When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?
Virginia Woolf, though regarded as a great modern novelist, essayist and experimental writer, is one of my favourite prose poets. I am especially drawn to A Room of One’s Own; it is a formative text for me. Renewal is an elastic process, moving toward the future and novelty, but also walking back into remembering why we are writing in the first place. A Room of One’s Own allows me to remember why I’m doing the work of writing. I also turn to Anne Carson for the movement forward inherent in the process of renewal, although that process, for Carson as for me, is always already in relation to the past, especially the ancient past. Currently, I dwell in Carson’s experimental book/interactive art object, NOX (“night” in Latin), which is a eulogy she wrote for her deceased brother, Michael. The book is a prime example of writing as a never-ending process, without finality. Non-arrival can be very exhilarating and freeing. NOX is a text that holds the paradox of grief and celebration, seemingly incompatible affects. It is a long love letter, a sculpture, a performative and textual resurrection. Very importantly, NOX is an example of writing as a technology for self-care. Renewal, I think, is akin to self-care.