what, if anything, they would be interested in along these lines.
Lizz's idea of an ongoing thematic database, along the lines of keywords was a good one. But no one really embraced it much. I am as guilty as the rest. I suspect this would have been in part because often enough the correct tag would have been something like 'life, the universe and everything'. Still, despite the amazing thematic range, we certainly do have what you could call threads. And possibly this is a way to organise things. Even to those of us lacking encyclopedic memory, some of the theme threads will be fairly obvious.

It would be a shame not to publish some kind of group collection at the end of this, apart from whatever other collaborations emerge. It would be good to 'publish the project' in some way. Perhaps such an anthology would have internal organisation along the lines of theme threads? Of course there's something at least a little ironic in wanting to give a longer life to the living daily process by giving it the old dead tree treatment. Nevertheless it feels like the right thing to do in this case. And, in particular, what's attractive about this is the fact that there aren't other anthologies around created in this way, or presented on this basis. There will be questions about what to do with translated material (very easy to seem patchy and half-hearted along those lines) and questions about how to combine the visual and written material. People who've seen my tree stone sky stream could consider that as one model – e.g. the visual and verbal are facing pages throughout.

I do think some kind of 366 anthology is a good idea. We could have a great launch/reading – probably in Sydney, but hopefully elsewhere as well. And I would be prepared to play a part in this, and mobilize certain forces as it were (the mighty machine that is Flying Islands! [Of course a commercial publisher might be a much better option if we could interest one!]). But I want to be clear about commitment here – I am neither prepared to simply organise the whole thing nor to impose a concept on everyone of what it ought to be. I am frying quite a few other fish in general. There would need to be an editorial group, of individuals stumping up to do the work together, and to share the work in a mutually agreed way. And probably to raise the funds (unless a publisher with funds is found). If there isn't a critical mass of persons willing to do the work, then I think we should let it go.

With individual poetry volumes (or even smaller scale collaborations), I think there are all sorts of possibilities. The Flying Islands Pocket Poets series is possible (especially, but not exclusively for translated/bilingual volumes). Please note, with that series, I have always been finding funds on a book by book basis, so it is a tricky thing every time and frequently doesn't come off, even if it does seem like a good idea at the time. That said, there are I think 32 books in the Pocket Poets series over six years now, so the wheels do grind on. Anyway, that's just me. A few of us are publishers, or close to publishers, and more of us could be. So there should be quite a few ways to look at it, if credible m/ss emerge from the primeval sludge, as I believe they are already doing. I have a feeling the individual books will emerge on a case-by-case basis and individuals will make private approaches regarding these. If these books credit 366 as the point of origin, then even without a 366 anthology as such, the project will have fitting memorials.

Considering how publication agendas and future projects might be related, it occurs to me one function of a Project 52, could be to enlist interested parties in a feedback process towards the polishing of m/ss for publication. I'm personally much more interested in a feedback process with a practical publishing outcome in mind. I believe a certain amount of unseen mentoring has been going on in any case, and it could be useful to have mechanisms to formalise this.

Anyway, I do hope there will be some wider response to these ideas. And I look forward to hearing it.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Kit Kelen - Progressing the Topics - on to Topic 3 - Projects Beyond This One

Progressing through the topics.

Dear all,
               I had delayed going on with my list of topics for discussion because I thought it would be good if participants had an opportunity to do little self-introductions first, and to hopefully, through this vehicle, better define what it might be that we wish to discuss. But I don't want to stand in the way of a possible dialogue either... so this is to resume the process of working through topics, on the basis that people can throw in their personal accounts at any point they like.

Now to pick up Anna's take on what might be next with the question - can this (i.e. Project 366) become a permanent thing. This is more or less my Topic 3. So let me open discussion on this now.

Topic 3
Projects beyond 366 – Project 52, Project 12, Project 1 ?

I personally don't think an automatic continuation is the right way to go, basically because it might doom the project to entropy. But I do think continuations of various kinds could be good. But each continuation with a 'natural' limit, and requiring effort to extend beyond/renew.

