Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
is a multi-disciplinary artist with focuses in making unique artist’s books, collages, visual art, writing & performance. She will use any medium necessary to engage and subvert reality until it is less dull and oppressive. When she grows up she wants to be a well-read recluse. She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.
- What inspired you to write poetry?
Reading books. Listening to & playing music. Poetry is the logical gateway drug between reading, music, and altering consensus reality.
- Who introduced you to poetry?
My local library(s), firstly. Secondly, other poets. When I was ready to venture out of the books and start performing poetry in my late teens, I met real, live, weirdos doing poetry. Sometimes they were in bands, sometimes they were in books, sometimes on stage. But there they were. So off I went.
- How aware were you of the dominating presence of older poets?
Very aware of it. I started my performance poetry career sneaking into open mics in bars before I was of legal age. Navigating the task of developing my early work(s) was peppered with both honest & friendly alliances, and predatory behaviour. I ran my first collaborative open mic at 18, and started the first of my international tours in my 20s. Trying to confound and short-circuit the dominating presence of older poets as a queer woman has, so far, been a lifelong mission. Luckily enough, I’ve had some excellent role models in other female poets & artists who defied definition at any age, and just continued on making work largely uninterrupted. It can be done. So here we go.
- What is your daily writing routine?
Fairly regimented. I write, draw, collage, and/or paint every day. Because my practice has developed through performance and multimedia work, my poems are not usually developed in a linear way. I work on a lot of projects at once, cutting them up into different sessions on different days of work. My works often have different drafts or cycles depending on the type of distribution or performance planned for it. Because of the nature of regular performances to prepare for, I’m writing/creating new material in a few types of genres/media every week.
- What motivates you to write?
It is my life’s mission to break language over one knee to see what happens. Language creates consciousness, right? So if you mess with language and it’s functionality, and the way it is possible to think shatters. That is the most interesting thing in the world to me.
- What is your work ethic?
Brutal and very focussed. I have a schedule and a plan for each project, and I give myself deadlines before the official deadline so I’m always ahead of schedule.
- How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
Today? I just cut them up and glue them to other shit. Re-reading old books I loved as a younger person taught me that writers are fallible. That what speaks to one person at one time may change (or may not). That ‘professionals’ are only called that because they called themselves that once and one should not need their validation to continue working towards your own carefully designed endgame. That sometimes an idea is long-winded and may take a lifetime, or several to hatch, and for its relevance to finally be noted. That meaning is multiple and unfixed. That nobody, especially not even you, has the last word.
- Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Currently I am most interested in experimental writers and multimedia artists that are looking at future-media & the developing uses of text(s). Maybe that’s you? Say hi sometime.
Writers/Artists/Academics I have known personally and inspired me include: Kylie Supski, Christine Strelan, Sara Moss, Baden Offord, Jax Jacki Brown, Victor Marsh, Kerry Loughrey, Liz Hall-Downs, Lyn Ashby, Dagmara Gieysztor, Casey Sh, Circus the Interdimensional Prince(ss), Tanya Delys Mandorla, Gerald Keaney, and the late Gilli Smyth and daevid allen.
Writers I have found recently on social media whose works I admire: James Knight, Elytron Frass, Cergat Bos, Miggy Angel, Paul Hawkins, Richard Biddle, Steven J Fowler.
- Why do you write, as opposed to doing anything else?
I write AND do everything else. They are the same and not the same. Language makes up every inch of our world. I am also unwriting a lot of the time, does that count?
- What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
Write something. Do it again. Repeat. Congratulations, you’re a writer.
- Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
“Collage”, a collaborative multimedia performance art event. Check us out last Sunday of the next 3 months at The Burrow in Fitzroy, Melbourne. If you’re not in Australia, some videos of live performances are posted on my YouTube Channel from time to time.
I’m directing, and creating the visual projections for a multimedia adaptation of John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing” later in the year. Kylie Supski is the lead performer, and Roger Alsop is composing and playing an original soundtrack.
I’m also currently working on a multimedia project called “The Illuminated Manuscripts” that incorporates performance, music, projection, altered books, collage, poetry, and virtual reality.
Starting Feb, I’m also collaborating with Chris Wenn on a new experimental music/poetry project.
I have also got a new altered book that’s 98% complete due out in mid-to-late 2019, called “Pinhole Theory.
The next altered book, called “Mad Boy” has already been plotted. Both the process of making it & the end product will feature, in part(s) & intermixed/remixed, in “The Illuminated Manuscripts”.
You can get my most recent book (launched in November 2018) “On the Rod, an Artists Book” online here: http://www.reversebutcher.com
This is a trailer video of “On the Rod, an Artists Book”
This is the “Lecture on Nothing” teaser trailer for 2019.
This was taken from one of the Collage sessions last year. It’s my Kylie Supski performing her poem, while myself and another artist named Brigid Burke (2 x seperate projectionists) do visuals.
This was taken at Slamalamadingdong a few years ago. Kylie Supski and I collaboratively performing a poem I wrote called “How To Win A Slam”.
This is a timelapse of me digitally creating an altered book double page spread in Procreate.
And here is a link to Slow Process, a now defunct poetry/noise project I was in: