Episode 28: Why do you write?

On February 2, 2019, Kasie and Rex welcomed father of Mindgravy Poetry, Al Black into the studio. Here are the show notes:


Dr. Kasie Whitener, GenX Fiction Writer, Process Consultant

Rex Hurst, Fiction writer and English instructor

Al Black, Poet and Mindgravy Organizer

Theme for the day:

Why do you write?

close up of heart shape
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Link to the podcast

Agenda review:

  • Get to know Al Black
  • The origin of this writing thing
  • Universality, connectivity, the shared human experience, empathy, etc.

Segment 1

Who is Al Black? What is Mindgravy? What was the original vision for the meet-up and how has it grown into or beyond your expectations?

Weekly meetings are hard to organize and plan for. How are you supported in the effort? When did you know you’ve really got something? That you were meeting a specific need?

Tell us about your poetry. Where did Man With Two Shadows come from? Is there a theme for the book? Was it about a journey?

You have plans to make a South Carolina journey — dare we call it a quest? Tell us about that. What’s the purpose, who are you connecting with, what do you hope to get out of it?

Segment 2

This writing life. Sigh.

People come to writing for any number of reasons. Where did it start for you, Rex? Al? Kasie?

How do our origins stories influence the path our careers take?

Can you distill the influences you had into a single (or couple) instances where you were encouraged or challenged?

Writers love to write about writing and to talk about writing. What is it about this craft that encourages us to share the experience? Do sculptors and graphic artists and theatre people share the experience like writers do?

Segment 3

We’ve had some conversations around the various arts communities in Columbia and the Midlands and in South Carolina as a whole. There is vibrance in pockets and collaboration in places. There’s an “in” crowd and a fringe sect. Not unlike other industries or human organizational structures, the arts are a field of poppies. Each unique and beautiful and contributing to a whole meadow while swaying independently.

What are the benefits of collaborations?

Collaboration – Al & Len Lawson Poets Respond to Race

What are the challenges?

If art is how we share the universal human experience, then connecting various journeys and expressions of that experience must make us more compassionate, more human, right?

Don’t we want to be connected? To be part of something bigger than ourselves?

Can art bring us in and make us feel understood? Accepted?

Deep thoughts on a Saturday morning. Make sure you’ve had some coffee.

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