What’s your chapbook about?
Fando & Lis is an ekphrastic work based on the 1968 film of the same name by Alejandro Jodorowsky (who made his film after the play Fando y Lis by Fernando Arrabal). In this chapbook, I explore the sometimes treacherous terrain of male fragility.
Folks who are curious about the Jodorowsky film that inspired the chapbook can watch it on YouTube!
Chapbooks allow the writer to delve into a series in a way that not all full-length poetry books allow. I enjoyed the process of putting Fando & Lis together because it was a fulfillment of so many ideas, imaginings, and thoughts that probably wouldn’t have found a tidy home in my other manuscripts.
To what degree did you collaborate on the cover image and design of your chapbook?
I am very fortunate to have among my friends many talented creatives, among them Khadijah Queen, who kindly agreed to let me use her drawing as the cover image. Kristy Bowen over at Dancing Girl has an incredible eye and offered no resistance.
What have you done to promote and publicize your chapbook?
Honestly, not enough. Self-promotion is hard. I am the type of person who still finds it startling when people offer me money for my poetry. But, I’m learning to value myself and my own work more by promoting my own work via social media and on my website.
What are you working on now?
My first full-length poetry collection MILK has been recently published by Minor Arcana Press as the first e-book in their catalogue. This collection explores my experience breastfeeding my now 3-year-old son through multiple lenses and includes hyperlinked video, sound, and images.
What is your writing practice or process?
I have a full-time jobby-job that pays the bills, but I also devote a lot of my time to community building along with my international art project, Miko Kuro’s Midnight Tea, couple that with the two kiddos, and a partner and a partridge in a pear tree, and I can honestly say my writing process is simple: write whenever you have the chance.
What advice would you offer to an aspiring chapbook author?
Treat yourself well. For the most part our words will not bring us fame and fortune, so when you are looking into publishers, take the time to really get to know what kind of books they produce. Touch the books. Smell them. Talk to your peers about their publishing experiences and take your time deciding where and when to publish. I can’t say enough positive things about Dancing Girl Press because I had a great experience!
Do you have a favorite prompt or revision technique?
My favorite writing prompt is probably the Red Lineage because I’ve seen it work across age-levels, languages, and cultures for the last 6 or more years. What is your Red Lineage?
My favorite revision technique, besides reading a piece aloud (so basic!) is to have other voices read the work aloud to me. When someone puts your words into his/her own mouth, you can quickly spot what’s not working and what is.
What role does emotion play within your creative process?
If you feel nothing, you will create nothing. The work I am most proud of comes from a place of transparency, where the emotional integrity of an experience is able to be conveyed (but not diluted) in the resulting creative manifestation. Happy, sad, or confused, writing and certainly all art forms ask us to move ourselves out of stagnation and be moved.
Natasha Marin is a poet and interdisciplinary artist. Her written work has been translated into several languages and has been showcased in exhibitions, performances and events around the world. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a Hedgebrook alumni who has been published in periodicals like the Feminist Studies Journal, African American Review, and Bitch Magazine. She received grants from the City of Austin, Artist Trust, the CD Forum, and the City of Seattle for community projects involving text-based, visual, performance, and multimedia art.