For instance, I think a Project 365 would be good for next year, though I'm not sure how many current participants would wish to be in that? It is quite a commitment, the daily doing-it for a year. On the other hand that might be a commitment some of the 366 guests this year might wish to take up for next year. In any case, it would be good if there were a crew doing it daily for next year. I'm not sure if I'd want to be in that crew, but I am sure I wouldn't wish to organise it. Maybe if there's a new group, it should invite the old-timers as guests or sporadic contributors. Could this be a good collaborative project among Creative Writing classes? For instance in different parts of the world?

I have another idea though, for next year, that might appeal to those who are doing the whole year this year. That is Project 52 – in other words a project where participants post something weekly for the year. Thus producing a body of 52 works/texts by year's end. This could be a nice way to make something like a book-length work. It would be a less pressured exercise and it might result in more polished work. It could even be used to return to 366 drafts and polish them, for instance towards a collection. It might have different feedback mechanisms, mentoring procedures/relationships. Being a little less frenzied, probably all sorts of different things might be possible. So I throw that idea out for discussion. And who knows – after Project 52 then Project 12 (?), to be followed by Project 1?

I was invited to submit poems to Project 365+1 for the space of one month. I chose the month of June. June is a busy month for me. I teach full time and there is a lot of work to do at that time marking essays. I could have chosen to contribute in December when I am on holiday, but I decided to do what I never do and to commit to working on my own creative pursuits in the school term. Such things have been left to the school holidays for the last twenty years of my life.

Earlier in the year, during national poetry month I had contributed a poem a day to the Dirty Thirty project, so I knew I should be able to write a poem a day on top of full time teaching.There were prompts that had to be responded to each day on that project, so in many ways that was a far harder project to contribute to as some of the rules were very specific. I often needed to spend time editing my lines down so as I had the correct amount of syllables in each line!

What I enjoyed most about Project 365+1 was the fact that I was placed in contact with so many well informed and experienced writers. It was wonderful to read the works of so many poets whose writing I had never read before. I also found the feedback that was given to me on my work subtle and insightful. It was interesting for me to be have conversations with other writers about my work. I realised that this is something that has been lacking in my life as I am surrounded by friends who are visual artists or academics.

The frightening part was posting a poem each day that had only just been written, and written quickly in that spare half an hour I had before I had to go to sleep. It was interesting to post the poems on my Facebook page at the same time as on the blog and compare the responses from my friends, some of whom have been subjected to reading my writing for over thirty years.

It was a great project to participate in and I would love to contribute again. I saw my writing change over the space of a month, and happily the last poem I posted to the site is the poem I like the most out of the pieces I wrote that month.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mikaela Castledine - Thoughts on Project 366

I joined project 366 because Andrew Burke asked me.
Because I was flattered that he thought my writing to be of a high enough standard. 
Because I believe in participation.
Because I am very aware of the value of belonging to a writing community
And because I am always up for a challenge.

Also, I will admit, I was hopeful that while writing alongside a group of highly regarded poets something good would rub off onto me …and I thought there was a chance that through getting to know you all I might be able to advance my goal of publishing a book of my writing sometime in the next few years.

I have used this description many times but it is still the best analogy I have. Trying to be a writer and an artist is like trying to ride two bicycles up a steep hill at the same time. Both have to be ridden hard and you cannot coast because if you ever stop peddling you will find yourself rolling backwards. For the last few years I have been firmly astride my artist bicycle and with some modest successes it has been rolling along nicely but I have not been able to do much more with my writing career than drag it along by the handle bars with one hand. I hoped that participating in project 366 would help me to do more with my writing than just have it slowly ticking over.

In many ways project 366 it has proved to be everything I wanted. I have been reminded that writing poetry is more a matter of tuning in to the right frequency rather than waiting for inspiration. I am writing every day and, more importantly, I am reading poetry every day but I am wondering if the updated adage of practice doesn't make perfect only perfect practice make perfect, is relevant here.

I have always written poetry – since I was quite a small child and I use it as a tool for recording my thoughts and for untangling my emotions. I have never really sought to hone the craft of it in the way I have with my art. I feel that writing every day, rather than improving my poetry, has shown up it’s inadequacies, the repetition of themes, the constant use of favourite words, predictable alliterations, and a sometimes monotonous rhythm. Though I have written a few pieces I am happy with or feel are worth spending some more time on, some days I feel I am writing just for the sake of writing. I guess what I am saying is that despite adhering to the discipline of posting a poem a day it is still possible to cheat sometimes, to pull out your usual party trick poetry – avoiding learning anything at all.

