Poetry News

Michelle Bitting Sits Down at Rainn Wilson's Soul Pancake Table

By Harriet Staff

Poet Michelle Bitting was invited to Soul Pancake's Writer's Kitchen for this little interview, that culminates in a writing prompt and the poem she wrote in response to said prompt.

A bit of the convo:

TWK: What’s the most essential ingredient in your writing life?

Bitting: Unlined paper—notebook-size best, though God knows I’ll write on any handy scrap available. Also, blue or black Precise Rolling Ball pens—Fine point. Again, in an emergency, any utensil I can stain paper with will do. Pricked finger?

TWK: What do you miss or not miss most about being 5 years old?

Bitting: Stomping around in mud puddles in my pre-school yard after a winter rain. The deal was, if your shoes got soaked and grimy, you got to choose a pair to wear the rest of the day from the spare shoes box. One pair in particular I coveted: black patent leather Mary Janes laced with grosgrain ribbon. Eventually the teacher got hip to the fact I was mucking myself up on purpose.

TWK: What is the single most important virtue or combination of virtues in your writing life at the moment? (work/process) etc.

Bitting: “Touching it in some way every day.”

That’s what Poet Extraordinaire Frank Gaspar said at a writing residency I attended recently and I think it’s well put. For me, this can mean writing for hours in uninterrupted oblivion, or just gathering bits of glimpsed images, phrases and dialogue. To simply rearrange some punctuation on a work-in-progress or travel deep into unknown territory. This way, you’re always in touch with the source and ready to rock when there’s time for rolling it out.

Go read the rest!

Originally Published: June 28th, 2012