May 14, 2007

Interview: Talking to Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp

Jamaican writer Geoffrey PhilpExcerpt from an interview @ Global Voices:

Over the last year and a half, Geoffrey’s blog has become an important meeting place for Caribbean writers and readers. He posts samples of his own work, short literary essays and meditations, interviews with other writers, news about upcoming literary events, and regular birthday celebrations for major Caribbean authors (most recently, Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite). I chatted with Geoffrey recently about his blog and Caribbean literary blogs in general. Here is an edited version of that conversation.

NL: Has the blog pushed your writing in different directions stylistically, or in subject matter?

GP: The focus of my blog is pretty narrow: to promote my work and the work of Caribbean and South Florida writers.

Now, I started off writing as a poet, and I’ve learned not everything can or should be a poem. As I’ve often said to my students in my creative writing workshops, a poem is that bok! of when the ball meets the bat and it shakes you up. A short story is about bottom of the ninth, the bases are loaded, both teams are tied, and the pitcher begins his motion. A novel is the whole shebang–what Henry James called the “loose, baggy, monster.” A blog comes closest to the feel of a novel–it can be anything. This is why I’ve given myself such strict limits about what my blog should be and what it shouldn’t be. By setting such narrow parameters, my writing doesn’t end up all over the place and I know exactly what my subject matter will be.

For more of the interview, head over to Global Voices.


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