I hope that by articulating this thought out loud, and perhaps by participating in this metablog, I might force myself to pay a little more attention and exert a little more force on my poetry and generally become a better writer.

Friday, July 22, 2016

TO END ALL WARS -- Call for contributions

Spread the word!

ANTHOLOGY – “TO END ALL WARS”. This is a call for poems for a project that will bring Australasian  poets together responding to the centennial commemoration of the war and its end. We are interested in reflections on the disaster that the war was and how the world was shaped going forwards. Editors are Dael Allison, Anna Couani, Kit Kelen & Les Wicks. Anticipated publication date 2018. This is a refocused project following “After Gallipoli”.

Publisher TBA.  is being sought. Prior publication fine but please include acknowledgement of prior appearance. Send poems (maximum 2) to by Sept 23 .

A little apology

Dear fellow contributors,

I currently have guests staying with me from Australia and Korea, so have not had time to do much with the project other than my daily posts. I have not been able to read and comment on everyone's work as much as I would like, and also have not had time to make my contribution on this metablog re my practice and participation in the project. I will be more active again once my guests move on.


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Anna Couani response to questions

1. Why were you interested in joining Project 366, and how did you see it relating to your art practice before you got involved? 

Saw it as a big challenge, have never written a poem a day. But I thought it would be good to have a go at accumulating some.

2. How does working with other people affect your art practice/ process? Does it also affect / change your style of working? In what way? 

I find it really inspirational to read other poets' work, both the people I know and some I've only now discovered. Some of the work helps to trigger ideas for me and it's interesting, as Sarah has mentioned before, that there is unintentional synchronicity.

3. Has Project 366 been a good way for you to be with others in an art practice community? Does it feel like a community to you? Why?/Why not? How?/How not?

366 does feel like a community to me. Firstly because I know some of the people, also because everyone has a kind of inclusive approach that I like. It makes me feel comfortable. I really like the fact that it can include visual work as well as text because I often start with visual things and connect to my own visual work and that of others.

4. Do you see 366 as a dialogue? If so, in what way? Can you see ways in which it could be more of a dialogue or a better dialogue?

Yes I do see it as a dialogue and like the kind of dialogue that it is. It's like being in a big room where conversations are happening and where you can participate actively, passively or do a monologue. I like that looseness and think it encourages dialogue. It's great to know that other people are reading and sometimes reacting to your work.

5. Has working on daily artmaking through Project 366 affected your work or the way you work? If so, how?

When I'm able to write a poem a day, it feels good and has activated my poetry brain. My mother has been ill for a long time and passed away in June. All the things associated with that have interrupted my poetry train of thought. But I think it will return.

6. Do you think others in the project have influenced you / affected your ways of working or your subject matter?

I like to see how other people are going, the directions they take. I enjoy taking ideas from other people's work and riffing on them. That's something I've done before in writing but this project kind of endorses that and gives permission more fully. 

7. How have you found the cultural diversity in the project so far? Has this had any effect on you? Do you think things could be different / better in this regard?

I would like to see more cultural diversity, more people from other cultures, other language groups, more translations. What there has been of that has been wonderful.

8. Do you think there's what you could call a learning process going on through the project? If so, could you describe that?

I think the process is one that frees you up, you can put down first draft work unashamedly and spontaneously. I find that there are threads appearing in my own work that I guess I didn't know where going to be there. 

9. How do you see your role in the group?

As one of the admin people, I do some tech stuff. That's okay. Otherwise, I see myself as one of a community of practitioners.

10. How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art practitioner?

I used to see myself more as a prose writer than a poet. Now I feel more like a poet. Although I think that most of my stuff could be rewritten as prose. I don't quite know what the distinction is these days.

11. How would you like to see Project 366 develop for the second half of the year?

I'd like to see it continue as it has been.

12. What do you imagine after Project 366? (Both in terms of group art practice with a comparable vehicle and in terms of your own personal practice.)

I'd rather like to continue. I'm now about 30 poems behind other people because of various life issues. But it's great that it's there and continues and great that I can jump back in. Could it become permanent?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chrysogonus' Response (part 1)

Why were you interested in joining Project 366? How did you see it relating to your art practice before you got involved?

