Interviews and Conversations

I had some lovely conversations with &NOW attendees and would like to share them:

Writer Robin Morrissey’s &Now project is a “critical and creative” piece which transposes the fictional character Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) with the case study of Mollie P., a real-life woman living in the early 1900’s at a reformatory. Morrissey found Mollie P. in a nonfiction book titled An Experimental Study on Psychopath Delinquent Adolescent Women, and wanted to create a work that explores the “inner and outer,” the inner life of a fictional character created by James Joyce and the outer life of a real-life woman whose perspective is given through a doctor’s observations. This exploration is told by a narrator who has woken up to find that her “skin wasn’t her own.” The piece is about “divergence,” a “brain on overload with lots of synapses going off in different directions.”
Morrissey waited a year before getting her MFA. One of the main inspirations for her writings are the books on her bookshelves at home, nonfiction and fiction texts whose characters she combines in her own writing, like Molly/ie.

Kim Koga, a recent graduate of the MFA program at The University of Notre Dame, advised undergraduate writers seeking MFA programs to search within prospective schools “people who you want to work with and who will help you grow.” When choosing a school, the decision will be between “who you’re going to work with versus the prestige of the school.” Notre Dame was not Koga’s first choice, but when she visited the campus and got a feel for the school, she liked that it was “not elitist,” but “supportive” and not just focused on experimental writing or a specific form of writing. In workshops the “comments I got back were more useful and helpful since I was getting perspectives coming from different aesthetics instead of just my own.” Koga suggests awpwriter.org as a starting point for undergraduates searching for an MFA program.
Koga is currently sending out her poetry & lyrics essay-thesis to contests while designing and writing for an online magazine.

Lori Emerson creates digital poetry and electronic literature, that is, poetry accompanied by all that a computer can do, whether making the poetry “interactive or animated and kinetic.” Emerson started off a poet herself and became interested in visual poetry. Now, she’s an artist who uses the computer’s many capabilities to display other people’s poetry in a new, electronic, and crucial way.
Emerson is currently a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, teaching digital poetry.

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