MY WRITING PROCESS
That amazing writer/thinker/worker Glenda Bailey-Mershon, Scot-Cherokee descent, holds such sincerity in her writing she will definitely bring you to a new place if you follow her:
<http://www.glendabaileymershon.com>. Glenda invited me to join the blog tour My Writing Process, so here we are and here I thank her and encourage you to go read her today and to look into her life as a reflection of the deeper place.
It is true that Glenda has a great on-going blog. Whereas, I tend to blog when I want to have a theory posted for the date. My latest theory is boiling over right now but I am not ready to post it. Soon!
Meanwhile, jump over to Glenda’s amazing page once you finish this one up and follow all the other links I post, too, for the full run.
1) What am I working on?
I am in-production with a feature film documentary regarding the Great Depression and Dust Bowl and Native resiliency and recovery in those times of climate change and social intrusion. Dad is 92 and has been with us almost every shoot. We have also included some other amazing interviewees from the Cherokee Nation, Comanche Nation, Osage Nation and more. My Director of Photography, chief cinematographer is the super-talented (brilliant) Shane Brown <shanebrownphotography.com>. Sound, so far, has been covered by engineers James Payne http://www.tulsapeople.com/Tulsa-People/May-2009/The-kid-from-Ardmore-stays-in-the-picture/ and Royce Sharp <http://jarofgrasshoppers.com/crew/royce/>, each on second camera as well. Jeffrey Palmer, brilliant cinematographer as well, <http://article.wn.com/view/2014/03/15/UCO_Professor_to_Premiere_Kiowa_Documentary_at_Canadian_Film/> has run second, camera, sound and main camera and sound covering Dad being interviewed for the documentary on Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Take a look at the Facebook pages for Red Dust Project and www.hedgecoke.com for more information. We are still in need of support to complete this project but had an amazing fundraiser last October to get it going through USA Artists Projects (eventually turning into Hatchfund during the campaign), you can find at<http://tinyurl.com/reddustproject>.
Working with these amazing original Oklahoma award-winning filmmakers, has afforded this film project an exemplary field of talent, and has been utterly rewarding. Additionally, hearing the stories from the elders who lived it, versus theorizing and claiming, has been gratifying and moving, every step of the way. The project is collaborative and I am thrilled with the production at this stage and looking forward to seeing it through.
I just submitted final edits to both Effigies II (Salt Publishing, 2014) <http://www.saltpublishing.com/writers/profile.php?recordID=208324>, and Streaming (Coffee House Press, December 2014), <http://www.amazon.com/Streaming-Allison-Adelle-Hedge-Coke/dp/1566893755>, my fourth full poetry volume, sixth poetry book, including my chapbook and a special edition, Burn, illustrated by the amazing artist Dustin Mater from Ada, Oklahoma, <http://www.saatchiart.com/dustign>, and to be pressed by MadHat <madhat-press.com/>, pressed by poet/writer and editor Mark Vincenz <http://www.pw.org/content/marc_vincenz>. Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer just went paperback in January (University of Nebraska Press) <http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/product/Rock-Ghost-Willow-Deer,671208.aspx> and Ishmael Reed pressed a big hunk of my novel in Konch, lately as well, if anyone wants to take a look at that work, I am finalizing right now. So the work is coming along smoothly and insight is high, propelling the new work with the wings of my crew.
There are surprises in both Burn and Streaming people outside my closer circles may not anticipate so keep and eye open! I am thrilled with the movement and my creative process is on an all-time high, so hang with me through this and we will be on the ride together.
Effigies II has a book inclusion from each of the five contributors, Laura Da’, Ungelbah Davila, Kristi Leori, Lara Mann, and Kateri Menominee. So five new books by five new Native poets makes up this significant new anthology I am very honored to be a small part of editing. Everyone get ready!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Tough question. I was stuck on the marketing questions regarding the above in this same regard. There isn’t anything like Effigies II and I am not exactly sure what books you would say are similar to either of the two new poetry volumes, much less the memoir, so I hope the readers will enjoy the departures and originality I enjoy working with, in a natural sense. I’d have to say I am leaving this one to them and hoping they note widely.
3) Why do I write what I do? (briefly)
(Again) Writing is like breathing to me and also like a workout and a meditation and a compulsion and a passion and a number of other designations. I hope to bring to the page and the field something engaging from spaces of surveying and reckoning. I’m interested in junctures and curious about everything and memory works a wildness in me that brings in some intriguing factors to the process I hope gets in there and engages the reader, as well. I also write to get the job done.
4) How does my writing process work? (briefly)
Depends on the work at hand. Fully. I’m obsessive with the work and then away from it. Iron Horse Review just covered my studio, so here is where it often happens: <http://www.ironhorsereview.com/#!current-issue/cdp4>, which you can buy for $5, so crazy good deal here, <https://ironhorse.submittable.com/submit/17078>, and I am on the road weekly, so much of the preliminary work happens as I float around. I sleep in a hammock at home and the planes and trains feel like hammocks when I sleep on them as well, so I dream a lot and the work often comes that way first. With all our fracking quakes, storm warnings, the drought – and the constant momentum – dreams help me break free of constraints and worries and takes me to the place I need to divine the muster wealth.
Stay tuned! Next up, amazing blasts from Kimberly L. Becker and Wang Ping!
Kimberly L. Becker is author of two poetry collections, Words Facing East (2011) and The Dividings (2014), both from WordTech Editions. Her work appears in journals such as the “Native American Women’s Poetry” folio in Drunken Boat and in an upcoming issue of Fulcrum focusing on Native/Mixed writers, as well as anthologies, including Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013) with a panel reading at the 2014 Split This Rock Poetry Festival and Indigenous Message on Water (Indigenous World Forum on Water and Peace, 2014). Kimberly was recipient of a 2011 Individual Artist Award in Poetry from the Maryland State Arts Council and a prior grant from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland funded her study of Cherokee language, history, and culture in Cherokee, NC. She has also been awarded residencies at Hambidge and Weymouth and was a featured reader at The Florida Review’s “Native Writers in DC” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Kimberly’s interviews with other Native writers appear at Eclectica and her reviews have been published here at Blackbird, as well as Eclectica, among other venues. She has also published essays at Yellow Medicine Review and Talking Stick, as well as fiction at Dead Mule, Parting Gifts, and SNReview. Kimberly also writes for the Cherokee Youth in Radio Project, adapting traditional Cherokee stories into plays and her interview with the Project’s Instructor, EBCI member Shawn Crowe, was published at Eclectica. Kimberly’s son, Alex Becker, has begun his own literary career with publications at Future Earth Magazine and Yellow Medicine Review. For more on Kimberly and her writing, please visit
and Wang Ping:
Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and came to USA in 1986. She is the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project, a five-year project that builds a sense of kinship among the people who live along the Mississippi and Yangtze Rivers through exchanging gifts of art, poetry, stories, music, dance and food. She paddles along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, giving poetry and art workshops along the river communities, making thousands of flags as gifts and peace ambassadors between the Mississippi and the Yangtze Rivers.
Her publications include Ten Thousand Waves, poetry book from Wings Press, 2014, American Visa (short stories, 1994), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), The Magic Whip (poetry, 2003), The Last Communist Virgin (stories, 2007), all from Coffee House, New Generation: Poetry from China Today, 1999 from Hanging Loose Press, Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian, co-translation with Ron Padgett, 2010 from Zephyr Press. Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000, University of Minnesota Press, 2002 paperback by Random House) won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities. The Last Communist Virgin won 2008 Minnesota Book Award and Asian American Studies Award. She had many multi-media exhibitions: “Behind the Gate: After the Flooding of the Three Gorges” at Janet Fine Art Gallery, and “All Roads to Lhasa” at Banfill-Lock Cultural Center, and “Kinship of Rivers” at the Soap Factory in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Great River Museum in Illinois, Fireworks Press at St. Louis, Great River Road Center at Prescott, Wisconsin, Emily Carr University in Vancouver, University of California Santa Barbara, and many other places. She collaborated with the British filmmaker Isaac Julien on Ten Thousand Waves, a film installation about the illegal Chinese immigration in London. She is the recipient of National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Artist Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship.
Her work for the past several years joins people, arts and culture along the Mississippi and Yangtzee Rivers and their tributaries.