All posts by Sari Krosinsky

Sari Krosinsky, publisher and art editor, writes about the mundane in mythology and the sublime (and sublimely awful) in the ordinary. Zir first full-length book, god-chaser, was published by CW Books. Sari co-authored a chapbook, Yossele: a tale in poems, with Robert Arthur Reeves. Ze received a B.A. in religious studies and M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Mexico. Ze lives in Albuquerque, N.M., with zir partner, Reeves, and cat, Emma.

What advice would you offer to new writers?

The ninth and final question on the writer Q&A.

When you’re starting out, the clichés are all true. Write what you know. Focus on sensory detail in the imagery and the sound of the words. Write for yourself; revise for your audience. Always consider whether the poem might be improved by eliminating the beginning and/or end. Learn the rules the better to break them.

Later, when you’ve gotten really good, just write whatever moves you, makes you laugh, leaves you dying to know what happens next. By then you’ll know when the clichés apply and when to throw them out the window 🙂

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and would like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

What is your profession? Does it help or interfere with your writing?

The eighth question on the writer Q&A.

I work in PR at the University of New Mexico, mainly editing and writing. The effects on my poetry writing are mixed.

On the one hand, writing at work does drain some of my energy for writing in general. I rarely write poetry in the evening, though I don’t seem to have any problem blogging after work. Perhaps I get stuck in prose mode after a day of writing articles.

On the other hand, writing and editing for a general audience is good practice in saying much with few words and a limited vocabulary. It was writing poetry that made me a good editor, and editing is good exercise for writing poetry.

My job has also led me to learn about marketing the arts (I cover the College of Fine Arts and have written a few articles on the creative writing program), which I expect will help with marketing “god-chaser.” I probably would have been a late comer to social media if I hadn’t needed to check it out for work, and I’ve experimented with it for literary purposes–I briefly tried Twitter fiction, but the team I was working with fizzled out. It was fun while it lasted. In virtual worlds, I incorporate poetry any way I can–embedded YouTube videos or notes, usually.

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and would like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

Who are your influences, and how have they impacted you?

The seventh question on the writer Q&A.

That’s a tough one for me. I can tell you who my favorite poets have been: For a long time, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, followed by my current favorite, Louise Glück. I feel like they’ve both influenced my writing, but I couldn’t point to anything in my writing that resembles either of theirs.

I’ve also of course been influenced by Bob (aka Robert Arthur Reeves). I even owe a couple good lines and the titles of my first two books to him. Still, our styles and voices remain distinct, though I know from our joint chapbook, “Yossele,” that they flow together.

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and would like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

Are there certain subjects you find yourself drawn to?

That’s the sixth question on the writer Q&A.

I suppose the subject I’m most drawn to is myself 🙂 I write a lot of semi-fictional autobiography. I’ve lead an interesting enough life to make for some good stories, and I think also an ordinary enough life to be relatable. I’m also interested in myths–especially biblical, Greek and Hindu.

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and would like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

What is your writing process like?

The fifth question on the writer Q&A is: What is your writing process like? Do you start with an image, concept or phrase? Do you write from beginning to end or in pieces?

I gradually collect fragments of poems as they occur to me–sometimes in reaction to something that’s happening, but often resulting from a random train of thought. I’m lost in my head a great deal of the time. Periodically (ideally weekly, but I don’t always keep it up), I read through older fragments on the computer, type in the new fragments near any old fragments I see a connection with, and spend some time organizing and filling in the cracks. Eventually, this results in some poems.

I’ve written some other things about my process on the Local Poet’s Guild.

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and would like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

Complications

I don’t think I’ve blogged about the CD yet. It’s kind of a downer. The poems come from the latter part of my third book, a fictionalized memoir in poems, excepting one poem that’s the start of a book I haven’t written yet.

The CD covers being a surrogate mother, being married to Bob, living with depression and my first stay on the locked ward. It includes the night Bob and I met, a cursing villanelle, more G-d wrestling, a side trip to Truth or Consequences.

I recorded the CD with Stewart Warren of Mercury Heartlink Publishing. It was good to have not only the right equipment, but someone who knows how to use it, a mellow, patient presence. If you’re looking for professional help with self-publishing, I recommend him.

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What Kind of Poet Are You?

The next question in my writer Q&A is: Do you consider yourself to be a genre writer, mainstream writer, slam poet, literary writer, cowboy poet, etc.? Why?

My answer is: no! No! NO!

The usual commercial advice, or such as I’ve read, is to affiliate with one sort of writing and stick to it. If you usually write science fiction, writing a romance novel will make it look like you’re not serious, or so they say.

Academic and literary poets sometimes claim they’ve cornered the market on Real Poetry. Some performance poets mock the timid recitals associated with college readings, implying that populist poetry is superior.

Why affiliate? I’d rather learn from the best of everything and use that knowledge to write what moves me.

On the other hand, once something’s written, I have no problem with labeling it. Of the three books I’ve written so far, I’d call the second a speculative novel in poems, the third a memoir in poems, and the first a mixture of the two. The label is (a) a way to connect a book with the people who would be moved by it and (b) a way for readers to find new books to their tastes.

I only object to labeling the writer.

If you’re an Albuquerque-area creative writer and you’d like to participate in the Q&A, email me.

Bob’s new books

Bob has a couple books out that I haven’t mentioned yet.

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Irretrievable: Poems and Prose 2011-2012

Wings of the Gray Moon: New and Selected Poems 1972-2012

“Wings” is selected poems from Bob’s first 12 books. The books are worth the investment, but if you’re looking for a best of, “Wings” is it.

“Irretrievable” portrays Bob’s dark year of living with a constantly depressed person (me), among other things. It’s a good read nonetheless. I’m biased, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.

Questions, questions

I started a series of Q&As with creative writers in the Albuquerque area on the Duke City Fix. The way it works is I send the same set of questions to each writer and post their answers verbatim. If you’d like to be interviewed, email me.

I’ll also answer the questions myself on this blog, one at a time. I’ve already answered the first two in other blog posts: Why did you start writing? and Why are you still writing?

The third question is: What’s your favorite venue(s) to hear/read poetry and writing in the Albuquerque area?

Can there be any answer but East of Edith? Sure, there are plenty of good venues in Albuquerque, but the best by far is East of Edith. Each week brings different poets, including some of the area’s best (and maybe a few of the best, period). The mismatched mixture of couches, chairs and benches creates a cozy atmosphere, so that even when you’re on the stage under the spotlight, you still get that family feeling.

It’s also a rare venue where money isn’t a barrier to anyone–donations only. Though I enjoy readings at cafés and bars, I remember living under the poverty line, when poetry readings were my main luxury. (Which reminds me of a wonderful postcard my dad used to have, which showed a naked woman on a couch in a room full of paintings, with the caption: When you’re poor, you either buy clothes or you buy art.)

My second favorite venue is Poetry & Beer, the best slam venue in town.