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china91234

umbria90134

DSC_0004This is the first time you’ve been interviewed as a poet—and it’s a self-interview.

I know. It’s weird.

 

Try to get past that and tell us why, having been a musician all your life, you started also to write poems.

Back in high school I pursued both music and poetry, but I matured far more quickly as a musician. So I went to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, then to New York to become a freelance drummer and percussionist. The beauty of freelancing, for me, is in the variety of musical styles I’m asked to perform in while collaborating with players who provoke me to make contributions I would never come up with on my own.

Gena-Perala44444

Please explain what just happened.

Alanis Morissette came on the radio playing a hit from 1994, and then a very beautiful song came on.  It’s called “All I Want,” by Kodaline.  Pretty.

irene21ae

chongqing4paz

chongqing3ba

irene1111

fongudue2

fongdue1

yang1hai

picWalkerMFAdetailBlog-729908

When I decided to take the plunge last year, at the age of 27, from relative literary isolation into the comparative security of graduate school, I had mixed feelings. I had always struggled with academic institutions, sleepwalking through high school, saved by a natural aptitude for writing, and attending three colleges before completing my bachelor’s degree. I was familiar with the myriad criticisms of MFA programs, too, from their promotion of a “house style” to their failure to provide graduates with tangible benefits or skills.

And yet I wasn’t sure what else to do.

sh2hai

sh3hai

sh1hai