I was interested in joining the project due to the possibility of working together with all the great names in poetry. As a starting poet, I realized that I still needed to learn much more. What could be more appropriate in working together and putting myself in some kind of ‘apprenticeship’ system with more experienced people in the field? As I did not regard myself as a published poet before this, I could only see working together in this project as a way for me to polish my writing, experimenting with different styles, and finding my own voice in poetry writing.

How does working with other people affect your art practice / process? Does it also change your style of working?

I have to say that working with people from different cultural backgrounds in this project changed my approach in writing. While previously I got used to write more on what I know my reader (from  the same cultural background) will know, I am more careful in doing so right now. 

Has Project 366 been a good way for you to be with others in an art practice community to you?

It certainly feels like a community when people are learning together. It provides a supportive community to work and learn without fear of hierarchy. Other participants are generally nice in giving the feedback, and it is quite encouraging to write more. I also tend to see the collective theme springs up sometimes, with people are more encouraged to write about the same phenomenon from different perspective or style. This, for me, reflects the community spirit of Project 366.

Do you see 366 as a dialogue?

For me, Project 366 feels like a dialogue between texts. Poets and artists are sometimes responding to each others through their work, creating a collage of different voices / perspective upon the same matter / topic. Perhaps the most impressive one of this case for me was when storm and flood became an overarching topic for several days. It sparked my internal dialogue with the theme, resulting in me getting more ideas to write about the flood that I experienced couple of years back. For me, this project brings up dialogues on a daily basis.

Has working on daily artmarking through Project 366 affected your work or the way you work?

While I have only been translating poems in 366, doing it daily forced me to work against my mood. It also helps overcoming writer’s block (that I experienced quite often lately). On  the other hand, working in this project also gives me a surge of new ideas every day. It made me more productive in my poetry writing.

Do you think others in the project have influenced you?

This is a big yes. As a starting poet, I feel that I have gotten lots of influence in my work. Susan Hawthorne’s take on mythology, for example, has given me more ideas to work on the local mythology from when I grew up. I agree with Beatrice’s response, sometimes it is about discovering how a word can be used, sometimes it’s the sense of humor, and sometimes it’s someone else’s take on a matter that I didn’t even think of.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Jill McKeowen - response to Kit's questions

Firstly, I've joined this metablog because it's an opportunity to say an enormous 'thank you' to Kit and all artists participating. I'm afraid I petered out at the end of the month due to an unusually demanding week at my paid work, and then I got sick :( so I didn't make it to the finish line.  In this sense, I feel that I kind of 'failed', but, taking Q8, the one about learning: I'm like the student who is barely passing in the class, but whose personal learning has reached beyond what might seem apparent in terms of public record or performance.

My entry to the project was also a little underwhelming. The month had already begun, and I was slow on the uptake mainly because I was going way out of my comfort zone into the online world. I am a classic 'resistor' to almost anything online (except banking!). So one reason for joining the project (Q1) was to challenge myself with technology as well as art practice. 

The challenge of posting a draft everyday was just as necessary for my participation in the world of poetry. I've been writing drafts of poetry and prose for years, but have never had the confidence to take this practice seriously - again, a classic example.  I have even taught creative writing for god's sake, but more from the perspective of empathy with aspiring writers, rather than being a reliable guide who has made it to the top of the mountain. 

So putting work out there on a daily basis, reading the work of others, and exchanging comments was incredibly affirming for the sense of personal identity as a poet (Q10), and the sense of being part of a community. So yes, yes to Q3: it certainly feels like a community. Getting to know others online was great, and has made me eager to meet them/you in person at some point. Discovering new voices and wonderful new work was inspiring and motivating. I just loved seeing how the work flows from artists in that zone of being in the space every day. 

I enjoyed finding connections between some of my work and others (Q2). The first draft I posted was actually a response to one of Kit's poems, and I find that kind of dialoguing seems to be half the point of writing/art. I've often worked like this anyway, i.e. responding to the work of others, because that work, after all, is just part of the world stimulates a desire to express a response. 

