You once heard The Black Rimbaud –while stoned out of his gourd—ask a 1981 Santa Cruz gathering “Who is Bob Kaufman?” How would you answer “Who is Wanda Coleman?”

I like to think of myself as “the L.A. Blueswoman,” a title conferred upon me years ago by Irish-American poet Tim Joyce. While I love and respect the blues as a musical and literary form, I’m more accurately a jazz fusionist.

 

What writers have you learned most from?

Hmm—I’m a mishmash of influences, and turn to any given one whenever I feel lost. In my post-war, baby-boom American youth: Arthur Machen, Poe, Lewis Carroll, Robert Louis Stevenson, Guy de Maupassant, Melville, Shakespeare. On my parents’ tiny bookshelf, I found a tome titled Great Ghost Stories of the World. I loved the book and read it repeatedly, squeezing the meaning out of every word, the art out of every story. Though not highly educated, my parents were readers. Through them I knew Arthur Miller (hidden in a bedroom drawer under the Reader’s Digests and Watchtowers) and many of the African-American writers of the day—Hughes, Dunbar, Richard Wright and James Baldwin (who appeared on 50s TV). On my own I savored Ann Petry, Albert Camus, Anton Chekhov, and Eugene O’Neill. In my teen years through young adulthood—often guided by mentors—I’d say Joan Didion, LeRoi Jones, Franz Kafka, Nathanael West, Nikolai Gogol, The Spaniards (Borges, Lorca, Neruda, Vallejo), Harold Pinter and Edward Albee. I was an avid reader. Books were not simply an escape for me—they were friends. Too—the craft of fine books and daring paperbacks gave me a high that’s difficult to describe. My contemplative thrills included browsing through the stacks in libraries and bookstores. My greatest childhood pleasure was curling up in bed on rainy Saturday mornings with a mug of hot chocolate and stacks of books.

 

Who do (or did) you most admire who isn’t or wasn’t a poet or writer?

Singers and musicians, largely. I started out as a singer-musician. I had piano and violin lessons into my teens and wanted to also play the cello. I admired Pablo Casals and got to meet him on a school fieldtrip when he came to Southern California on tour. When I was given voice lessons, I aspired to be a contralto like Marian Anderson. As a youngster, I admired Etta James for all the flak she took for her rockin’ vocal style, and, as an adult, finally got to see her in concert twice. Later on, feeling that her singing style was more akin to what I did on the page, the adult Wanda would get a chance to meet Betty Carter while in Manhattan. I admired Ornette Coleman (whom I chanced to meet at an empty Ford-Hanson Theatre, when he was in town negotiating a concert performance) and Sun Ra, and was fortunate enough to see them live in small venues. I was a huge Phil Ochs fan and used to talk with him when he set up his table at McArthur Park love-ins in the 60s. I loved the incredible voice of Kitty White (Elvis’s voice coach), and couldn’t wait to hear the theme song of Riders to the Stars (1954) whenever it came on the Saturday TV flicks. I met her daughter Bonnie by chance, we developed a friendship, and I was finally able to tell Kitty how much I admired her gift and regretted that she never received the fame she deserved, in my estimate.

If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you have enjoyed doing or becoming passionate about?

I had a culturally rich upbringing, which gave me several options; however, my love of science and imaginative fiction led me to reading lay science books. I began high school as a science-math major. Racism was a terribly strong factor in the Los Angeles school system of the day, and as soon as my class enrolled, Latin, French, Calculus and other important subjects were eliminated from the curriculum. This kind of dumbing down took place in tandem with “White flight,” White students and teachers fleeing the South Central L.A. into which Blacks were moving as the Civil Rights Movement progressed elsewhere in the nation (remember, it never came west—if a few of its leaders tiptoed in and out of town). I begged my mother to have me transferred to another school. She refused; she had to have me close at hand, as her helpmate. This was killing on my spirit. Nevertheless, I took chemistry, physics and geometry—knew all the constellations, and fancied myself pursuing astronomy or astrophysics. Hahaha. It didn’t take a slide rule to figure out that that was never going to happen. It took about two terms at Fremont High. Under the emotional stresses of “being failed” before I had even begun to emerge, I became extremely depressed and nearly dropped out. To save myself, I turned to the arts—drawing, music, writing, and public speaking (forensics). Despite mediocre grades and my fear and hatred of taking tests, I managed to earn the highest score in the entire school on a national student exam my senior year. My peers and teachers were shocked out of their socks—me too.

 

You mentioned science fiction. Which writers did you like best?

A.B. Dick, Arthur C. Knight, and my favorite read was A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller. I also liked Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon and Chip Delaney—three writers I would chance to meet as an adult, although I was only able to personally express my appreciation to Bradbury and Delaney.

 

Tell us about Charles Bukowski and Black Sparrow Press.

I’ve said lots (enough) about that elsewhere. Everything was strictly literary business and platonic. I’ve said lots in classrooms and have fueled the local underground rumor mills plenty. If and when I can clear away more urgent writing business, I may someday return to the subject.

 

What is your pet literary peeve?

Intellectual theft. When I “borrow” from other writers, I always give them credit. However, several of my literary fellows have lifted my titles (Imagoes, American Sonnets, Red Noir) and content—stealing lines (“shoot muthafucka or quit wasting my time”) and whole concepts (having to buy time to stay alive)—without giving me so much as a “dog kiss my foot.” I sincerely believe there’s such a thing as “simultaneity of thought,” and that in a world where we’re constantly bombarded by electronic media, it’s often impossible to be 100% original; that said: Writing is an unregulated craft and there’s no copyright on titles; however, it’s a safe bet that if some poet went around saying he or she had written “The Cantos” or “Paradise Lost” the literary world would be up in arms. Whoever has presumably said or written something first, or had an original thought, has always been important in western culture. I wonder how long that notion is going to last?

 

Do you feel that readers in other countries understand your work given that the meaning of it often depends largely on the context of the Black urban experience in the Western United States?

My concern is that my fellow Americans understand it, thinking outside California and the Southwest. Those literati I’ve encountered when touring overseas seem to appreciate my work better than my compatriots. Few know that I’ve had ten stories translated into German in a 1991 collection titled Blues and that several of my poems have not only been translated into German, but French, Spanish and Hungarian. Hmm—on second thought— perhaps I’m being unfair to my compatriots. Maria Mazzioti Gillan, Sandra Cisneros, Luis Rodriguez, Adrienne Rich and John Ashbury are among many who’ve shown sincere appreciation for my work. Marilyn Hacker was more than generous in her Nation article, when I won the 1999 Lenore Marshall Prize. Camille Paglia was also kind enough to include me in her Break, Blow, Burn anthology. Too—many of my Black Sparrow Press siblings have acknowledged me over the years, including Lucia Berlin who I met while traveling a few years before she died. Also, the younger African-American writers, emerging since the1980s, seem to appreciate me profoundly once they discover that I exist. Now that I think of it, a list would be substantial.

 

Your poems have often been criticized as being too political or dismissed as protest literature. Your 1993 collection Hand Dance was not as well-received as some of your earlier or prize-winning later work.

To use a phrase I made up, when I sneeze it’s political. The nature of my existence as an African-American (and all African-American authors, no matter what they write) is directly tied to the social-economic roots and growth of this nation. There’s nothing I can do to change the excrement fast enough to suit me, so I’ve opted to make fertilizer—to transform it into poetry and stories that represent my weltanschauung. If you only read two of my books—Hand Dance (“we need to talk money. to understand the current currency of our time” ) and Ostinato Vamps, you’ll find I’ve anticipated the Occupy America Movement (“let the brave find their fists”) and have articulated many of its complaints for nearly two decades, if from my ethno-specific point-of-view. As a fledgling writer, in my twenties, I had the wonderful experience of meeting and sharing the podium with the surviving nine members of The Hollywood Ten on several occasions. I knew who they were and what they had done, but was most familiar with the works of B. Dalton Trumbo and the films of Edward Dmytryk. In my book, their undeniable experiences defined the political nature of writing and the arts in America. I like to think of myself as writing in their tradition.

 

Are you obsessive about “race matters”?

My obsessions are about my writing life. While race is certainly a factor, as I’m always willing to discuss, it’s not the only one.

 

Name some of your African-American influences.

Alain Leroy Locke, John Henrik Clarke, Joyce Ladner, W.E.B. DuBois, and Franz Fanon, off the top.

 

You also write fiction and nonfiction. You’ve received largely favorable reviews—when you get them—and a few raves. It’s said that your prose is as powerful as your poetry. What evidence do you have of that?

