Christopher McCurry: Let’s start with this. I see this first question as a version of the “origins and influences” but take it where you want of course:
As a multi-genre and medium artist what does poetry do for you?
Bianca Spriggs: That’s a complicated answer. Poetry does a number of things for me. It is not my first art-form, but it is the terrain where I am at my most confident. I use poems to create problems that require solving or to process abstract concepts, obsessively at times, sometimes over the course of years. I think about every other genre or discipline through the lens of a poet. And what I learn from other areas informs how I think about how many, many ways there are into a poem—it’s not always through the front door. Sometimes I get it in through the second story window. Sometimes I’m coming up through the floorboards.
Poetry also reminds me not to take myself or my work so seriously that I don’t continue to experiment and play and recognize failure as an integral part of the process. I believe that for artists, you stagnate when you think you have nothing new to learn. So, in writing poems, I learn to balance process and product. In an attempt to fit what I have to say into a container, for lack of a better word, I’ve learned through poetry, to remain in an interrogative state, to surrender or get out of the way of what a piece wants rather than impose my own will, and to not ever despair during a drought. I either work through the “bad” pieces because even they have something to teach me, or I remember that even drought is part of it—just because I’m not actively creating what I want at the moment, doesn’t meant that my subconscious isn’t working on it, so I’ll go do something else and wait for synchronicity to weigh in. (more…)