a skill I don't want to waste on a projection of myself

When it comes to public discourse on poetry, the poems themselves need to rule, not the poets. This is often hard when the pinnacle of literary achievement is a book prize, which is often less about promoting a piece of writing and more commonly about promoting the narrative around a writer's career. Celebrating writing is healthy. Lionizing writers is generally absurd. Most of the writers I know who strive for praise are either deeply damaged by it or at best coping in spite of it...

I had to ask the question: what is the point of this thing we do? What is the point of writing?

If the only answer I could come up with revolved around a dream to give an acceptance speech at some podium then I would have quit writing. But there is a lot we can do as writers. Writing is a skill that I don't want to take for granted or waste on a projection of myself. If I can see a purpose to a piece of writing, whether it is political or to express love for my family, or to make people laugh, then I keep it. If the intent behind a poem is to show someone how well I can write, how smart I am, or how muscular my language can be, then I hit delete.

- Brad Cran, in interview with Brian Kaufman in the latest issue (#64) of SubTerrain.

No comments: