Tag: writing


interview: aaron belz

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, vocation, writing. No Comments

24th July

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I don’t picture anyone reading my poetry. I have no basis for what happens in that mental picture other than seeing people reading things and, hopefully, enjoying them. Whom I write for is the discouraged person. I just want them to know I’m here for them if they need me. I also write to make myself laugh. It’s the old “you crack yourself up” thing. If I’m my own worst critic, am I not also my own best audience? Live readings are a … Read More »



interview: shane mccrae

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, vocation, writing. No Comments

11th July

{an interview with poet shane mccrae, whose newest collection, FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS, will be published by factory hollow press next month. pre-order it here}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I don’t know that I have an ideal reader—which, I know, isn’t an answer to the question, but is maybe parallel to an answer, maybe a way into answering. I’ve always felt a little disingenuous saying that I write for myself, although I do—the problem, I think, is in the word for. It suggests the giving of a gift. I write because I can’t not write, because I wouldn’t know how to be if I didn’t write, and … Read More »



a collaboration of grace and work

Posted by Sarah Schock in poetry, poets, review, rumination, writing. No Comments

26th June

In his extended essay Living the Sabbath, philosopher Norman Wirzba writes, “Though God’s resurrection power has been unleashed in the person of Jesus Christ, we still await the time when God’s ‘new creation’ is fully realized.” That time of full realization the church fathers Basil and Augustine referred to as the “eighth day,” the day in Wirzba’s words that “stands beyond creation as its final summation or conclusion.” William Carlos Williams is not often thought of as an eschatological poet, and I’ve no doubt it would be wrong to make a claim that he is, yet his little poem “The Red Wheelbarrow,” when approached with an eschatological imagination, is surprisingly supple and giving.

Unlike much poetry, the pattern of Williams’s poem is visual, not rhythmic.

Read out loud, the single sentence is starkly prosaic. But its appearance on the page—four … Read More »



interview: renee emerson

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

12th June

{an interview with pushcart prize-nominated poet renee emerson, whose first book, KEEPING ME STILL, is now available for purchase}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I picture my great-great-great granddaughter coming upon my dusty, well-worn poetry book in a box in the attic. Taking it down and thumbing through it while the babies are napping. Smudging it with greasy fingers because she’s reading while cooking dinner. Reading it as she would a diary or a long letter. I know it is a little romantic for this to be my ideal reader, her hair in a loose ponytail and wearing yesterday’s T-shirt, but she’s there behind every poem … Read More »



a worker’s prayer: van gogh: on work and everyday courage

15th May

In an effort to understand life as a writer, I often read artists’ and poets’ letters. This was suggested by my professors in grad school, who thought that Keats could help me complete my MFA in the allotted three years. They were right; without Keats’ elegant descriptions of his own ambition and despair, and the ways he wrote and loved through them, I may have taken five years to write sixty poems, or despaired of finishing altogether.

It seems strange, perhaps, to turn to Keats, an impoverished poet who died of tuberculosis at twenty-six, and Van Gogh, an impoverished painter who committed suicide at thirty-seven, for advice on how to live. I look to them mainly because of their courage. They were both considered failures, but they continued to work with the hope of creating something beautiful. Van Gogh, struggling with … Read More »



interview: micha boyett

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, memior/cnf, writing. No Comments

8th May

{an interview with author micha boyett, whose spiritual memoir, FOUND: A STORY OF QUESTIONS, GRACE, AND EVERYDAY PRAYER, was released last month}

when you picture someone reading your book, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

When I began writing Found, I was thinking about other mothers in my stage of life. I was asking, Why is no one writing about the spiritual dryness of motherhood? But what I’ve discovered over the process of writing (and learning how to be a mom at the same time–my oldest son was eighteen months old when I started this book; now he’s almost six) is that the themes of identity and weakness in faith belong to everyone. The intensity of motherhood revealed … Read More »



crow delivers the goods

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

10th April

Just as meaning in a conversation rises out of an exchange of ideas originating in shared experience, meaning in a poem rises out of collaboration between a poet and a reader. Each brings a history to the occasion of the poem: the poet to its composition, the reader to its text.

One implication of this is that every reading of a poem is subtly different from every other reading of it. This is true for a reader returning to a favorite poem or for two readers discussing the same poem. Another implication is that no reading of a poem can be definitive. The meaning of a poem evolving through multiple readings by multiple readers escapes the control of the poet. Nevertheless, the poet sets the limits of that meaning.

I suspect Robert Frost had something like this idea in mind when, in … Read More »



interview: matthew lippman

Posted by Sarah Schock in creativity, interview, poetry, poets, writing. No Comments

3rd April

{an interview with poet matthew lippman upon the release of his third collection of poetry, AMERICAN CHEW, which won the burnside review book prize in 2013}

when you picture someone reading your poetry, how do you see them? what do they think about, wear, and do? or, maybe a better way to say it: who do you write for? and how do you see your writing nourishing others?

I want my poems to be generous creatures, and so the audience in my mind is everyone—high school students, teachers, attorneys, other poets, bus drivers, mechanics. If my mechanic, Tony, picks up my book, gets into one of my poems, and is entertained and moved by it, I’m doing my job. It’s not so much a case of nourishment as it is a case of having fun. By fun I mean this, being moved, in any way, … Read More »



mirrors made of ink

Posted by Sarah Schock in christian living, creativity, writing. 1 Comment

29th March

Books are the mirrors of the soul. –Virginia Woolf

In Christian writing, it seems required to inject a “deeper meaning.” Humans were designed to search for purpose in everything. Metaphors form a language that acts as a bridge between mind and heart, delivering fundamental truths about the universe.

Metaphors highlight true nature. Words or phrases that don’t literally describe something give an in-depth description that could’ve been missed with a physical description. They can also be symbolic representations of an object, situation, or abstract notion such as love, fear, anger, etc.

Humans are intended for relation; God created us with an ache to share our feelings with each other. However, there is a gap: there is no language to describe emotions. If you look at the words used to describe abstractions, they actually describe physical sensations. The following sentence shows a sense of … Read More »



on writing: ego, insecurity, & the life of the beloved

20th March

This past year I wrote a book. I worked hundreds of hours. I wrote at least 14,000 words and cut 7,500 of them. On weekday afternoons I worked while I listened to a babysitter play with my kids on the other side of the house. I spent Saturday mornings curled up on the couch in my pajamas sculpting sentences while my husband and kids were off at playgrounds and the zoo and the beach making memories without me.

I did it because it mattered. Getting those words down on the screen and then moving them and cutting them and blessing them—that holy work of telling a good story—was the work I’ve always longed to do. I gave myself to it, even though it meant sacrificing time with my family.

Sometimes I’m still not sure whether or not those sacrifices were worth … Read More »




resources for faithful practitioners of creativity and creative practitioners of faith...

interview: aaron belz

{an interview with poet and essayist aaron belz, who recently released his third collection of poetry, GLITTER BOMB}

when you picture someone reading your poetry,...

a worker’s prayer: van gogh on sight

When it’s warm outside and the food processing plant doesn’t smell, I sit on the call center steps and drink tea in the sun....

interview: shane mccrae

{an interview with poet shane mccrae, whose newest collection, FORGIVENESS FORGIVENESS, will be published by factory hollow press next month. pre-order it here}

when you picture...