I’ve published two collections of miscellaneous writings and essays, a novel, two collections of fiction, two double genre books (Heavy Daughter Blues and African Sleeping Sickness) and over a hundred short stories in nearly as many literary magazines and anthologies. My feeling is that I’ve not written often enough or deeply enough. I’m a writer who works in many forms—including poetry. I’ve also written scripts and plays. Most poets don’t write fiction. Poetry can be difficult to master, and, once mastered, may completely absorb one’s creative energy. Because securing adequate writing time has always been a serious issue for me, and it was vital to me that I write—anything, but write—poetry evolved as my mainstay. (My lack of sufficient time—as a working mother supporting a family— has sometime caused me to adopt a rhetorical tone that might have softened under other circumstances.)

 

How many poems have you published?

Last count—over eleven hundred. I don’t have time to keep track of this kind of stat anymore. My bibliography is nearly 200 pages—in 10-point font.

 

Hasn’t anyone made a film about you?

In the mid-80s Jeff Land (a descendant of Edwin Land who invented the polaroid film process), then a student at LACC, made Mad Dog Black Lady: A Film About Los Angeles Poet Wanda Coleman. It screened at the Director’s Guild and received a rave review in The Los Angeles Times. But as fate and tough luck would have it, PBS refused to air it because—irony of ironies—there weren’t enough Blacks in it. Others have attempted similar projects featuring me, but budgetary problems aborted them. Oh—along with Lee Hickman, I’m one of ten poets featured in an early 90s film by Sophie Rachmuhl, who returned to France to complete her education and raise a family. She’s recently back in touch with Paul Vangelisti (I believe) over at Otis.

 

Students and academics are starting to write about you. Priscilla Ann Brown’s Ph.D. thesis on your work has been published by Proquest and can be found online. Can you recommend any texts that would be important in discussing your work, other than searching the internet?

They can start with Tony Magistrale. He was the first academic—also a prize-winning poet—to give my work serious consideration. He now chairs the English Department at the University of Vermont and is an expert on Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe. He’s a terrific guy. He included “Rape”, one of my most toxic poems, in his contribution to Angels of Vision: Reading, Writing, and the Study of Literature, a 1992 anthology (Biddle & Fulwiler, McGraw-Hill). My poem got it banned in the entire state of Texas—which is why you never heard of it. I’m sure it was ignored elsewhere (another form of censorship). Poet and critic Bill Mohr has just published Hold Outs: The Los Angeles Poetry Renaissance, 1948-1992 (University of Iowa Press, 2011). My contribution is mentioned in it. Students should check out an article on me by Dr. Jennifer D. Ryan in her Post-Jazz Poetics: A Social History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). And a very different kind of interview of me by Malin Pereira in her book Into a Light Both Brilliant and Unseen: Conversations with Contemporary Black Poets (University of Georgia Press, 2010). They should also check me out in recent issues of The Los Angeles Review, Burnside Review, and The Superstition Review.

 

When you look back over your life, what risk or risks do you regret having taken?

I was cavalier about taking risks and had no regrets before the death of my oldest son, Anthony (Tony) Jerome Coleman. He died of AIDS/HIV in January, 1997. After his death I began to have a very enormous regret. Roughly 20 years earlier, I was blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime—the kind fledgling writers dream about. I had received two contracts for my poetry in the same week! One was from publisher John Martin at Black Sparrow Press for my first book—a tiny little chapbook that would pay out pennies, with the promise that I’d soon have a full book. The other was from a major record company offering me $5 million dollars for everything that I wrote. Legally, I couldn’t sign both. My then-husband (Steven Grant) got down on his knees and begged me to take the $5 million. He didn’t understand how committed I was to writing, and that (ironically) the freedom to write and see my work produced or published was—to me—the ultimate freedom. After a heady period of consideration, I returned the contract to the record company scouts unsigned. Not long after Tony died, my grief quietly consumed me, along with a profound rage bordering on the irrational. If, I told myself, I had taken the $5 million, I would have had the funds needed to complete my college education and would have been able to better provide for my children. I could have given them the things they needed and wanted. Perhaps I could have saved Tony’s life by offering him an alternative lifestyle—one that such money notoriously buys. Perhaps…perhaps….

 

Apart from your many publications and awards, what are you most proud of having achieved?

