Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oulipost Exit Interview

Jenni Baker, editor of the Found Poetry Review, asked participants to complete an exit interview for last month's oulipost challenge, which entailed composing a found poem each day of the month by imposing assigned constraints on material from my local newspaper. Now, a few days into my summer vacation, I find myself with enough time to formulate responses and, thus, offer closure to my own participation in the activities.

What happened during Oulipost that you didn’t expect? What are the best (or worst) moments for you?
I did not expect my wife to be so frustrated, but, often, it took all of the remaining time in a given day to complete activities, and that made for some conflict. Should I go to bed or read another post?

Strangely, as I was spending so much time on my blog—more time, in fact, than I had spent in the past seven years—I found myself looking back through my old blogposts. I could read an evolution in both my writing and personal life. I could relive and remember those events that I had blogged about so many years ago. I consider this a 'best' moment.

I am sorry that, in the midst of the challenge, I simply did not have time to read everything. As writing responses took nearly all of my free time in a given day, I had little time to read other responses. I intend to return to read the residue that escaped me on the first go around, but best laid plans and all that...

Looking for proper articles to use was obsessively tedious. I found that the constraints often broke the usable lexicon of a particular article too much. Lastly, it was impressive to see how other members of the group approached each task.

What does your street look like?
I live in a compound, as do most people in Doha. To cheat, I offer this picture in place of description.
Education City Community Housing, Lot 2, Zanon Circle, Doha, Qatar

Who is your spirit Oulipostian?
Because I posted at nearly the same time each day (along with others who were posting at or about the same time), I found myself returning to blogs by the same authors: Elizabeth Evans McNabb, Jody Rich, Massimo Soranzio, Douglas J. Luman, and Margo Roby, to name a few. I began to follow and interact with these individuals, however slight, with whom I was, previously, unfamiliar.

What are the top three poems you wrote during this project?
1. #24: "[So she'll soon.]"
2. #21: "rare vision"
3. #08: "Lewis Hamilton"
What questions do you have for your teaspoons? What questions do your teaspoons have for you?
Teaspoons are a noisy lot. They're full of questions and they tend to talk over one another, but I want to know if they are going to insist on oulipost collectable spoons. I don't use them for anything but honey when a sore throat kicks up. Do they need more attention?

What will you do next?
I have been working on a manuscript about Doha, and hope to bring that to completion, especially now that my teaching commitments have come to an end this semester. As my oulipost responses mashed up Gulf Times articles, I plan to review my responses for posts that I can integrate into the manuscript, but it seems like they took an alternate vein.

I would like to thank Jenni Baker for including me in the challenge. I am not sure how she found me out or why I was invited, but it was quite enjoyable, and I