Chris Campanioni Recommends...

“I think the greatest thing we have at our disposal to write are our eyes and ears. Vanessa Hua has written in this series about writing against the clock

and I think that kind of desperation and urgency can propel you toward creation. I do almost all of my writing on my commute because I like being in the in-between—you can pick up so much. And I think it’s important to listen, and perhaps it’s hard—harder all the time—to sit and really pay attention (and the costs keep rising) when we are surrounded by opportunities to disconnect or rather to bring our wandering mind to a halt and distract it with something other than our observations plus imagination, which I guess you could say are the two basic ingredients for every writer, for every working piece before it can rise to the surface, before it can be reproduced and assimilated; in private when in public. If you see something, say something. This is another way of recording or reading; to read a lot and to read everything is very important, but especially to read street signs, ads, disclaimers, conversation, and in general, your environment as though it were a scene set, because it might as well be. One of the classes I’m engaged in at the moment is called ‘Notebooks & Other Irregular Accountings’ and I think it’s useful and helpful to think of your experience as a kind of picture you can enter into at any angle or moment and sublimate into something beautiful. Elevate the everyday. Reading makes the flesh manifest, it delivers on the promise that sex suggests but so hardly ever achieves (complete communion with the other). Shouldn’t writing?”
Chris Campanioni, author of Death of Art (C&R Press, 2016)