Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Kristy Bowen : part three

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

I think the way I compose poems has changed from when I first began, and there are probably different stages in my writing life in terms of  process--the sort of moves I make to get something going.  In my 20's, poetry was this difficult thing, which needed to happen when the winds were right. I would sit down with my ideas and hammer something out as an attempt at getting to something already fixed in my head. I either succeeded or failed miserably and had to start over. At the time, there was a lot of poems that were persona-driven.  My first chapbook is filled with pieces about historic, literary and mythological figures. I myself, didn't have all that much to draw from, or if I did, I didn't know how to harness it. In my 30's, I was simultaneously starting to work visually in collage and book arts, so much of my writing took on sort of cobbling together of things. I didn't have a defined idea to begin, more that the pieces would form the whole, and the idea would be formed and finessed from the raw materials--sometimes found texts and random threads, I didn't know, starting out and assembling a poem from random bits,  what it would end up about and I really liked that--writing as a way to discover. Also, I began writing more and more narratives into my poetry and wordbuilding, which isn't something poets talk about as much as fiction writers and visual artists., but it's there. Also, working in tandem visually and with words, so many of my projects began to incorporate visual elements--collages and paintings. In recent years, I still do this, but I also have been letting sound--rhyme and rhythm--form what I'm building when I'm stuck. I realized at some point I had eschewed lined verse entirely for prose poems, but have been circling back a little. Whatever the form, sounds plays a greater role in my composition than it did a decade ago.  I still don't know where a poem will go necessarily, but this is part of the fun.

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