Monday, September 17, 2007

12 or 20 questions: with Sheri-D Wilson

The Mama of Dada - Sheri-D Wilson (poet, playwright, performer, film-maker, essayist, and educator) is Internationally renowned for her jazz infused performance style laced with a dangerous wit.

In 2005, she was invited to present her work in Ottawa as part of the Alberta Scene celebration to commemorate Alberta's 100 year centennial, and in 2006 she was honoured with Global TV's Woman of Vision award, the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Best Alberta Poetry Book of 2005, for her book Re:Zoom, and she was chosen 2006 and 2007 favorite writer by ffwd (peoples choice).

In 1989 Sheri-D studied at Naropa, The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in Boulder, Colorado. BEAT. Sheri-D's unique experimental poetry shatters all conventions. In 2003 she won the title Heavyweight of Poetry, USA in a Bumbershoot Bout against the incredible Andrei Codrescu.

Her Performance/Reading highlights include: Festival des Voix d'Amérique (2005: Montreal), Dub Collective (2005: Toronto), West Coast Poetry Festival (2005: Vancouver), The Bumbershoot Bout - Winner of Heavyweight Title (2003: Seattle), The Superbowl of Poetry - Winner (2003: Seattle), The World Poetry Bout (2002: Taos, New Mexico), Poetry Africa (2001: Durban & Jo'burg, South Africa), Shakespeare and Co. (2001: Paris), PanCanadian Wordfest (2000, 1995: Calgary/Banff), Vancouver International Writers Festival (2002, 2000, 1995, 1993, 1990: Vancouver), Bumbershoot (1999, 1991, 1989: Seattle), Small Press Festival (1990: New York), Harbourfront Reading Series (1993: Toronto), Spoken Word Festival (1996: Montreal), Brainwash Reading Series (1995: San Francisco).
Sheri-D Wilson has six collections of published poetry: Re:Zoom (2005, Frontenac House), Between Lovers (2002, Arsenal Pulp Press), The Sweet Taste of Lightning (1999, Arsenal Pulp Press), Girl's Guide to Giving Head (1996, Arsenal Pulp Press), Swerve (1993, Arsenal Pulp Press) and Bulls Whip & Lambs Wool (1989, Petarade Press).

1 - How did your first book change your life?

The first book that changed my life was Moby Dick

2 - How long have you lived in Calgary, and how does geography, if at all, impact on your writing? Does race or gender make any impact on your work?

I was born and raised in Calgary
Left when I was 17
Lived in Vancouver for 18 years
(eight of which I spent half the time in New York City)
And then I returned to Calgaria ten years ago
Love it here
Plus other places
All places inspire

The notion and motion of inclusion informs
Me as an artist

I am interested in the voices of all people

3 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?

Good question
The ecstatic impulse is a form of beginning
Inspiration arrives in many masks
And then there are major edits
In order to answer your question, though
It would be necessary to consider each individual work
This would likely take an entire essay
Artistic process can bewilder

4 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process?

I write to be read aloud
For the orator
This does not mean that I write for the public, or audience
There are many ways of seeing and reading
That which lives on the page
It is important to educate our eyes and vision
To include different forms of poetry
In our educational process
This would mean
That writing professors would have to teach themselves
How to read
Work which is created to be read aloud (Spoken Word)

5 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

I love editors
I love ideas
Mixing ideas
Profound trust
And exchanging knowledge
I also enjoy working with editors
Who take a new approach to the page
(Another essay)

6 - After having published more than a couple of titles over the years, do you find the process of book-making harder or easier?

This question
Lives outside my realm of thought
Good bad
Hard easy
Love love

7 - When was the last time you ate a pear?

With my lover
Under an apple tree
Beside a fence
There may have been psychoactive hallucinogens
And raw sex
Mango twisted
Ask the fence
If you are sitting on it

8 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?

Live long and prosper

9 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (written poetry to more performative pieces)? What do you see as the appeal?

There are many ways of seeing
The page is in a state of transformation
Most people are educated to see the page from the literary point-of-view
...they are not educated to see the page as sound
You cannot compare them
As they are bananas and tomatoes
I have always mixed banana-toes
And enjoy the process of discovery
They offer
The taste

10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

Please no! Not a typical day!!!

11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

Everywhere and everything
And then back again
There's nothing like reading great poetry

12 - How does your most recent book compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?

There are different times in the life of an artist
Which are reflected in their work
Like phases
Or periods of time
Transformation and experimentation
Always bring new approaches
Like a painter I find my previous works
Part of my long bouncy springboard into the future

13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?

Psycho babble, qu'est-ce que c'est ?

14 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

When my grandmother was 101
She said
"I did everything I wanted in my life"
I thought:
That's what I want to say when I'm 101
There will be much between now and then
And life has been rich until now

15 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

I have done so many other occupations
Damn, what are we talking about?
I'd rather suck Bukowski's dick then answer this question

16 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

Writing took me
I didn't take it
It through me across the pommel
And had its way with me
At a full gallop
It has been a love fest ever since
A great body for me to follow

17 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

Anything with Johnny Depp in it

18 - What are you currently working on?

My abs

No comments: