Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crisis of craft

For those within driving distance of Bloomington, Rita Dove will be reading here on Wednesday. I plan to be there.

Feeling transitional. Maybe it's just the change of seasons... spring is coming on full tilt.

Speaking of changes, I'm on Twitter now. If you're there too, feel free to follow me! I don't know how much use I'll actually make of it; if I had a phone (and a plan) that allowed for texting and/or web access, I'd probably find it much more useful. As it stands, I'm not sure where Twitter will fit into the blog/Facebook/whatever matrix, but I figured I'd give it a try.

Here's the transcript of an interesting talk by Steve Van Zandt at SXSW. He talks about the "crisis of craft" in rock&roll -- how musicians aren't spending time developing their craft anymore, playing cover songs, playing in bars, "learn[ing] greatness from greatness." It's an interesting perspective, and rings at least somewhat true from my perspective. I think anyone who's ever taught beginning poets will find some of what he says pretty familiar: the impatience to express oneself, the temptation to put one's voice out there before one has developed strong enough craft to support any kind of artistic vision. Food for thought, anyway, and Steve certainly has the experience to support his perspective, after forty-some years in the music business working as a band member, band leader, producer, label owner, deejay, and goodness knows what else.

And yes, I'm still working on that series of poems about the fictional rockstar. It's sort of annoying at the moment, really, because every time I sit down to read poems I start itching to write, and I can't get through so much as twenty pages of poetry without getting interrupted by the Muse. I almost wish I'd get a little bit blocked, so that in addition to getting a decent amount of reading done, I could spend time revising (goodness knows these new poems need it) -- not to mention the big revision that needs to be done on my first book manuscript. I know, I know, be careful what you wish for....

4 comments:

Nic Sebastian said...

I just joined twitter too -- not sure why, or what it's for and still don't know how to find people. Never say die, though.

Rethabile said...

Wish I could attend Rita's reading...

Toronto Real Estate said...

@Rethabile - same here, she's a fascinating writer and an amazing person I bet, no wonder she won the Pulitzer price:)

Take care, Elli

Lyle Daggett said...

Yeah, be careful about wishing the Muse away. She might just take the hint and go. Janis Joplin was right: "Don't turn your back on love."

Enjoy the Rita Dove reading. :)