blackbirdonline journalSpring 2010  Vol. 9  No. 1

Brittany Cavallaro

Julie Hensley
   Nursing Art

Jenny Johnson
   Flights Out, Flights In

Eve Jones
   Five Notes on the Infallible

Chris Leo
   Me and My Books, Hanging Out

Yu Shibuya
   Poetry as a Second Language


Six Contributors on Process

Since 2007, we have invited contributors featured in our annual Introductions Loop to provide us with some insight to their creative process. Brittany Cavallaro, Julie Hensley, Jenny Johnson, Eve Jones, Chris Leo, and Yu Shibuya continue this tradition in the closing feature of Blackbird v10n1, “Tracking The Muse.”

Brittany Cavallaro finds comfort in distance and forges authenticity in myth. “I’m thinking about this in terms of emotional autobiography,” she states. “Even when writing in the first person, even when writing from one's own experience, there's the obvious metamorphosis from poet to speaker.”

Julie Hensley conceives of each story as a parent does a child, with hope, determination, and wonder. She notes, “Ideas no longer come to me on the wings of the muse. They hover like a strange taste in the back of my mouth. Eventually, a good one might plant itself in my gut like the pit of a cherry, hang there for months until I can work it out.”

Jenny Johnson draws inspiration from outside forces and from within, seeking to honor both impulses. Referring to her poem "Ephemera" she writes “(Sometimes a sense of accountability to someone or something larger than myself incites the process.) . . . I wondered if I was hoping to rescue a lost history, or hoping for a lost history to rescue me.”

Eve Jones craves chaos in her process, thrives in volatility. She admits, “The truth is I'm the tree that loves the storm. The truth is that writing is like an affliction, a response to what is unfamiliar but manifests in me anyway, despite my best efforts at complacency.”

Chris Leo lives intimately with his texts. “Take it for a spin,” he explains, “stop somewhere to read a chapter, pause (or be interrupted!) and see how it's colored my day, jump back into it when I then need a pause from whatever it was I just got into as a result of how it colored my day initially, ad infinitum.”

Yu Shibuya seeks a sense of belonging in the written word, revealing, “poetry is a map the homeless treasures, giving directions to himself, improvising routes and shortcuts, highlighting the path that leads home, with little foresight and no one to guide him.”   end

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