Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Oulipost Pre-event Interview




To ramp up for the upcoming Oulipost extravaganza (see Its' Official! I'm an Ouliposter), the fine folks at Found Poetry Review asked each of the 74 (!!) participating poets to answer the following five questions.

 1. WHAT EXCITES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST? 

It promises to be FUN, like a roller coaster ride, both controlled/known and chaotic/unknown at the same time.
  • controlled/known in the rules and constraints that will be applied, as well as in the specification of the source text
  • chaotic/unknown in that I will be just learning about the majority of the oulipo techniques (for example "beautiful in-law'' and "larding"--what are those??) and won't have any idea of the actual text I need to use until the day that the poem is to be created
The sense of community.
We ouliposters will be adrift together on this experiment-boat for the whole month. None of us knows what to expect, which motivates us to connect with one another through social media. We discuss options, fears, our own limitations, issues with technology. It's a unifying experience.
It's liberating.
When engaged in a creative activity, I find it liberating to be unaffected by judgement, whether it be internal or external judgement. And the whole situation of the oulipost project—the rules and constraints of oulipo, the teeny slice of time that will remain for me to write the poem after attending to work, family, volunteer obligations, etc.—all of these conspire to focus my attention on getting the poem out. There's no time to fall prey to the tyranny of judgement, no time to fester over whether a poem is "good" or not. I'll be grateful if I'm able to write anything at all.


 2. WHAT SCARES YOU ABOUT OULIPOST?

That I will fall woefully behind (I believe most of the ouliposters are concerned about this.)



 3. HAVE YOU WRITTEN EXPERIMENTAL OR FOUND POETRY BEFORE? TELL US ABOUT IT.

I was a participant in the Pulitzer Remix, Found Poetry Review's 2013 National Poetry Month project. The poems I created came about primarily through remix. Afterwards, I was fortunate enough to find a publisher open to publishing a chapbook of some of those poems.

Remix is my favorite method for creating found poems. With remix, I mix and rearrange phrases and individual words chosen out of a selection of text, as well as create new words that are not in the selected text, but that have been discovered by applying erasure to a word or phrase.

Other than the chapbook, I've written the occasional cento, erasure, collage, and other remix poems.



 4. WHAT NEWSPAPER WILL SERVE AS YOUR SOURCE TEXT? 


There is only one newspaper in the county where I live, it's the never-boring Brown County Democrat.


But the Brown County Democrat comes out only once a week, so I'll also be using the The Herald-Times out of Bloomington, Indiana.


Another (somewhat) local paper I'll use is the Indianapolis Star.



And for those times when I want something different, I might go with Wall Street JournalI like the idea of poetry coming out of Wall Street.




 5. WHO’S YOUR SPIRIT OULIPIAN?
[from Found Poetry Review: Some people have spirit animals. Ouliposters have spirit Oulipians.]

It's a tie between two mathematicians:

Claude Berge, because he loved permutations and equations and he loved language and literature. Becausehe said "what I really enjoy is to sketch things with a paper and pencil, and discover patterns and configurations." Because he wrote a mathematical murder mysterya duke killed by one of six (or seven?) ex-loversinvestigated Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, solved by Holmes through graph theory.



 ... and Jacques Bens, because he developed the Irrational Sonnet. I am ecstatic that irrational numbers exist. I delight that a sonnet form is patterned after pi. That Bens coined it "the irrational sonnet" makes me dance a wild jig, right now, as if the other versions were rational. Rationed. Ratioed. Sometimes only a number will do.  




2 comments:

  1. Nancy, i am also pretty thrilled (irrationally?) at the idea of an Irrational Sonnet. pretty dreamy. looking forward to following your work again!

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    1. james!! looking forward to your work as well. and congrats on your new chapbook 'i am the maker of all sweetened possum.' i just ordered it:)

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