above/ground press

Episode 49: Interview with Jason Christie

The Small Machine Talks with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl

Episode 49 – Interview with Jason Christie

With humour, humility, intelligence and hope, Jason shares his thoughts on his book, poetry, chaos as creativity generator, nature, technology and the Monster at the End of This Book.

We talk about Jason’s latest book, Cursed Objects (Coach House Books, 2018). Jason muses philosophical on colour, sound, noise, language, poetry and things that are in the eye and mind of the beholder, the change in the nature of the role of the object in contemporary life.

He explains his interest in follies and the playful connection of the title to the content as a critique of finely wrought, well wrought things, a playful romp through intentionality.

Jason admits liking to create structures and undermine them. He talks about the biases that cause people to judge perfection.

Aaron praises the variety of the book. Jason was trying to go outside of the standard left-hand margin poem that we all write while trying to avoid the clever riddle.

Jason talks about his need to make crises as a catalyst for thinking to avoid complacency and how taking risks in poetry has that effect for him, such as playing with form in the book. He muses about when objects will have their moody teenage period.

Aaron asks about the role of nature in Jason’s writing. Jason suggests we need to understand that we are nature, not separate from it. He questions the idealism of some attitudes toward nature.  He uses nature in the same way as he does technology in the book. Nature is not a counterbalance to technology.

We discuss the humour in the book and the way Jason addresses readers directly. Jason and Amanda reminisce about BatFink, and Jason talks about the Monster at the End of this Book, and the idea of breaking the wall between writer and reader. He talks about the future of interactive reading.

We talk about the playfulness and weirdness of Ted Berrigan’s sonnets. Amanda talks about the usefulness of cut ups and the unique world they create.

Aaron asks about revision from chapbook to book for the Charm. Jason appreciates the support of rob mclennan of above/ground press. Jason talks about how people on social media are reduced to the words they used. The Charm invokes friends and family as how they are useful to him.

We discuss epigraphs and dedications as part of the constructed nature of the book, its element of fakeness and not pretending the construction isn’t there, the contract between reader and writer. Aaron asks about the ethics of writing about people in a poem.

We talk about how great the notes in the back of the book are. Aaron reads from the notes. He asks about tech poems as being cathartic. Jason disputes the idea that he’s anti-technology as some perceive after reading the book. He’s actually a technophile, but is concerned about the consequences of being the object of technological advance as we become their human. He expresses optimism about what future generations will be able to do with technology. He’s interested in tracking the evolution of technology and its relationship to humans.

We learn about the identify of Jason Wasabi.

We end with a discussion of music and Jason’s creation of sounds, which he calls noise and its connection to poetry, all the preconceived notions of what music or poetry should be and how Jason plays with those notions.

links

Cursed Objects (Coach House Books) https://chbooks.com/Books/C/Cursed-Objects

Batfink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Sow24CAQs

The Monster at the End of this Book https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/The_Monster_at_the_End_of_This_Book

Ted Berrigan, Bean Spasms – https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56113/bean-spasms

Jason Christie on Bandcamp: https://jasonchristie.bandcamp.com/

Thanks to Jason for being on the Small Machine Talks, to a.m. kozak for co-hosting, to Jennifer Pederson for the intros and outros, to Charles Earl for processing, to you for listening and sharing the episode.

Stay tuned for the next episode of…the Small Machine Talks, coming soon!

Episode 48 – Interview with Nina Jane Drystek

The Small Machine Talks

co-hosted by Amanda Earl and a.m. kozak

Episode 48: Interview with Nina Jane Drystek

Recorded on August 15, 2019, Ward 14

nina jane drystek is a poet, writer and performer based in Ottawa. her poetry has appeared in Canthius, talking about strawberries, the DUSIE: Tuesday poem, Bywords.ca, in/words, ottawater, small talk and Window Cat Press, as well as in self-published chapbooks, and chapbooks and broadsides by & co. collective, of which she is a member. #26: ‘knewro suite from simulacrum press came out this year.

she is a member of the sound poetry ensemble quatuour gualuour, and creates performances of her own. if you have ever lived in the same city as her you have likely seen her riding a red bicycle around town. you can find her @textcurious.

