I have seen how the Detroit community of writers and activists looks out for and supports young artists. It is something I experienced as a young writer as well. I don’t know if that exists in other parts of the country quite like it does here. I hope it does.
Write dreadful things. When I was younger—and even now, more often than I care to admit—I was very precious about my writing, afraid of how it would be judged by the audience I was imagining, even if that audience was just my future self. So I painstakingly labored over everything, refusing to share anything unfinished and often giving up entirely. Looking back on that writing, I still find it dreadful—a lot of good all that worrying did! What I wish I had done was write a lot more; you can see a lot farther standing on a mountain of garbage than a single, meticulously crafted step stool.
Ultimately, the poems themselves in Mask for Mask arise out of smoke. You reach to grasp something, and out comes a letter or a word, and out of that word is triggered a memory of some sort of self that had been tucked away that has been let out from behind the mask or the cage
But I admit that now, after doing this for so many decades and nearing 70 years old, I write because that is what I do. I can’t imagine not doing it or doing something different. It is my self-definition.
My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)
Hit play below to hear Johnna St Cyr read her poem “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write A Draft the Damage is Worse Than the Estimate)” and scroll down for the full text. “My Windshield Saga (Version 8 Because Every Time I Write