In a little extra than a month, Michael Garrigan ’19G achieved predominant desires. In May, he graduated along with his MA in English & Creative Writing, and in June, he posted his first chapbook.
The concept for his chapbook, “What I Know [How to Do],” commenced with a poem he wrote in his capstone class at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Pleased along with his work, he wrote more poems that encompassed its “how to” subject matter, ultimately creating a collection that might be picked up with the aid of Finishing Line Press.
Ahead of the chapbook’s presale, Garrigan spoke about the role his education played in his achievements.
Have you usually written poetry?
Though I’ve usually written poetry, my undergraduate paintings on the University of Pittsburgh and early courses had been focused on innovative nonfiction. However, as I progressed via the MA in English & Creative Writing program at SNHU, I began to write poetry increasingly. Now it’s what I write the maximum, even though I nevertheless like to explore longer prose pieces after I have the gap to accomplish that. Poetry seems to be in which my voice is maximum at ease. Even when I am running on an essay, it now normally begins out in some poetic shape.
What’s your procedure in developing poems?
Each poem is a chunk exclusive, however almost they all begin in my Moleskine notebook. Some start with one word or photo while others come at hand almost finished. Once I actually have a very good sketch of a poem scribbled out, I’ll type it and from there the procedure of modifying and revising starts offevolved. Sometimes a poem will handiest be revised a few times, and it’s executed, while I tinker loads with others. I may additionally write a poem and finish it six months later when the proper photograph or line comes into consciousness.
I tend to technique each poem singularly; however, for this chapbook, I wrote them all in one record. I knew, once I wrote the primary two poems, that they have been going to be a collection and I wanted everyone to speak to a one-of-a-kind person, but to additionally communicate with each other. The audience isn’t generally my number one cognizance once I write a poem; however, for this series, the imagined audience becomes a primary influence on each poem.
What challenges do you face to your writing, and the way do you conquer them?
I assume the biggest challenge for me is developing the time and field to take a seat down and write. One of the exceptional things approximately going thru the MA software is that it helped me get into the addiction of focusing my interest in writing. Often, I would only write when I felt “stimulated,” which I fast realized turned into not nearly sufficient. Now, I try to give myself a set quantity of time each day to jot down and create. I currently got here throughout this tremendous quote from Nick Cave’s weblog, “The Red Hand Files.” He writes that “the creative impulse is genuinely the method used to trap ideas. Ideas are everywhere and forever to be had, furnished you’re organized just to accept them. This takes a sure responsibility to the artistic process. There is field and rigor and education concerned. You should show your self worthy of the idea.” I try to look at writing as greater than just a creative outlet. However, something I ought to do every day with the intention to tap into that innovative vein we all have.
What has the street to booklet been like for you?
Very exciting. This is all new to me, so I experience like every recognition and rejection is a studying revel in. This chapbook can be my first posted collection. It’s been notably exciting in how it’s moved me out of my consolation area as an author. I’ve had to attain out to invite different writers for blurbs, paintings with an artist on the cover and paintings with the writer concerning all the prepublication requirements. ENG 540 – Contemporary Writers and Publishers surely helped me get my writing and publishing platform ready for this procedure. In specific, Professor (Steven) Brodsky gave me loads of guide and encouragement in regards to what the publishing system looks like. I already had so much of what I needed – solid expertise on the way to write a question letter, a writer bio, and the begin of a platform – that the ebook method for this chapbook came collectively quite authentically for me.
How do you propose to marketplace your paintings?
Promoting my paintings isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I recognize that self-advertising is an essential a part of being an author, so it’s something I need to pursue actively. I’m still locating my voice and identification as a self-promoter. I have an internet site which I use as an internet portfolio and blog. I additionally use social media – especially Twitter and Instagram – which will connect with different writers and percentage my paintings. I plan on attaining out to the literary magazines that have posted my work inside the past to search for the aid of the release of my chapbook. Additionally, I’m exploring opportunities for public readings at local bookstores and universities.
What do you desire, you knew when you first commenced writing?
To be an author, one wishes to jot down. I heard this all at some point of my undergraduate software on the University of Pittsburgh, but it wasn’t until I certainly made writing each day exercise that I realized how authentic that announcement is. Also, it’s fairly important to locate different writers that you can proportion paintings with that you consider will provide you with honest, vital remarks. (At SNHU,) I changed into fortunate enough to have Prof. (Andrea) England for ENG 528 – Poetry Fundamentals. She is an extremely good professor who no longer best supplied me perceptive remarks on my writing; however, greater importantly, taught me the way to be vital of my very own paintings.
For the long term, I thought writing turned into a solitary component. It isn’t. Even after I’m on my own, setting pen to paper, I understand there could be a target market for those phrases, even supposing it’s simply another writer who will inform me what works and what doesn’t.
Who are the poets that have stimulated you most, and the way have they stimulated you?
Todd Davis, Robinson Jeffers and Jim Harrison are three poets that have helped shape my very own voice as a poet and author over the last couple of years. Todd Davis is likewise from Pennsylvania, so analyzing his poems is like strolling up a mountain circulation with an antique buddy. I love Harrison’s voice and sense of humor. He has shown me that poems can effortlessly be testimonies. Lyrically and stylistically, Robinson Jeffers pushes and demanding situations me to write a line in a way I haven’t. All 3 of these writers have a keen eye when it comes to the natural global. They are capable of capture landscapes, moments and existence in a way this is specific and deeply transferring.
Persuade a person to read your chapbook in 50 phrases or less.
“What I Know [How to Do]” is a set of poems that explores the way to connect deeply with the land you stand on and the fires you construct. The poems climb Katahdin and survive blizzards. They run rapids and inform us of a way to make mountains, create lakes, and read landscapes.
Did you figure on any of the poems for the duration of your instructions?
Yes, I did! I wrote two of the 25 poems within the series as part of my capstone path. It became outstanding to get peer feedback on them as it helped me hone my voice and attention for the entire series. “What I Know [How to Do]” grew out of a full-period collection I’ve been running on for the beyond years. I wrote “How to Make a Mountain” for that collection, but then accompanied the perception of the “How to” poem to come to be with this chapbook. It changed into a truly natural system. It felt like I tapped right into a present innovative day as I wrote this set of poems. They all seemed to talk to one another in a way that I had now not experienced before as an author. The way wherein the poems are sequenced within the series are almost the same order in which I wrote them.