We talk about when Nina Jane began writing, collaborations from an early age, Canterbury High School, performance of poetry, cocktails, consignment shops, writing as a space of self-expression and time to be alone, publishing and self-publishing, chapbooks, handling rejection.

We discuss the origins of Nina Jane’s writing group and press, & Co Collective, meeting writers at In/Words’ weekly workshops, the informal nature of & Co Collective.

We talk about a forthcoming reading in Montreal, Nina Jane’s love of editing, a workshop we both took with rob mclennan and how workshops work in general. Spontaneous editing vs having the text ahead of time and the beauty of workshopping in the moment.

Nina Jane explains that she likes attending readings to hear the writers read in their own words. I ask Nina Jane about her background in theatre. She explains about her exploration of dramaturgy in grad school at Guelph, and her interest in performance. Nina Jane wrote and performed a one-person show in grade 7 about suicide.

She was interested in the performance of the scream, experimental scream therapy, nonverbal vocalization, the abrasive stuff that puts you on edge, plays about women behaving badly.

We talk about Nina Jane’s work for the Ottawa International Writers Festival as a volunteer in high school and then later as a staff member, and her own event organization, the value of conversations about writing and hearing work read aloud.

We talk about what makes for a good reading, such as a good host who is thinking about the audience experience, the difficulties of the Q and A session at the end of some readings. Amanda mentions the space created by the audience and the performer as another space.

Nina Jane talks about a poetry book that has influenced her, Aisha Sasha John’s I have to live and her work with performance and dance. As a teen, Nina Jane really liked the poetry infused novels of Francesca Lia Block, she liked writers who told stories through poetry. Amanda is frustrated by the idea of not being allowed to have characters in poetry. Nina Jane mentions an American novelist, Jesse Ball, who started out as a poet, his poems are filled with characters. We investigate the autobiographical nature of nursery rhymes.

We talk about being too distant from one’s poetry vs writing more personally.

We return to sound poetry and discuss quatuour gualuour, the sound poetry group Nina Jane’s involved in. She’s also writing her own sound poetry as someone who’s interested in writing things for performance and for multiple voices, seeing what others do with the work when they perform it.

We end with a discussion of Nina Jane’s cycling, the literary and feminist connections. We discuss a few books and ask for recommendations from listeners for poetry books about cycling. Amanda mentions the Invisible Publishing blog which has a list of such.

Links

Ward 14 https://www.instagram.com/wardfourteen

Bywords.ca https://bywords.ca/

MCNDm  a night of performance and poetry in Montreal – September 8, 2019

https://www.facebook.com/events/210287573243395/

Sheila Callaghan https://www.sheilacallaghan.com/

Ottawa International Writers Festival https://writersfestival.org/

Blue Metropolis https://bluemetropolis.org/

Aisha Sasha John – I have to live https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/537842/i-have-to-live-by-aisha-sasha-john/9780771050701/

Francesca Lia Block http://www.francescaliablock.com/

Jesse Ball https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/73835/jesse-ball

Dennis Cooley, the Bentleys https://www.uap.ualberta.ca/titles/49-9780888644701-bentleys

Yvonne Bloomer, Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur

Kate Harris, Land of Lost Borders https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/538575/lands-of-lost-borders-by-kate-harris/9780345816788

Catriona Strang, Reveries of a Solitary Biker https://talonbooks.com/books/reveries-of-a-solitary-biker

Transcontinental Race: Germany’s Fiona Kolbinger becomes first female winner of endurance race, https://www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/49248126

Invisible Publishing – Ten Books That Put One Foot In Front of the Other: https://invisiblepublishing.com/2018/10/23/books-about-walking/

Thanks to everyone for listening. Stay tuned for a new episode shortly.

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