Monday, September 19, 2016

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 invited by Anna, and to be honest the project (together with the participating writers) was a complete cipher to me. I simply jumped in thinking it would be a lot of fun, and I also thought it would give me a chance to hone my poetry. More than anything I was looking forward to the process. Initially, I thought I would participate for a month. It is inexplicable to me that I'm still here, despite some time off for illness, and deaths. I'm certain now, in a way that is new to me, that I'll be writing more frequently, forever. As a former academic, I've never thought of poetry as therapeutic however, there is something about having one's work recognised by fellow poets on a daily basis, warts and all, that is energising, even liberating. Recently, however, events have overtaken me, and I've had to consider seriously dropping out. But I simply can't leave. I'm voting with my feet to stay. It's a brilliantly conceived project. I'm personally grateful for it.

 Do you think others in the project have influenced you / affected your ways of working or your subject matter? Do you think there's what you could call a learning process going on through the project? If so, could you describe that?
Stylistically, certainly. My use (and abuse) of compressed forms like the haiku and senryu now informs the way I construct lines and images,  particularly in my longer poems. The occasional insightful comment goes a long way too. I pay close attention to everything posted on the blog. In addition, using images as part of a text is something I'd never done before, and now love to do.

 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?

More is needed, always. I've tried to rope in a number of writers from different backgrounds, but the daily deadline is daunting for them. I haven't given up.

 How has participation in Project 366 affected your sense of yourself as an art practitioner?
I now call myself a poet without feeling like a fraud - something which affects many of us, it seems. Like others, I have to be writing actively in order to feel comfortable in asserting this. Publishing drafts on a daily basis here is a way of enabling that sense of self identification - so necessary, I think, if you want to keep writing with enthusiasm. It helps immensely to have a sense of being read by others who understand the pressures of time etc.  To know that your work is being read is at the heart of writing here, for me. Comments are a bonus, too. The community is tremendously supportive. I know some of my poems have benefited from other's readings, and not just of my own poetry. I've learnt a lot about what makes a poem interesting to other poets. That doesn't necessarily change my approach, however. It's an observation. 

On the topic of the future for the project - I hope that a collection of our work can be published. I'm all for individual collections as well. Online publishing is ideal as it would save on printing costs. Alternatively, we could consider crowd funding the publishing of the project's anthology/ies if we decide to go the route of traditional hard copies. Why not? 

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