Monday, January 23, 2017

Short interview with Agnes Marton

What an inspiring week. After seeing the peaceful outpouring of supporters at the Women's Marches around the world, I can't help but feel hope for our country. People are power.

Speaking of strong women, I sent the amazing Agnes Marton a few interview questions and am thrilled to share them with you today. Agnes will speak on creativity and the creative life. So, without further ado...   

Agnes Marton is a poet, writer, Reviews Editor of The Ofi Press, founding member of Phoneme Media, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Recent publications include Estuary: A Confluence of Art and Poetry (winning the Saboteur Award) and her poetry collection Captain Fly’s Bucket List. She has participated in an expedition to the Arctic Circle.

Hi, Agnes! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. So as a writer, I'm curious as to what a day in your life looks like.
I have a day job – otherwise I avoid routines. I write whenever I can. I travel a lot. I love writers' residencies.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
At the age of four when I became a compulsive reader and storyteller.

What inspires you to write a poem?
Deep and complex feelings.
Anything unpredictable.
Myths (but then I create my personal mythology).
Travel (however, I don't describe the landscape – I observe how my attitude changes).

What's the last book you read?
'The Wonder' by Emma Donoghue and 'A Manual For Cleaning Women' by Lucia Berlin.

How did this collection come together?
It seemed reasonable to compile a collection of my poems while preparing for the London premiere of my opera 'Captain Fly's Bucket List.' I hadn't written the poems with the intention of compiling them but I put much effort in editing the book, in shaping the three chapters, forming an arc. Now, on my return from my Arctic Circle residency, the situation is different. My responses to this expedition will definitely make a book, I've known that from the very first minute.

Do you ever find yourself creatively blocked, and if so, how do you find your way through?  
Not really. I have a close look at some unusual details, and immediately feel like writing.

Do you ever use prompts?
Rarely. When I'm invited to submit to a themed anthology.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Don't write when you have nothing to say. Wait.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Leave your comfort zone.

What are you working on now?
I'm in collaboration with visual artists Sarah Gerats and Viel Bjerkeset Andersen, their videos are accompanied by my Arctic poems. Also, with composer Vasiliki Legaki, we are creating the extended version of our opera. It is scheduled to be performed at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada in 2018. 

Thanks for stopping by!

I'll be posting again in Feb, so prompts are forthcoming... in the meantime, here are a few links to writing residencies.

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