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“Fallen From.” Ecotone 26, v.14.1, 2019
“Beyond the Gazebo” and “The Commerce Between Us.” Tin House, v.20.1 Fall 2018.
“Spyglass” and “The Stone Child.” Third Coast, n.45, 2018.
“Seconds Before Landing,” “The Museum of Forgetting,” and “The Remote Island’s Annual Report.” Crazyhorse, n. 91, Spring 2017.
“14 Devastating Consequences.” Harvard Review, n. 49, 2016.
Catherine Wing’s first book of poems, Enter Invisible, was published by Sarabande Books and was nominated for a 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her poems have been published in such journals as Poetry, The Nation, and The New Republic, featured on The Writer’s Almanac, and included in Best American Erotic Poems and Best American Poetry 2010. She has won fellowships and residencies from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her second collection, Gin & Bleach (Sarabande 2012), was selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature. She lives in Ohio, where she teaches poetry at Kent State University and serves as the General Editor for the Wick Poetry Center’s Ohio Chapbook Series.
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky.
In Kent my favorite place to be is in the poet’s loft of the Wick Poetry Center. I guess it’s really an attic with a glorified title (and watch your head as you go down the stairs!) but it has window benches where it’s good to do almost anything: read a novel, write a poem, check email, take a nap, or on a sunny day in the winter just sit in the sun and watch the world go by. In Cleveland, where I live, my favorite place is the Atrium at the Cleveland Art Museum. In similar fashion it’s a great place to be on a sunny winter’s day but it also served as the best indoor playground when my son was small.
Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights, Polly Rosenwaike’s Look How Happy I’m Making You, Italo Calvino’s The Complete Cosmicomics, and Roald Dahl’s The Twits.
I like a bit of frosting with every bite, even if it means I essentially have to offload frosting onto my finger to reserve it for the frosting-deprived bottom. Sometimes I’ll even remove the bottom of the cupcake and reallocate excess frosting from the top. I also eat crackers and cheese with the cheese-side down... which I guess means I’m not anyone’s ideal dining companion.
With my chin on my chest I drink as much water as I can while simultaneously holding my breath. It doesn’t usually work but it makes my son laugh.
If you want to be a writer of any kind, you have to make the choices in life that will allow you the time to write. Sometimes those choices can be humbling and difficult. Much to the consternation of my parents I worked as a waitress for many years because it allowed me to have a daily writing practice. I didn’t make much money. I had no health insurance. I bought all my clothes secondhand. If you want to write, you have to make the choices that will allow you to do so.
A while ago a friend was compiling a how-to book for busting writer’s block and he asked this question. I went back through my notebooks (some from decades past) and was stunned to see that for the first paragraph of every entry I (metaphorically) engaged in the questionable practice of self-flagellation. I say I haven’t been writing, that I should be ashamed, clearly I’m a fraud, a poser, a newt, my name is mud. Then there’s a deep breath and (usually in capital letters) an evocation to “get to it” and the writing begins.