Camille Rankine Recommends...

“I write best from a place of stillness and quiet. I also live in New York City, a place known for neither of those things. That means I tend do a lot of writing in the middle of the night. It’s the closest thing to silence I can find in the city. The rest of the time, I collect. I’m always taking notes. I pick up pieces from magazine articles, news stories, radio, television, movies, from conversations with strangers, from eavesdropping on the world. Then, in the quiet, I take stock. I pick out the most compelling pieces and wait for them to speak. I translate and rearrange. Sometimes, I’m out of ideas. I think I have something. Then I don’t. I take a break until it’s quiet again. I do this over and over until the idea takes shape, until I start to understand why these fragments called out to me, what the words mean. It takes a while. Sometimes I wish it didn’t. I get stuck, I get frustrated. But I’m learning, or trying to learn, to allow myself the time. The important thing for me is to keep my mind fed and alive, to always be open, always be listening, and to keep coming back and putting the words down, trying to make sense of what I hear.”
Camille Rankine, author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses (Copper Canyon Press, 2015)