Maya Phillips Recommends...

“I used to get really distressed by my writing dry spells, but since I’m also an arts journalist I always have that medium to turn to when my poems are giving me grief. Taking in different forms of art and looking at them critically opens my mind up to different possibilities in my poetry. (Museums are great for that too.) But simply reading good writing helps most of all. Because I’m deeply in love with both theater and poetry, Anne Carson is one of my patron saints and inspirations. I’ll also play a bit of musical chairs if I’m stuck in the writing, moving from one seat to another, one room to another, or I’ll leave the apartment altogether for a change of scenery. I’ll read my lines aloud to see if the sounds and rhythms can carry me forward. What’s most important when I’m blocked is my frame of mind. I’m an anxious person who tends to overthink things, so I try to be more receptive to inspiration that may come. I try to move through the world with a more heightened awareness of what I’m doing, what I’m thinking and feeling, and be more patient with myself and the smallest seeds of any ideas that may pop up. Often, I’m surprised at the results.”
—Maya Phillips, author of Erou (Four Way Books, 2019)