As well as feature our future readers, we also wanted to check in with folks who have read for us over the last 5 years. Rebekah Kirkman read for us in 2019 – read what she has been up to below!
What have you been up to since reading with us at Writers & Words? How has the writing been going?
As BmoreArt’s managing editor, I’m editing and publishing other people’s writing far more than I am writing my own stuff. I enjoy the collaborative nature of editing and I’m very proud of what we’ve published over the last year. (Here are just a few good ones.) One of my goals for 2020 was to write more (here’s a review I wrote about the excellent Elizabeth Catlett exhibition at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum) and then the pandemic hit and it has frankly been more of a struggle to write. Part of this is because my job usually involves going out into the world to look at art and talk with people, and without that crucial real-world interaction (in combination with anxiety about everything and exhaustion) I’m feeling kind of blank. That said, I do have a couple essays in the works.
What are you working on right now (writing or otherwise (nothing is a valid answer as well))?
I don’t want to say too much about it but right now I’m working on something about the weirdness of only viewing art online. I’ve also been cooking a lot, which I really enjoy, and cleaning/sprucing up/organizing my home with the help of my boyfriend. I occasionally draw in my sketchbook, which is something I haven’t really done in a long time. At some point I realized I was consuming so much media/info and felt sort of depleted by it and wanted to get back into actually making things.
What has been your favorite Quarantine Read thus far?
I bought Jalynn Harris’ recently released chapbook, “Exit Thru the Afro,” and I’m savoring it slowly. It’s so good. I love the overall structure of it, thinking of the book as a museum, the museum as a collection of poetry, or as Jalynn described it: a “future museum in the posture of a poetry book” whose galleries exhibit “the colorful lives Black queer folk thriving in the future.”
How would you describe the writing community where you live in just a few words?
Warm, weird in a good way, experimental and real. Just thinking now about how many times I’ve cried a little bit at poetry readings in Baltimore. I feel like art that can make me cry is art that I want to experience more of.
What would be a few words of advice you would give someone wanting to get into any writing community?
Definitely go to events (whenever events can safely happen again) and show support for other writers, try not to be too shy, read your local arts publication if such a thing exists where you live.
Rebekah Kirkman is the Managing Editor at BmoreArt. She was previously the Visual Arts Editor at the Baltimore City Paper. She writes criticism, essays, and profiles with a strong interest in social/political concerns surrounding the arts.