Literati Event with Phoebe Gloeckner

Going into this interview, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. While I haven’t had much exposure to Phoebe’s work, I’ve heard a lot about it – in truth, everything seemed to indicate that she is a rather remarkable person. So with that being said, I always find it interesting to listen to an author talk about their work, especially one who likes to stray off the beaten path. From the sounds of it, Phoebe has really made a point to push the limits on genre and the extent to which you can mix them. Especially in cases like these,┬áit can be really hard to appreciate an author’s work without hearing their own take on it. Needless to say, after listening to Phoebe talk about her work, I immediately had a couple big “take-aways.”

While I have always thought of myself as more of a chronological, process-driven person, it was extremely interesting to me that Phoebe seemed completely against chronology. In doing most of her work, she never makes a point to map anything out, and rather, just does it as she goes. Additionally she made a point of saying that she never wants to rely too heavily on one skill, which oftentimes leads to her genre mixing. I find this extremely interesting because 1)I’ve never had an English teacher tell me to completely ignore preliminary processes and jump right into an assignment…nor have I ever been taught how to do something like that – and – 2)I almost always rely too heavily on a particular skill set because that’s what I’m good at, and that’s what I know works. I suppose I’m not too sure of what to make of this, except to point out that there isn’t one good way of going about a creative process.

But perhaps even more so than any of this, I realized that if there is one thing Phoebe really makes a point to do, it is making sure she embodies her work. You could tell that she truly lives and breathes her work, connecting with it on an extremely deep level. But at the end of the day, when it comes to the creation of good writing, that is perhaps the best way of going about it.

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