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poetry store: the art of the word in 3 minutes or less

What inspired you to go into the craft business & do you still have a day job? I am not a 9-5 person so having a day job inspired me to figure out how not to have a day job! Having a day job also showed me that I wanted, more than anything, to get back into writing. Though I now certainly work much longer hours than a 9-5, I’m thankful I get to work from home and, for the most part, pick my own hours. I’m even more thankful that work outside of home takes me to great places (Cal Academy of Sciences, Outside Lands Music Fest, Maker Faire, etc.) where I get to meet many wonderful people.

Are you constantly experimenting with new ideas, or do you stick with what is successful? I wish I could stick to what works but I like new ideas and I am always in need of trying to make a profit as a poet, so diversifying my product helps. So far my experiments have been a success. <phew!> I’m especially grateful to collaborate with an illustrator, some photographers and Bug Under Glass. Turns out poems and pictures and drawings and bugs make great art!

What has been the major influence in your creative process? Obstructions! Most everything I write is written in 3 minutes or less and inspired by the person requesting it (which in and of itself is an obstruction because I never know what the request is going to be and the request is always different). When I’m making poetry art pieces I’m also inspired by the artwork the poem is being written on. Basically, I never know what’s going to happen until it happens. So my creative process is part collaboration, part meditation, part paying attention to the moment, and letting come what comes within the constraints.

Describe your creative process when designing/making your product line. When I’m not working an event in which the person requesting the poem is telling me what they’d like it to be about and choosing the paper the poem will be written on, I’m usually sitting on the floor of my apartment, hunched over my typewriter with frames, images, and poetry books scattered around me, while Sean Hayes, Joanna Newsom, or Sufjan Stevens fills in the background. I choose what I’m going to make based on what seems to go together best in the moment. To date, I don’t think I’ve ever made a piece that was an idea in my head which I then made tangible. Sometimes I look at an image and no words come to mind, so I thumb through my favorite books of poetry for inspiration (right now that means Dean Young, Gary Soto, and Denise Levertov). Once words are typed onto a page, I pretty much never revise anything. I hope for the best and feel super lucky to be witness to, and part of, such a free and of-the-moment creative process.

What’s the best advice you have been given about your craft? “Never compromise yourself. Make what your gut tells you to make, what you think is beautiful and you’ll find people will respond to what truly comes from you.”

Anything else you’d like to share? Yes–gratitude to every single person who has supported me and my work. I couldn’t do what I do without every single one of you. A thousand baby whales of gratitude to all of you!

my website!:
and my etsy site:

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