Creative Work: ‘Julie’ by Subramanian K. S.

Creative WorksThis week we have the pleasure of featuring a poet from India. Subramanian K.S. shares his distinctive style and jaunty use of language in ‘Julie’, a piece which harkens back with a harrowing message. This poem is nostalgic for any reader who knows what i means to be hampered down with responsibilities. 

Julie

Some leer, a few jeer
the rest cheer at Julie,
Circus girl, flexing her
sinewy frame; acrobatics Continue reading

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Creative Work: ‘Weathering (Winter on Nantucket)’ by Julia Rose Lewis

Creative WorksWPN is proud to be introducing a long line of phenomenal poets over the next few weeks, beginning with Kingston University Creative Writing MFA student, Julia Rose Lewis. Julia is not a stranger to form, often creating complicated works that rely on structure as much as content. Feel the cool rocks. Taste the salty water on your tongue. Listen to the crunch of the sand beneath your feet. All the senses are awakened as we travel to Nantucket, sitting on the rocks as the water crashes beneath us and the winter settles into our bones.

Weathering (Winter on Nantucket)

Water,

sand,

rock,

stone,

hand,

and wood.

Wood,

he works with, and always water.

To the hand,

the sand is sticky and slippery the stone.

The island is a rock, Continue reading

Creative Work: Poetry “Aeroplanes” by Rob Trotman

Creative WorksToday on Words, Pauses, Noises, we have a pair of poems for you. We’ve split them for better reading. Enjoy!

“Aeroplanes” 

By Rob Trotman 

Aeroplanes still catch my eye,

as if a fading dream.

That sense of dread

when looking up, that

something’s gone awry.

Silent movement,

pregnant pause,

before the impact

and the fireball.

Seen on TV,

world news.

How, why?

The footprint of those

cash-stacked spires,

that didn’t topple, but fell

straight down, free fall,

as if disappearing down a well.

Then off to a war,

conveniently timed.

Support the cause.

Men, women, children.

Again and again, disbelief.

Evening anchormen,

hurried theories,

awful stories.

Why them, why us, why me?

And there still remains,

the meaning of that day

within in us all,

like muscle memory.

Politics of fear;

the doubts; the dread.

Silenced debate.

When a clear sky is

not just a clear sky

and a plane not just a plane.

Suspended, silent, huge

playing out fate’s goodbye.

Too many questions burn away.

People who had answers.

Never so innocent again.

Planes, or us, or them.

You can find the continuation of today’s Poetry Posts: “It’s Who I Am” By Alasdair Neil Horabin

Creative Work: Poetry “It’s Who I Am” by Alasdair Neil Horabin

Creative Works

Today we have a two-part post to highlight the differences in regional poetry! We are pleased to welcome Alasdair Neil Horabin’s poetry, which carries an essence of home similar to his published prose here on Words, Pauses, Noises. For many writers, the sense of ‘self’ within their work stems  from where they live. For some, the dialect of their region, the ebb and flow of speech, affects the way that the words flow onto the page. For others it is the geography or the quirks of the people who live in that place. 

Some of the prominent and inspiring writers of place (limited to only a few): Raymond Carver, Jeanette Winterson, William Trevor, Flannery O’Connor, and Sandra Cisneros.  As old, wise words say: write what you know. That advice rings true in today’s two-part poetry post.

“It’s Who I Am”

By Alasdair Neil Horabin

It’s where I go, it’s who I am,

the docks, the wet stone steps,

the rotting unsold cod,

stench,

towards the depths,

of the bottom-most slab

where the dark sea laps

my ankles and calves freezing

slipping, dead, brutal

fish-bitten, wrinkling.

And I know,

I just know,

ok?

We hope that you enjoyed Neil’s poetry (we certainly do!).  Stay tuned for another poetry post today on Words, Pauses Noises. We will return next week with more work from our talented Kingston Creative Writing Masters… stay tuned!