The discipline of posting daily has changed my practice (Q5) a little by making me more committed to daily practice than I was, and increasing that practice from 1 hour to 90 mins (so looking forward to long service leave!). It's also encouraged me to work a bit quicker, to produce a bit more each day, and even believe that I can 'work to order'. I've slipped back into just working on one thing at the moment (for a deadline), but the value of 365 has been the lesson to at least draft a fresh idea, or some fresh notes each day.

As for my role in the group (Q9): I wanted to be a 'good' joiner and comment on all work every day, but that became unrealistic in terms of time and energy. Actually, it became a bit like a facebook observation thing for me - wondering about how everyone else saw the 'etiquette' of communicating. I must say, though, that the generosity and enthusiasm of comments is a great testament to humanity and creative energy.       

My role now is one of being an occasional happy reader, and occasional blogger to this site. I like the implication that there will be other 'topics' to contribute to? Reflecting on creative practice is both useful and pleasurable; if that is the aim of this metablog, I'm happy to join in.  But mostly, and once again, heartfelt thanks for the experience.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Béatrice Machet- Answers to Kit’s questionnaire

Béatrice Machet- Quick answers to Kit’s questionnaire

1.      Why were you interested in joining Project 366, and how did you see it relating to your art practice before you got involved?

I was interested in joining Project 366 because the challenge of writing in English each day was stimulating, because doing this I kept in touch with Kit on a regular basis, because it would open my consciousness to an Australian contemporary artists web I was curious about, because collective work always has appealed to me, because I’m always keen to try new things, (like an enthusiastic adventurer!)

2. How does working with other people affect your art practice/ process? Does it also affect / change your style of working? In what way?

Knowing you are read by professionals invites you to read their work very closely .. (and I confess sometimes I just skip through because time is missing). Reading people participating in the project encourages you to tackle some themes they have developed, gives momentum to sometimes and somewhat “exercise a right of reply”. considering I have no “style of working” except following my intuitions, feelings and reflections, this everyday  practice rather looks like a “diary practice” to me. But something could come out of this amount of texts like an invisible thread becoming more and more obvious, and if it’s the case then, I could consider working hard on selected drafts in order to really achieve a nice collection to be published in the end. 

3. Has Project 366 been a good way for you to be with others in an art practice community? Does it feel like a community to you? Why?/Why not? How?/How not?

Yes I do feel being part of a community, I always felt the atmosphere was warm and kind between us. Alas the big distance and our hectic time tables don’t allow that much long discussions, but reading people day after day gives you the feeling you know them better without having exchanged a simple oral word or a look. I don’t know how their voices sound like but I can guess a lot of their sense of humor, their sensibility, their stamina etc etc!

4. Do you see 366 as a dialogue? If so, in what way? Can you see ways in which it could be more of a dialogue or a better dialogue?
Well, yes a dialogue or rather a springboard for it, at the moment I see possibilities, skectches and drafts of dialogues but nothing completely developed and driven to a conclusion.
What about communicating on skype from time to time so as to meet people, not exactly “in the flesh” but at least speaking to a living face you know is not virtual …

5. Has working on daily artmaking through Project 366 affected your work or the way you work? If so, how?

I already was involved in artmaking on a daily basis, my habit is to write each morning, and the earlier the better because it seems to me I’m still in touch with some dreamlike realm I left when awaking. The more I wait the more “I think” instead of feeling, the more I want to demonstrate instead of showing!! In the morning I’m more connected with a genuine spring of words, which can be strong and wild, especially when writing in French, the first written words are always sharp and biting, strange and lively disturbing, they sound so true to me!! What changed through project 366 is the English written exercise it entails … I rather spontaneously wrote in English when living abroad, but it’s the first time for me to “dare” write in English on the French soil. And it changes my relationship to “my land”, because I have English names coming to my lips for it and it is a shift of consciousness for sure.

6. Do you think others in the project have influenced you / affected your ways of working or your subject matter?

Yes others did have an influence which is very difficult to grasp and to define … sometimes it’s just an expression which echoes and resonates with my own thoughts,   sometimes it’s about “discovering” a new word, sometimes it’s the feeling of diving into somebody else’s sense of humor … and it changes the color of your mindset, it makes you day, it works as a seed… you never know when you’ll get the ripen harvest but it’s there as a certainty, a promise to be fulfilled.