I’m proud of having inspired others—across the demographics—to follow their writing dreams. I’m proud of having freed younger voices from self-censorship so that they are not afraid to “tell it like it is.” I’ve had a few look me up over the years and thank me. I call them “my babies.” And it doesn’t matter what color they are or which country they’re from. Too, I’m most proud of having saved a life or two along the way. One such life was that of a second cousin. She had attempted suicide as a young mother. The family was in hysterics at the time. I wrote a poem dedicated to her. It was taken to her hospital bedside. She promised her mother (and mine) that she’d never try to take her life again. She went on to live and love her grandchildren before losing her life to cancer 25 years later.

 

As you become older is it becoming harder to be creative? Do the ideas still keep coming?

Actually, the great thing about being a writer is that one usually gets better with age and one’s talent or gift is likely to deepen. Luckily, this is the case with me. The ideas won’t stop coming—I have many unfinished works: plays, novels, articles and short stories galore, as well as notes on a memoir. Zyzzva has just accepted one of my latest stories for their spring 2012 issue, and Poetry Lore has the first in my a new series of poems (“Night Coffee”) in their latest issue. My problem hasn’t been ideas or projects—I have no shortage of them. My problem has always been, and still remains, getting enough of the quality time I need to bleed them out of my head or heart and onto the page.

 

What’s ahead for Wanda Coleman?

Several readings, including the Out Loud series downtown. I’ve been nominated for Beyond Baroque’s 2012 George Drury Smith Award which will be presented in July. David St. John was the first to receive it. I’ve accepted the nomination.

 

Thank you for your candor. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to thank my friends and supporters, old and new. There are too many to name. They know who they are. And thanks to The Nervous Breakdown for giving me yet another opportunity to vent.

TAGS: , ,

WANDA COLEMAN is author of 22 books of poetry and prose, a recent contributor to the HARRIET Weblog, occasionally contributes to The Black Sparrow Books Weblog, and is featured in Writing Los Angeles (Library of America, 2002), in Poet’s Market (2003), and Quercus Review VI (2006). She has been an Emmy-winning scriptwriter, and a former columnist for Los Angeles Times magazine; a nominee for poet laureate, California 2005 and for the USA artists fellowship 2007. She was a Gaea fellow at the Sea Change Cottage, Province-town, October 2010. Coleman’s books from Black Sparrow Books (Godine) are Bathwater Wine, winner of the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize—the first African-American woman to receive it, and Mercurochrome (poems), bronze-medal finalist, National Book Awards 2001. Her honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. She has received fellowships from the California Arts Council in poetry and fiction. She was C.O.L.A.’s first literary fellow, Dept. of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, 2003-04. Her fiction includes stories in Black Clock, African American Review, and Zyzzyva; the collection A War of Eyes and Other Stories and the novel Mambo Hips and Make Believe (BSP). Her most recent books include Ostinato Vamps (Pitt Poetry Series), The Riot Inside Me: Trials & Tremors (nonfiction, Godine/Black Sparrow) and WANDA COLEMAN: Poems Seismic in Scene (de la chienne) - Mise en page et calligraphies/layout and illumination by Jean-Jacques Tachdjian, Lille, France, spring 2006. A second collection of stories, Jazz & Twelve O'Clock Tales was published in 2008 from Black Sparrow Books (finalist for the Patterson Fiction Prize 2009).  Her new collection The World Falls Away appeared in Fall 2011 (Pitt Poetry Series). She is the last surviving female member of Budd Schulberg’s Watts Writers Workshop. Painter-poet Austin Straus is her husband of 30 years.

Photograph of Wanda Coleman by Susan Carpendale.

7 responses to “Wanda Coleman: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. DB Cox says:

    enjoyed Wanda’s “vent”

  2. milo martin says:

    bravo TNB!
    an epic poet, mind, soul, spirit, revolutionary voice and super-charged heart…
    my poetic influence?
    Wanda Coleman, Wanda Coleman and oh and oh, the finest poet in LA ever,
    Wanda Coleman…

    thank you, Wanda, for showing us how IT is to be done…

    your warrior brother in The Word,
    Milo

  3. Programa de gestion Erp prestashop magento tpv android…

    […]Wanda Coleman | Wanda Coleman: The TNB Self-Interview | The Nervous Breakdown[…]…

