Sharing thought processes of one's art is an essential aspect of being an artist.
After some years of writing and being in poetry (in earnest)––book three coming out in 2024, a co-editor at an independent press, a writer of book reviews, and some other writerly stuff, I am able to understand more fully the idea of being an artist. Not to sound corny, but it is a process.
This becomes very clear when you are in dialogue with other artists, painters, writers, musicians, who are going through their own processes with their trade and craft. My recent talk with Kenneth Salzmann for his series, How to Grow a Poem, where he asks you to choose one poem to dissect ( a little) and ponder (a lot) was another lesson and reminder on how hard it can be to sound intelligable about one's own work.
What I have begun to figure out is that one can come off okay if there is an opportunity to talk to someone who is equally engaged in thinking about their process in regards to writing and creating, which is where Ken is at. The talking through your machinations of poetry- making to distill understanding from what is often a psyche full of contradictions and confusions is equal parts daunting and illuminating. You can learn to look inside yourself and come through the other side.
Some recent offerings are:
Patricia Spears Jones, our 2023-2025 New York State Poet, who discusses her pandemic poem, "Saturnine" and Carmen Calatayud's "Mother's Hips".