7. How have you found the cultural diversity in the project so far? Has this had any effect on you? Do you think things could be different / better in this regard?

The cultural diversity in the group or in the project is not that much obvious to me. Even though I’m aware we are living in different countries, on different continents, I feel we basically share the same roughly said western culture. To get things more diverse, maybe we could, each of us, write about specific historical, cultural, national, political events, or very rooted topics … doing this could help assert some kind of “identity” …

8. Do you think there's what you could call a learning process going on through the project? If so, could you describe that?
Absolutly, a learning process is going on through the project. To me, the learning thing is first about how to write in English. I don’t exactly master the English language, far from it, (yet I can express myself and it’s a great opportunity for me to sojourn and travel in and between different languages) and reading all the poems posted on the blog is already learning something. Through reading and examining and meditating the poems, I can also learn something about myself, I can compare and imagine what I could have written in French, then in English, about either pictures, themes and stories I “bump into” when I turn on my computer and go to the blog’s pages.  

9. How do you see your role in the group?
I never saw my participation as a role to play, but as it seems, I’m the only French person in the group and I’m happy to bring this “identity” and share my mother tongue with the group. Maybe my use of the English language can shift something in English native speakers’ minds so as they can look at their own language differently (I would love that!)

10. How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art practitioner?
It haven’t changed my sense of myself as an art practitioner since I’ve written and performed (danced, shot pictures, painted) for many years now, the new thing is that I’m living in and between two languages so as to be able to even dream in English (whether broken English or not!) This impregnation by the English language is more and more palpable in my everyday life.

11. How would you like to see Project 366 develop for the second half of the year?

I would like people to address or invite somebody else to work on a draft, on a theme with him-her, or to write collectively,

12. What do you imagine after Project 366? (Both in terms of group art practice with a comparable vehicle and in terms of your own personal practice.)

On a personal level, I’m sure I’ll come back to my drafts someday and will work on them again with the idea of gathering a consistent collection, in order to go further on themes and feelings and reflections the drafts as they are clumsily evoke. In terms of group art practice, I’m already involved in two French groups of poets, one is about “sound poetry” (poésie sonore) with poets in Lyon, the other consists in writing with two other friends so as to, from and with three heads and bodies etc, create a fourth author. I’m not sure I have time enough to imagine other experiences by now! But I keep my mind wide open to new initiatives of course. And I’m used to collaborating with artists such as composers & musicians, visual artists & painters, dancers, actors … so this Project 366 is a nice episode in my writing life which has been already marked with collective art projects.

PS: I apologize for my mistakes, I hope my English is understandable enough… I’m in a rush till August the 21rst…

Kit Kelen - wild animals

we seem - inadvertently - to have a bit of a wild animal theme going today...
windy outside too!

Moyra Donaldson - Initial thoughts

I was delighted to be asked to join Project 365 + 1 for a number of reasons. Kit says there is no such thing as writer's block and to some extent I agree. I have been producing poetry for most of my life, working into the early hours of the morning when my children were small and always managing to find scraps of time between work and family and all the rest. However over the last couple of years, and for a number of reasons, I have found my energy dipping and my ability to get motivated to write seeming to founder.
I timed my involvement with this project to coincide with taking eight weeks off work on unpaid leave. I wanted to take some time to try to kick-start some writing.
Since beginning the project, I find myself thinking about poetry on a daily basis, making sure I produce something, even if it is a small thing and going over notes towards poems and making new notes towards poems. It has given me the impetus to get going and I'm very grateful for that. It has allowed me to read new work from others on a daily basis, which is great and stimulating. I am a little concerned that it might distract me from 'bigger' work, but at the moment I'm more than content to be writing at all.
I love collaborations, my last project involved working with a photographer, so I'm excited to see if anything of that nature might come out of this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Jeltje Fanoy - some thoughts on questions 10 and 12

10. How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art practitioner?
I'd like to focus on this question, because it allows me to talk about my pre-occupation about a generalized perception that, in this particular era, only a certain way of writing poetry attracts funding, and is therefore worth publishing.
Project 366 seems to free its participants from possible self-censorship in this regard, and I feel I'm part of a community of poets who are extremely diverse and interesting. And I love th translations!
I write for performance, as well as for th page, and quite a bit of my time is taken up with trying to do both, at th same time, for every poem. This makes progress a little slow, perhaps a little slower than expected. Hopefully that's acceptable!