  4. Dear Lovers of Literature,
    As Host of the monthly poetry series “Valley Voices of the Muse” for Barnes&Noble/Palm Desert/Westfield Center, presenting Wanda Coleman to read this past Spring, was a highlight of the series season. She and her husband,
    August, were also my houseguests overnight, which was more than a pleasure for it bonded a friendship which I hope
    will continue.
    I am deeply concerned, reading of her illness and it puzles me why there is not a “poets’ fund” to assist poets in time
    of need? There is surely someone “out there” in the literary community who has funds that could be channelled into a “Fund for Poets Without Funds?” We all realize that “pauper poets” live nickel to nickel, hoping to sell our books which fund us if and when they are sold. So this is a plea for anyone willing to help a wonderful poet back to health, since she has no medical insurance and in the Spirit of Giving, especially during this Holiday Season, what a wonderful way to celebrate the wellbeing of a brilliant California Poet, during this Holiday Season, so that she can enjoy this Blessed Season of JOY, with many thanks from all concerned.
    May the JOYS of this Season Bless all of you, celebrating Hannakuh and Christmas, during these troubled times
    and may the Lord and His Angels Bless you all with LOVE above all, and PEACE in our time. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
    Patricia D’Alessandro
    Host: Valley Voices of the Muse
    [email protected]
    Donations accepted at: Wanda Coleman. P.O. Box 571, Lancaster, CA 93534 with Blessings on all of you.

  5. I hope at this writing – January 23,2013, that Wanda Coleman is “up and about”
    and fully recuperated, and that she was able to receive the funding she needed
    to pay her bills. She’s a GREAT LADY, and ought to be funded for her talent.
    Blessings on WANDA COLEMAN for “who she is” and will continue to be.
    Warmest regards to ALL OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
    Patricia D’Alessandro
    Hose-SAVAGE ART GALLERY/Palm Springs, CA

  6. Dear Poetry “Warriors,”
    It has been over a year since Poet Wanda Coleman became ill and I’ve not heard from her, nor anyone, that she has fully recovered? Or that anyone helped her through her illness financially? It is my hope that she has made a full recovery and is back at her desk, creating masterful articles and poetry. Her important voice is much too strong, not to be heard. and was, indeed, when it was my pleasure to have presented her a year ago to read for the series that I Host, “Valley Voices of the Muse” at Barnes & Noble/Palm Desert/Westfield Center in Palm Desert, now relocated at the SAVAGE ART GALLERY in Palm Springs, every First Friday of the month. Funded by Poets & Writers Magazine, through a grant received from the James Irvine Foundation, who are also kind enough to fund me privately wherever I’m invited to read, which pleases me very much to give poetry readings, as well as teaching Creative Writing Workshops. My seventh book of prose poems will be published at the end of 2013.
    I’m also working with Poets Michael Rothenberg, I I, and his partner, Terri Carrion, publishers of BIG BLUE PRESS in Guerneville, CA, and founders of “100Thousand Poets For Change” which has been Archived by Stanford University, for the first two years, and will continue to be in perpetuity. This year’s event takes place on September 28, reaching AROUND THE WORLD for poets to participate and celebrate with Poetry Festivals in Celebrations of “The WORD” throughout the world.
    Good Reading and Writing with Blessings on everyone involved in the Creative Arts which is our saving Grace in this
    World of tempest and turmoil. May we, one day come to know everlasting “PEACE and LOVE for One Another” through POETRY, which I believe can happen through the Positive Energy produced by everyone working in the Creative Arts Field. As the late John Lennon sang “LOVE is ALL THERE IS! – ” . . . may our Tribes increase!”
    Warmest LOVE and PEACE,
    Patricia D’Alessandro. Host
    “Valley Voices of the Muse” – 760-329-6130
    SAVAGE ART GALLERY
    Owner, ARTIST – SHAWN SAVAGE
    870 Research Road, Palm Springs, CA
    [email protected]

  7. Bob Bryan says:

    RE: THE WANDA COLEMAN POET FILM

    This is a personal invitation for you to screen online my new documentary GV21 THE WANDA COLEMAN PROJECT: Genius. (period)

    Here is the location:
    Location: https://vimeo.com/85043436

    Who is Wanda Coleman?
    Remembering Wanda Coleman
    November 23, 2013|By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
    http://articles.latimes.com/2013/nov/23/entertainment/la-et-jc-remembering-wanda-coleman-20131123

    Total Running Time: 87 Minutes

    ENJOY!

    Here are two reviews and commentary from Wanda Coleman herself.

