WOO Fall 2017

Page 30

Conversation with with AA Conversation Jacqueline Turner Turner Jacqueline

Chelsea Bell Eady C: Jacqueline Turner is the author of four books including Seven Into Even and The Ends of the Earth, as well as a professor of writing at ECUAD. I have a couple of questions about your writing, and I am sure the students at Emily Carr would be very interested to know, especially those who have taken classes with you or are looking forward to taking classes with you. The Ends of the Earth is a collection of poetic critiques on personal and profound world events contextualized as an apocalypse. Your writing evolves from news and media impressions to slingshot into the deeply personal. Could you describe your process in constructing this compelling work?

J: The way that I constructed The Ends of the Earth was to work off of popular media sources, especially at a time around 2012 when people were talking a lot about the idea of the apocalypse, because I was curious to see how language was operating under those conditions. I looked through a lot of online sources and I used those sources as jumping off points into a poetic project that was also, as you say, very personal. I was thinking, how do people consolidate those kinds of larger ideas that are sort of massive and huge and hard to process; how do they consolidate them in terms of their everyday lives, and how do they consolidate them in terms of language, and what happens to language when we talk this way, and what does it change? Because in all of my work I’m interested in using poetry as kind of a lens through which to figure out what’s happening for me, but even more importantly how that relates to what’s happening in the larger world. Playlist: Song: Stadium Love; Album: Fantasies; Artist: Metric C: I have something that might seem kind of off topic, but I think it actually goes along well with this. How might poetry and creative writing be expressed in a visual art or design practice?

J: I think writing does operate slightly differently here at Emily Carr than it might work in other places, other universities, other contexts, because people come with the idea of the potential of writing as a material practice like any other. I think people here often approach writing the way they approach their other creative practices like painting, or they have that language, they have those kinds of analogies that they can make to writing from other creative practices that they’re involved in. That connection makes for a really dynamic environment to work in as a prof especially, because students are coming to writing from amazingly creative perspectives. Also students here come at the work with a strong sense of critique, so the culture of critique is really helpful in terms of the writing workshop, because people come ready to accept the information and the impressions people are giving them about their work, but they also come ready to give that feedback. The reciprocity that happens in the writing class is really strong here and those conditions produce some incredibly dynamic work. Playlist: Song: Ha Ha Ha Armegedon; Album: The Punk Singer; Artist: The Julie Ruin C: To quote you in Seven Into Even, “You have found your place in language”. How do you contextualize your writing practice in relation to your work with student writers?


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