12. What do you imagine after Project 366?
From my own experience, and from reading th work of others, I think th blog encourages participants to write in series of poems, either conceptually, or on themes.
After Project 366, we may see quite a few manuscripts-in-progress, which is a great thing.  

Kit Kelen - General Observations on own 366 participation

I feel a bit funny about going first to make this statement about my 366 participation, but I'm guessing maybe people are waiting for my lead. Ah, but now I see that Rosemary has contributed in the time I was scribbling this. Good on you, Rosemary. So here goes anyway.

I am one of those people who works at art practice every day, and I have done so for many years. I don't say this as a particular point of pride. It might be more like an affliction. But I'm certainly happier when I do it than when I don't. So I do it. You can call it a compulsion. I think that 'block' as in writer's block is basically a bullshit concept, a conspiracy of the precious. The precious are the enemy of art that has to come from somewhere. In my opinion! That said, one frequently produces crap and frequently wouldn't know till sometime after the effort. The point is that if you don't make the effort then you produce nothing. Remember the 99% perspiration! Art comes from what I would call 'informed practice' – in the case of poetry that means from the practice of someone who keeps themselves well read in poetry, and across the arts, and in the world more generally. And of course 366 is one way (among many) of doing those things, keeping yourself in practice. It seems to me.
Of course I wonder are these things I merely have to believe as a teacher, as a teacher of art practice? You see how doubts creep in, and at the most fundamental level. And this is a healthy thing, I think.

Having more than one art practice is helpful I find because it's less likely both will be bung at the same time. Though it does happen. For instance I haven't liked much of my effort with paint over the last month. But maybe that's just because it's a bit cold in my toxic studio (i.e. the open-air dairy)? Lots to ponder there but nice to ponder where it's warm in winter. Anyway I've been happy with what I've been writing and with some of the feedback and so on.

I thought of 366 as a sort of dare-to-myself that others might have been interested in taking too. I was doing it anyway, especially last year in Norway, with a poem draft a day. But it goes back years I've been posting work (mainly painting) daily to facebook. I feel better about it being to a blog, even if it goes to fb later. Fb sucks in several ways, but I won't pursue this problem here. Beyond the dare aspect, I was seriously interested in the idea of creating a community of dialogue among people who are or have been or might commit to daily art practice. And I hoped that that community could be as varied as possible, in terms of culture, ethnicity, language... but also genre and theme. Because of my own work with poet/translators over the years I hoped we could get as many of them involved as possible too. And so make it a community of instant translation, of translation and response – so we could be inspiring each other fairly immediately, and at least partly through the magic of suddenly being in another language. That's got to always be good for the soul!

366 has been working for me, personally. I mean I think I've been producing well, especially on the poetry side, as a result of my own participation. I'm not sure how much difference it's made on the art side, but then we're only half way through. In some ways I wish I'd been more dialogic in my participation, i.e. more responsive to others; but then again I think it's better not to force these things – rather, to take opportunities for a conversation-in-the-work just when you see those opportunities. I do worry, that in my own practice, 366 encourages a kind of laziness in that, while I feel compelled to put something up (generally every morning), maybe I'm not getting to the major work I'd been getting to if I wasn't so preoccupied with producing some small-draft-work-in particular every day. Then again, one perhaps should not gainsay how the daily works, and how the minor works, might add up in the end. I have a lot of starts and bits of other possible things (from novels to children's picture books) as a result of my 366 doodling. I simply worry that, over time, it won't be a blank enough mindspace to really properly allow the new in. I mean you have to be a bit bored and the 'problem' is 366 is never boring!

I do think that participation in 366 is helping me keep my eyes and ears open in a useful way... I mean it's helping to keep my work open. Reading everyone else's work of the day every day kind of buffets one around a bit, with 'ah, you could go there' thoughts, if you see what I mean.

I think there are a lot more possibilities for collaboration (and other kinds of cooperation) than we have explored so far. And I think now is the time to start widening our horizons in this sense. But I'd like to hear what others have to say about that, and about their own experience and feelings, before I bring up further topics or make any specific suggestions. (Yes, I'm still working through the topic list!)