Tiny Talks with Grant Chemidlin

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Grant Chemidlin from our tenth issue.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Grant Chemidlin: I find I’m most inspired when reading other people’s poetry. Coming across a poem that is exciting and totally unique is infectious. It makes me want to try new things, find my own mind-bending images.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any artists/ heroines/ idols/ friends that you look up to?

Grant Chemidlin: Ada Limón has always been my favorite poet, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out she was going to be the next US Poet Laureate. What I love about her work is how she effortlessly moves between the micro and the macro. In one moment, we’re watching the tiny beetle in her garden, and in the next, we’re suddenly wondering about our own existence, our lives, and our deaths.

Tiny Spoon: Are there any natural entities that move your work?

Grant Chemidlin: I’ve been writing a lot about water recently. Finding different ways to imagine it moving: rain flying backwards up into the sky, a woman pouring herself into the earth, then rising up as a patch of daisies. I think it’s the ubiquitous nature of it. At the core of everything is water, even when you can’t see it.

Tiny Spoon: We love insight into the creative process. Could you share what it is like for you, either with your work that appears in Tiny Spoon or in general?

Grant Chemidlin: Generally speaking, my creative process looks like this: I wake up, read some poems from whatever book I’m reading, then go for a walk around the neighborhood while listening to meditation music. When I get back, hopefully having come across some glimmer of an image, I’ll sit down and draft a poem in my journal. Once I’m satisfied, then I’ll type it up and start revising.

Tiny Spoon: Do you have any current or future projects that you are working on that you would like to share?

Grant Chemidlin: I am currently working on a new full-length collection aimed at creating new, authentic images of gay love and gay intimacy.

Tiny Spoon: What book, artwork, music, etc., would you recommend to others?

Grant Chemidlin: Victoria Chang’s The Trees Witness Everything.

Tiny Spoon: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you, your creations, or beyond?

Grant Chemidlin: My first traditionally published collection, What We Lost in the Swamp will be released on May 2nd and I’m so excited (and so nervous) for it to finally be out in the world.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do? (website, social media, etc., if you wish to share it)

Grant Chemidlin: @grantcpoetry on Instagram and TikTok