Sarah Wells describes her piece as “looking at ennui from the perspective of a beam of light. Photons move at, literally, the speed of light and as a result never have a chance to slow down and experience their existence. While this problem is particularly salient for such fast speeds, it’s also an anxiety we deal with at the human pace too.”
Waiting to Decay
I wonder what it feels like to be finite.
To feel the passage of time,
With the warmth and comfort of the sea.
I wonder what it’s like to age.
To feel pieces of myself fall apart,
Feel sorrow for my breaking;
Feel alive because someday I won’t be.
I wonder what it’s like to move slowly.
To have a connection,
Not a collision.
To return to safe havens,
Instead of continuing on,
Into the roar of the dark.
How I long to decay,
To break apart in a shower of pieces;
To realize that I have pieces,
That I’m made of more
Than a single permanent moment.
March’s Clark Writer of the Month is Aliyah Rawat, a student from the University of East Anglia who’s studying abroad here at Clark. She’s already a staple of the creative writing community, performing her original work at Yoni Ki Baat and Clark Writes forums.
LB: Did you write your own monologue for Yoni Ki Baat (South Asian Vagina Monologues)?
AR: Yes, I wrote my own monologue. I initially wrote my piece about growing up as a queer South Asian, because no one else was doing a piece directly about sexuality as a South Asian. It’s a topic in South Asian culture that isn’t discussed when you grow up and is really heavily stigmatized. I started writing about that, but then I ended up writing about a bunch of experiences that all linked together. I ended up writing about being queer, South Asian, Muslim, a survivor of different traumas and mental illnesses, and stuff like that. It ended up being this thing that weaved throughout my life from when I was twelve to now.
If you’ve ever been to a creative writing event at Clark, you know Bruno Lieto. He brings his huge smile and heartbreaking poetry to every open mic night. We chatted about his very first poem, stage fright, and the lost art of handwritten poetry in this month’s Clark Writer of the Month.
LB: Do you remember the very first poem you ever wrote?
BL: I do! It was in seventh grade. We were learning about the Holocaust and had to put ourselves in the shoes of someone that survived. We could write a paper, do a slideshow, and I chose to do three poems. The things my teacher said afterwards made me keep writing.
LB: One of my favorite things about you is that whenever I see you, you have like five new poems. Where does your inspiration come from? Continue reading
In her first ever Clark Writes submission, Kaitlyn Lindtvedt explores pain and twisted relationships in her poem “Flare.”
I’m eliding –
– Engrossed in my memories-
-Stoking a misery
Loping inside of me.
The knotted ties to which you cling
When all the world is bleeding
Through your heart.
Impressionistic, isn’t it?
Satisfying hopeless whims
While soothing scars.
Fall. Continue reading
Lots of people assume that all writers are English or arts majors. But this month’s Clark Writer of the Month is actually a Physics major who writes 300 words for his novel each day. He chats with Laura Barker about the inspiration for his novel, the struggles of writer’s block, and the fantasy genre. Read more below!
fine image of classic 3d newton cradle background
LB: So, tell me about the book that you’re writing.
NF: Well, I’ve attempted to write a couple of different books. I try to stay in the genre of science fiction/fantasy, and that hasn’t worked out for me in the past couple years. But the biggest part of a novel I’ve written was about a city where it’s legally required to wear a mask.
An ancient manuscript was discovered at the sacred battleground known as the Way of Fen. Read on if you dare to read the terrible tale of those brave warriors with the Socks of Red, written by the hilarious Professor Jay Elliott.
Note: this manuscript was found at 6:30 AM on the morning of 11 September 1978 crumpled in a crimson batting helmet reposing on the front steps of the editor. Its provenance, as well as its author, are unknown. It is written on foolscap in broad black ink in a formal hand. The manuscript measures 8 ¾ in. x 12 ½ in. Whether or not it concerns the disaster of 7 – 10 September in Boston, Massachusetts I must leave to the judgment of the reader.
In this month’s Clark Writer of the Month, Emily Denny chats with editor Laura Barker about the 1950s LGBT+ community, science fiction, and society’s treatment of women. Read more below!
LB: Your honor’s thesis is about a society where women are manufactured in factories. Could you tell me a little bit about what inspired that?
ED: I read Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for a class, and it got me thinking about the ways we talk about women in novels. So much of what you read in high school and even in college is written by men, and the way that men represent women is different than the way women represent women, but I’ve found that the way men represent women colors the way women represent women. For the longest time, everything you read about women is about women who are depressed and then kill themselves or women that had anxiety and then killed themselves. It’s such a depressing line that I don’t think I’ve read that many books about what women are really like. When it came to writing a science fiction novel, I wanted to write about women, and I wanted to write about a really intense version of the way society looks at women now, and how we commodify women and commodify their bodies and the role they serve in our society. Even as the conversation is changing, women are still in archetypes, you know, like ‘the strong women.’
“Pink” is a poem from Clark Writes e-board member Kate McNicholas that questions gender norms and sexism. Kate shared her work at the first creative writing forum. Come hear more amazing Clark writers at our next forum this Friday!
I often wonder
If the pink blanket placed on a new baby girl is the first layer of protection.
To hide her from the demons
The label between her thighs
The hunting eyes…
I often wonder
Why he calls me those things
And I laugh… Continue reading
“I’ve got a lot,” Mal turns their computer around to show me their collection of Sticky Note poetry. They weren’t lying. Their computer screen is covered with digital Sticky Notes, most of them filled with it’s own original poem. This isn’t surprising coming from Mal Sklar. They’ve won third place in last year’s Prentiss Cheney Hoyt Poetry Contest, is a regular at the Clark Writes Creative Writing Forums, and talked to me today about writer’s block and LGBTQ+ representation for the second Clark Writer of the Month interview.
LB: Jess Hoops was the one who recommended you [for Clark Writer of the Month], and mentioned that you write every single day, and you carry around a notebook that you’re always writing in.
MS: [Laughing] That’s not quite true. Actually, the notebook bit is true.
LB: What do you write in it?
MS It’s mostly rambling. Some of it is story ideas. If I have an idea, I’ll jot it down on whatever’s handy. There’s also no separation in my notebook between the days I write.
LB: Do you find that helps or hurts your writing?
“He’s appropriating ten cultures at once, can we taze him?” might be the best line to capture Raechel Segal’s satirical, absurdist, and darkly hilarious style of playwriting. In Clark Writes’ very first Clark Writer of the Month segment, Raechel chats with editor Laura Barker about satire, handling criticism, and how she turns ideas into plays. Read the interview below.
LB: You’ve written three plays during your time at Clark: The Beefstick Boys, Moon Juice, and Dykes on Wheels. Can you take me through the process of taking just an idea and transforming it into a full-blown play?
RS: There’s a lot of steps to the process. The way I see it, I divide the whole creative process from when the director comes in. For example, with Moon Juice, I sat down and wrote it all out. That was quicker [than the other plays] because it was a ten-minute play, so I just spurted it all out. Continue reading