JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for BRITISH-IRISH-POETS Archives


BRITISH-IRISH-POETS Archives

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS Archives


BRITISH-IRISH-POETS@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS Home

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS Home

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

RE: practice

From:

Alan Baker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alan Baker <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 18 Jun 1998 13:39:56 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (99 lines)


1. Do you write daily?___ weekly?___ irregularly?___ Is the writing a
fixed part of routine, or does it follow other pressures/dictates? Please
specify:
[Alan Baker]  Very irregularly, but enough to churn out an average of 
one completed work per month.  No routine.

2. These days do you write in the same place e.g. in the kitchen/bathroom
etc; on the bus to work? Is the workplace in any sense a protected space?
Please specify: 
[Alan Baker]  Favourite places are where I'm in a sort of suspended state
e.g. trains/buses/hotel rooms/sometimes in the office.  Rarely at home, as
there are too many other distractions there.  like Christopher Hamilton,
I too have a study which I can never write in, but do use for editing etc.
I'll often stop doing what I'm doing (like painting the bathroom) to jot down
the odd word/phrase/line or amend a poem.

3. Drafting: notebooks, scraps of paper, word processor or what?
[Alan Baker]  Reporter-type notebooks, with an A4 book for planning
larger pieces or making background notes.

3a. How are drafts organised - in linear/sequential mode, or in a more
complex structure? Please describe:
[Alan Baker]  Sometimes a piece comes almost complete in one go,
but usually its pieced from fragmentary jottings.  For longer pieces
I'll sometimes draw up a plan of the structure which then acts as a 
framework to hang lines and words onto.

4. A route-to-work question: what, in general terms, is the relationship
between draft and completion?  [Alan Baker]  I'm not sure a poem is ever 
completed.  Sometimes I'll take 'completed' works and chop them up for
re-use in other things, sometimes years after they were written.  Once a poem
published I usually don't change it, but may do.  Making a work public seems
to help me to evaluate it objectively - so you may see more of my efforts on
this list.
 
4a. Does your motivation/intent change during this process? If so can you
say how? An example might help.
[Alan Baker]   A phrase or line is often the starting point. The poem 
'Ivy' posted recently,  started with a line from a notebook:

'Time hallows heartache'. 

After a long process of composing a fairly abstract
piece based mainly on cohering sound, I introduced, at a late stage, the plant
Ivy, and concretized the whole thing by making this the ostensible subject.

4b. What do you mean by "completion"? [Alan Baker]   See 4. 

5. Input: is there a way of generalising your raw materials? Are there,
for instance, groups of books, musics, other artworks, or people in your
life, which you plunder repeatedly? Name the most significant: 
[Alan Baker]  Difficult one.  Too numerous to mention.  Anything
which generates a passionate response.

5a. What conditions input? Weather? Nation? the Sports pages? Rejection of
all of these?
[Alan Baker]  Whatever I'm reading at the time influences in a major way.

6. How open to mistakes are you? What steps do you take to encourage or
discourage them?
[Alan Baker]  Not sure what a mistake is in this context. Accidents are always
welcome as input, often proving more fruitful than conscious effort.

7. Roadtesting your writing: on a few friends? at readings? read to the
cat? leave in a drawer for 6 weeks? Not at all? 
[Alan Baker]  Although I have read in public a few times, generally the whole process
for me is intensely private - I have no no-one to read poems to (unconsciously
I don't think I want anyone) but what I always do is to memorize the poems
I write - even longer ones (1-200 lines).  In fact this is part of the process of
composition.

7a. Does this process transform the work? If so how?
[Alan Baker]  Memorizing a poem makes you apprehend it differently even
to reading it aloud - it appears more as a whole.  Often, I memorize 'wrongly'
but if the sound and rythm is right, I'll then revise the written version.

8. Do you have lots of pieces of work on the go at the same time? Are they
separate or all part of the same fabric? Or do you work methodically at
one piece, then the next, then the next? Or in none of these ways? Please
specify:
[Alan Baker]  I always work on one piece at a time, and can't do otherwise,
although I've tried.

9. How do you plan/prepare for performance? To what extent is this
incorporated in the drafting? Is performance a fixed point in your intent?
[Alan Baker]  Although rarely asked to perform, I always imagine
a 'reading' when writing a poem.

10. Are you obsessive about the practices you've described? Or could
you stop and do something else? 
[Alan Baker]  With all the pressures and distractions, I can't see how
anyone who isn't obssessive would ever manage to produce poetry.
I'm certainly obssessive!



%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
1997


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager