Jaclyn Gilbert Recommends...

“I used to think half the battle was simply sitting down to write, but over the years I’ve learned sometimes that isn’t enough. Sometimes inertia seeps in like the plague, my pen heavy with ink, the page blanker than it’s ever been. I know my conscious mind is responsible, and that I have to loosen up my associative memory, move it toward a dream state. For me, this process usually involves some combination of reading poetry and going on easy runs around Brooklyn. I especially love rereading Sharon Olds, Kevin Young, and Lisel Mueller, and then copying down my favorite lines in a notebook, feeling my pen firm along the page, my body grounding itself into their words. I like to take that energy with me on a run in Prospect Park, repeating certain sense impressions like a mantra, letting them recombine with my own momentary observations as I move through space. Poetry works in tandem with my breath and feet meeting pavement, freeing body from mind, and allowing my deeper intuition the room it needs to breathe.”
—Jaclyn Gilbert, author of Late Air (Little A, 2018)