M.I.A. October: Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Allison_Hedge_Coke_Headshots-3What is the book (or story) that you are currently working on?

Just sent off final proofs on Streaming, coming out in December, with Coffee House Press.

Where did the idea come from and does it fall under a specific genre?

The book is in tribute to the earth and calculates catastrophe caused by humankind upon her and intimate, personal, experiences within the changes we are going through as a species. Poetry.

What are you currently reading (and why should others be reading it too)?

Currently blurbing about ten books that will be coming out soon, so reading tons of new work by new poets and writers. We all need to keep abreast of the ever-growing conversations in poetry, prose, literature, and to be informed as to what conversation we are in, as writers.

What are some upcoming titles in your reading list?

National Book Award long listings:

Who/what inspires your writing?

I’m inspired by nearly everything, especially dreams and daydreams, but everything around me at all times. I am pretty curious, by nature, and tend to dwell on things, so the muse is almost always influx. Like this moment, I can hear at least four different bird calls, and some pecking on the rafter and gutter, some wing flutter, an airplane, a car or truck, people talking, and over it all the mountains standing up against the sky with clouds tumbling over, and fronds waving right outside this window… all of it.

Who, everybody. Especially those who act fearless and are seen as without grace due to circumstance.

Of course I am also inspired in multiple ways, as a writer, as a human being, by Quincy Troupe, Sonia Sanchez, Ishmael Reed, Juan Felipe Herrera, Arthur Sze, Cornelius Eady, Rigoberto Gonzales, Adrian Matejka, Travis Hedge Coke, Stephen Graham Jones, Sherwin Bitsui, many many many more.

What does your writing process entail?

Sleep, mostly. I dream heavily and write from those sequences. Sometimes I am dreaming in my wakefulness and those meditations are also fodder for the work. Additionally, I make time and place to work and ensure I am eating as well as I can be, attending to things that support the work, like taking walks, swimming, and, yep, sleeping.

Who would you like to give a shout out to in the writing community and why?

All of the super-talented PhD candidates at UH Mānoa, and to Craig Santos Perez, for his utter brilliance in developing lines that field thought and provoke audience and Brandy Nālani McDougall for her gorgeous poetic and sheer bravery in evoking field response to human experience, to everyone writing in these times. We so need.

M.I.A. October: Craig Santos Perez

2014 bio picWhat is the book (or story) that you are currently working on?

I am working on several projects: a scholarly dissertation on Chamorro literature, my fourth book of poems, a creative biography of my father, and a nonfiction book about food.

What are you currently reading (and why should others be reading it too)?

I am mostly reading texts for the courses I am teaching. These past few weeks, these include Deborah Miranda’s Bad Indians and Douglas Kearney’s The Black Automaton.

What are some upcoming titles in your reading list?

Michael Martinez’s In the Garden of the Bridehouse and Joan Naviyuk Kane’s Hyberboreal.

Who/what inspires your writing?

Everything I read, from literature to the news to social media to nature, inspires my writing. My wife and daughter are also inspirational to me.

What does your writing process entail?

Thinking, handwriting, typing, editing, printing, handwritten edits, re-typing, re-printing, praying.

Who would you like to give a shout out to in the writing community and why?

I want to give a shout out to the students and faculty of the UHM Creative Writing Program!