Creative Honesty and Being True to the Writer Within: A View From the Visiting Poet Michael Sarnowski

InterviewsAt Kingston, we have tried to foster a creative community not only for our students but for other authors who come to visit our University. The Kingston Writing School had the pleasure of welcoming visiting poet Michael Sarnowski to do a reading on February 28th 2013. Michael received his MFA in 2009 from Vanderbilt University. He read work from his thesis Mapping the Catacombs, introducing the KU audience to his entrancing, tactile poetry. In a brief chat with student Amber Koski following the reading, Michael expressed how important honesty is in all writing; the interview below supports his conviction to authenticity. 

Amber Koski: How was your time with the KU faculty/ staff, what did you take away from your conversations and interactions with those members? 

Michael Sarnowski: My time at KU was fantastic. The faculty and staff were warm, welcoming, and unflinching in their support. Not only was it a pleasure to re-immerse myself in a graduate writing program, but it was inspiring to see the framework that had been established for the writers. You could tell that there was a balance of support and trust with the students, a guidance that recognized each writer for their individual strengths. What has stayed with me has been the sense that as much as KU is offering a writing program, they’re offering a community for writers. Beyond the classroom there is a wealth of readings, exposure to publication opportunities, and writers enthusiastic to engage.

AK: What reactions/ commentary did the KU students have after your reading (if you can recall)? You have been a helpful and valuable mentor to me upon your return to the states, what benefits can this sort of support have for new writers? Do you have past tutors who still give you advice, perhaps from your days as an undergrad? 

MS: After the reading I was able to speak with a handful of students and faculty, and the focus shifted away from conventional questions regarding craft and towards more specific poems or concepts that intrigued them. This one-on-one interaction gave both parties the opportunity to really extract something meaningful from topics which may be less likely to appear in a workshop. For example, discussions were broached regarding the nature of honesty and vulnerability in writing, and how to approach delicate content without overstepping the bounds of sentimentality. There were also comments on individual poems that had resonated with people. Personally, the most rewarding aspect of a reading is establishing a connection with someone. Not only is creative writing an opportunity to experience the world as someone else, but it’s incredible when those ah-ha moments crest when we realize we’re not as alone in the world as we had thought.

Open lines of communication between writers and mentors are extremely important, particularly because of the inherent solitude of writing. It’s an act that tends to happen in quiet moments, in time that you have carved away from work, sleep, or whatever else fills your days. So there’s the initial gain of receiving feedback, but the collateral benefit of influence and inspiration for both the writer and mentor. If we become too isolated, it becomes a necessity to have someone around to help you “kill your darlings,” to quote Faulkner (or Quiller-Couch? Or whoever else that phrase has been attributed to).

I’ve been incredibly fortunate and forever indebted to have worked with tutors like Mark Jarman, Rick Hilles, and Aimee Nezhukumatathil. They have all put in plenty of overtime in their support and cultivation of my work. If I can repay a fraction of the support they have shown to others, I’ll be on the right track.

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Creative Work: Short Fiction – “Last Laugh” by David Russomano

Last Laugh

By David Russomano72311623_p

When they arrive, I’m always at my most courteous. After all, dying isn’t easy. With the squeal of a flat-lining heart monitor still ringing in their ears, people imagine they’ve stumbled into the waiting room of some immaculate dentist’s office. Chairs line the room’s periphery. Stacks of magazines sit on small tables. And there I am, smiling pleasantly behind the receptionist’s desk, ready to receive them. I’m polite, cordial even. I need them calm. None of it works unless they trust me.

Here comes one now. Watch and learn.

“Where am I?”

His eyes are a jumble of fear and disbelief. His jaw hangs open.

“Please, take a seat, sir. Make yourself comfortable. We’ve been expecting you.”

“But, what is this place?”

Ease the transition.

“First sir, if you can, please tell me the last thing you recall.”

The memories are confused, difficult to piece together. He searches his mind the way you’d collect the shards of a broken mirror.

“…I was in a bed…there were faces I didn’t recognize…and things happening around me that I couldn’t see…”

Just a little prompting.

“What did you feel?”

“There was this wave of tension. It rose up from under me and it was building so quickly…”

He’s almost there.

“Yes, go on?”

“And then the wave broke. Everything relaxed. And I was here.”

“You’ve asked me where you are, but I believe there’s another question you need to ask first.”

He hesitates. The words struggle, but he forces them out.

“Am I dead?”

Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Yes, sir, you are.”

Continue reading