5 Burning Questions With JP Allen

  1. What’s the worst thing about writing?
Talking about it with other people.
  1. What do you do when people ask “How’s your writing goin?
Answer honestly, then feel embarrassed about how easy it is for me to describe what I can’t help feeling should be a much more mysterious, magical process.
  1. Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many nouns as possible.

Writing is excess is boredom is nothing is life is nothing is poetry is timing is everything is promise is family is partner is ex-partner is nonviolence is hope is pessimism is city is town is country is translation is apocalypse is past is machine is all is intelligence is artificial is sheet is leaf is water is home.

  1. What is it about your discipline (fiction/poverty/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
I’m going to quote Jaida Griffin, a poet whom I met through Writers in Baltimore Schools, on why she prefers poetry to fiction: “I don’t like breaking rules–I like breaking systems.”
  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

I’m too indecisive for favorites (color, food, word, movie…) but I just learned a word I love: plangent. It means “plaintive/mournful” but also “loud/resounding.” It’s important to be precise about sorrow.

To learn more about JP, come to Charmington’s on Oct. 11 at 7 PM and talk to him. Maybe not about writing, though. Or do! He probably won’t be too plangent.

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