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Kevin Sampsell Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 1.21.14

“I have been preoccupied lately, to an alarming degree, by the creative process of collage. I spend most of my free time cutting out words from newspaper headlines and pictures from fifty-year-old magazines. Combining the stern, authoritative tone of ‘the News’ and the wholesome and charmingly hopeful images of fifties and sixties advertising (or that era’s glamorous photojournalism) makes for a jarring and often hilarious piece of art. I created a designated workspace in our kitchen that is now cluttered with all these cut-out things along with glue stick, old magazines I haven’t even looked at yet (I prefer copies of Life magazine bought at a place here in Portland, Oregon, called Periodical Paradise), X-ACTO knives, and other cutting utensils. Who knows how long I'll indulge myself with this creative outlet.

“For a long time, I’ve loved various kinds of disjointed art: anything that surprises the reader, the viewer, the listener. It could be the poetry of Zachary Schomburg, Rachel Glaser, and Ben Mirov, or the journals of Leonard Michaels (I highly recommend Time Out of Mind, published by Riverhead Books in 1999). The uncategorical writing of people like Chelsea Martin, Myriam Gurba, and Leni Zumas always blows me away. A great book on collage art is The Age of Collage. The films of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry push my mind through spectacular wormholes. The music of Sebadoh, Pavement, or Guided By Voices (note their collage-y cover art by Rob Pollard). All of these things are inspirations and comforts. I say ‘comforts’ because sometime I wonder if my own writing is too disjointed or too jump-cut (two books in a row of super-short chapters and shifting tones). So visual/textual collage is my newest passion. I think it’s important to follow your whims sometimes, even if you’re not sure what it will turn into.”
—Kevin Sampsell, author of This Is Between Us (Tin House Books, 2013)

Reader Comments

  • DMcKenna says...

    Your approach is very interesting. I am a visual artist (primarily) just getting back in to writing again, not only
    to deepen and clarify my approaches to my visual art, but for the the writing as an art form in itself. You might
    enjoy this TED talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oww7oB9rjgw
    Deirdre

     

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