Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Conversation: Sara Wintz and Megan Breiseth

Sara Wintz and Megan Breiseth 
share a witty and entertaining Q & A

Come hear them read with fellow poet Grace Marie Grafton on Friday, June 7th @ 7:30 PM!

Looking for summer reading suggestions?

Megan Breiseth answering questions from Sara Wintz

If you had to only keep five books on your bookshelf what would they be?

O dear!  Okay.  Changing Light at Sandover, Infinite Jest, Selected Stein, Collected Spicer, OED

What on earth, other than writers, influences your writing?

My body, how it's experiencing things.  Divination processes, like tarot and automatic writing.  Movies.  Music.  The scenery.

What's your sign?

Libra.  Fire snake.  High Priestess.  Eleven.

Where did you grow up?

In an unincorporated area between a couple suburbs of Chicago.  Amid all that's the worst about suburbia, but in a hidden farm garden paradise.

What's it like to be a mom?

Easier and harder than I expected.  I'm such a rookie still but have noticed some things.  

  • New fears and vivid imagination about possible ways the babe could come to harm.  There are so many!  
  • Crazy relationship to time.  Some hours sneak right past me, others are an eternity in which a thousand things happen.  
  • Microscopic attention that makes most experiences feel new as we imagine how he's experiencing them.  Leading to random attacks of crazy bliss.
  • Microscopic attention that makes every decision feel bigger than it did before when just deciding for myself. Leading to slight obsessiveness.
  • Exhausting.  

How did your first book change your life?

The first books read to me were old poets like coleridge, wordsworth, and dickinson.  I was an insomniac baby and my mom treated me to endless hours of poetry.

The first books I read gave me a world of my own, a place to go and be alone and not alone at the same time.  Perfect blend of comfort and excitement.

The first book I wrote taught me that even though I feel like an impossibly slow writer who never writes, I actually do write and can finish something if I work really hard.

What's your daily routine?

Right now, it's something like this: wake up at 6am to feed James.  Get back in bed til 9.  Feed James while reading.  Get him dressed, feed myself, play around with him.  Maybe go for a walk.  James's lunchtime nap (sometimes)- do chores, maybe yoga class if wife is around.  Feed baby.  Afternoon walk- to coffee or grocery or library or beach.  James's afternoon nap (sometimes)- read or garden or chores.  Feed baby.  Dinner with wife.  Baby bath.  Baby massage.  Baby reading, nursing, sleep by like 930.  Watch movie or read, maybe even shower.  Adults go to bed around 10, 11, 12.  
Soon I'll go back to work and this will all be different.  Notice nowhere the word "write."  Will be working on that.

What's your favorite book store in the east bay?

I'm especially fond of Walden Pond Books on Grand.

Tea or coffee and what kind?

Peet's decaf coffee with milk.

Sara Wintz answering questions from Megan Breiseth

What's a book that you remember fondly from childhood? 


What do you remember about it? 

Well, Bunnicula is the story of a vampire-bunny rabbit that sucks the blood out of vegetables, obviously. My brother and I listened to it on tape and there was one part where a character said, "You stupid owl!" and that always cracked us up when we heard it, because it was such a silly exclamation. I still love that book. If I ever get a tattoo I'm totally getting "Bunnicula" emblazened across my collarbone. 

When do you write? 

Later in the day: in the afternoon or in the evening usually. 

Where do you write? 

Oh all over. This week I keep thinking about lines to incorporate into poems, while I'm "on the go" or out with friends. I've been saving the notes on my phone as text message drafts. Sometimes i write in bed before I go to sleep, sometimes on my computer at my desk.  

What's going to be your favorite part of the revolution? 

The part when everyone starts to farm together and grow food all over the place for everyone in the neighborhood to share. 

What's the coolest activism you've seen lately? 

Occupy the Farm and People's Libraries, and everything that's happening in Turkey of course. 

What would you like to invent? 

An invisibility cloak! 

What's the strangest vehicle you've travelled in? 

Hm. I think that a Uhaul is the strangest vehicle I've ever driven.

What advice do you most often give to others? 

Don't compare to others, focus on being yourself. 

Megan Breiseth comes from Illinois and has lived in the Bay Area for 13 years. She’s the author of the chapbook Zia and the manuscript Fur. In addition to writing poetry, she also teaches, coaches, and reads tarot cards.

Sara Wintz’s work brings together text and theater in a practice that encompasses research, poetry, and performance. Ugly Duckling Presse published her book about the twentieth century, WALKING ACROSS A FIELD WE ARE FOCUSED ON AT THIS TIME NOW, in December 2012.  

Sara Wintz is a contributing editor of Ugly Duckling Presse’s annual performance art sourcebook, EMERGENCY INDEX, and a member of the Board of Directors for Small Press Traffic, a literary arts non-profit based in San Francisco. She is a recipient of a grant from the Fund for Poetry, and a graduate of Mills College and the Milton Avery School of Graduate Studies at Bard College. 
Her writing is published in JacketThe Poetry Project Newsletter6x6Big Bell, Openned,Try!HTML Giant, and in the anthology The Sonnets: Re-Writing Shakespeare (recently published by Telephone/Nightboat Books). She lives in Oakland.