    THE BOB BRYAN EFFECT
    Commentary by Wanda Coleman, Poet, Writer & Journalist

    Given that I am from the African-American subculture where questions are used to intimidate, oppress and confuse, it is rare that I enjoy either conducting interviews, or being the subject of them.

    However, independent and direct in his manner, and radiating empathy (without being precious or solicitous), Bob Bryan interviews his subjects in an unforgettable manner.

    Cool yet excited, all in the same moment, he is asks frank, inoffensive questions of genuine interest. At times his questions are startling, because they force the interviewee to assess and summarize quickly, leaving very little opportunity for B.S.

    He does not arouse suspicion, and does not give off the impression that he has some hidden agenda other than the subject at hand. Because of his careful research, he asks questions that have not been asked 100 times before. (In my case, he asked about how I think! This seldom happens.)

    This does not mean that a Bob Bryan interview is easy. It is not, because, in my case, it demanded that I do some sharp and quick thinking on timeworn-and-worry swollen feet.

    Bob Bryan may not know it, but he asks consummate clean questions, questions that are free of the sociological garbage of assumption, implication and innuendo – questions that told me, in my case, that he was open to what I had to say, and that if he had any preconceptions, he was keeping them to himself. The Bob Bryan experience is lean, comfortable and professional, and one of the best I’ve ever had.
    —Wanda Coleman, Poet, Writer & Journalist

    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    GV21 THE WANDA COLEMAN PROJECT: Genius. (period)
    Thoughts & Reflections by Poet Austin Straus, Wanda Coleman’s Husband

    Bob Bryan’s interview with Wanda Coleman is a classic example of a sensitive, intelligent, and superbly prepared Documentarian eliciting brilliant responses from a genius poet/writer/journalist who is forced by smart questions to think deeply, eloquently and movingly.

    Many moments in this film made me laugh or cry or just sit there in wonder at the depth and breadth of this woman’s mind. And I was her mate for nearly 33 years!

    This film is far and away the best of all the dozens of interviews Wanda ever did and I am profoundly greatful to Bob Bryan for giving me this treasure I can turn to whenever I feel like being reminded of my beloved’s fantastic mind.

    Bob, you have created a work of art, a masterpiece of the documentary interview.

    Thank you from my heart, Austin Straus=

    ———————————————————————————————————————————–

    Review of GV21 THE WANDA COLEMAN PROJECT: Genius. (period)
    by Michelle “Chelle” Angelini

    Normally, I am not one to watch or listen to interviews, but GV21 The Wanda Coleman Project: Genius. had me riveted to my seat
    in front of my computer.

    I could not tear myself away from Bob Bryan’s unique questions or Wanda Coleman’s inspiring answers.

    I was so drawn in by her wonderful infectious laughter, her philosophy of life, her poetry, and Wanda herself. In the process,
    I learned new words and ideas to inspire me as a writer.

    To describe Wanda Coleman – she was vivacious, beautiful, self-assured – without being vain, and a champion to people who needed one.
    And not just black women, but to people of all races and both genders. I learned from her and learned about myself through her.

    Her poetry drew laughter and tears from me. I learned many facts to apply to myself and to my writing.

    Most of what I learned is her enthusiasm for the craft of writing.
    Her poem “Mastectomy” (from her book Mercurochrome) helped me to understand more about the physical and emotional nature
    of the removal of women’s breasts and I was in tears by the end of her reading.

    What drew me to listen with different ears when she read her poems was the emotion she poured into it.
    She didn’t just read it; she didn’t perform it – she was the poem come alive.

    I would love to watch this interview again to pick up anything I missed, since it was filled with so much amazing information.

    GV21 is not just an interview – it is a lesson in life, love, the craft of writing, and one writer’s way of surviving and overcoming what life handed her.
    This documentary should be required viewing in every creative writing classroom for young and emerging poets who think they want to write poetry
    or anything else.

    GV21 THE WANDA COLEMAN PROJECT will help them understand that the craft of writing is not just taking a pen to paper and splashing words onto it,
    but pouring everything – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – into the words and ideas that make it onto the page.

    Because of Bob Bryan’s excellent interview with a poet who will be missed intensely, I have a new-found appreciation for the craft with which
    I have been blessed and skilled to have as a talent.

    Thank you Bob, straight from my heart.

    ~Michelle~ Chelle Angelini .

    http://www.graffitiverite.com/GV21_THE_WANDA_COLEMAN_PROJECT.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *