Interview with poet Rauan Klassnik.Prompt: Today’s Write The Book Prompt was suggested by my guest, Rauan Klassnik. Rauan uses an iPod to shuffle his own thoughts (recorded as audio files), as well as excerpts from television and radio, in order to generate ideas for his poetry. If you don’t have an iPod, or prefer to work on paper, follow the exercise as Rauan explained it to me: Turn on your radio or TV. As you hear a song or conversation, randomly write down either what you hear or what it brings to mind. (If you write down someone else’s actual words, change the phrase later or put it in quotes in your poem.) Now change the channel and do the same thing again. Do this six or seven or maybe ten times. Fill a page of paper. Then do that three or four or five times over, writing in blocks of text. Then rework those blocks. Juggle the order around, change things, add things. When you need a change, skip to the second page and start doing it there. Work in batches. You can work with sound files and an iPod, set to shuffle, if you know how to use that technology to help you. But that’s not necessary. The exercise works just fine on the computer, using the cut and paste function, or with old fashioned paper and pen. This won’t necessarily result in a finished poem, but it’s a useful exercise for generating ideas and getting started.
Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students)