TINY TALKS WITH SHLOKA SHANKAR

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Shloka Shankar from Issue 9, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Remix! Find their poem, “what to say” in our ninth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What was your process for engaging with the Cut/Copy/Paste Remix? How did you choose what to keep or what to omit?

Shloka: I read through the entire issue and opened a notepad to the side. As I was reading, I copied phrases, words, and lines into the notepad. Then, I remixed my selection into a poem by adding and deleting, sometimes altering the tense, et cetera. It’s an intuitive process, really, and I stop when the poem speaks to me and begins to “sound” like something I would have written. Found poetry works only if the individual sources are elevated/altered to create something new, exciting, and different.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Shloka: I love making abstract collages and creating visual poems from there. A single word or phrase I read in another poem can also spark something in my own head. It’s about paying attention and noting down the most innocuous things that might trigger the muse later on. Being playful and experimental alleviates the pressure to “get something done.”

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

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

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

Shloka: I am the Founding Editor of Yavanika Press, an indie publisher of eBooks, and we have a whole bunch of new titles coming out in September.

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

Shloka: My debut full-length haiku collection, The Field of Why, came out earlier this year, and you can purchase a copy here if you’re interested: https://yavanikapress.wixsite.com/home/the-field-of-why

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Shloka: Website: http://www.shlokashankar.com / Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/shloks23 /

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shloks89 / Society6 shop: http://www.society6.com/shloks23

TINY TALKS WITH NAT RAUM

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with nat raum from Issue 9, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Remix! Find their poem “cytotopography” in our ninth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What was your process for engaging with the Cut/Copy/Paste Remix? How did you choose what to keep or what to omit?

nat: Having worked in the past with erasure fragments, I found a lot to draw from in the issue. I started by reading the issue and marking pieces I found interesting. Traditional erasure isn’t all about having interesting words; it’s also about having enough connective tissue to make them work. But since I was reconstructing fragments from multiple pieces into one piece, interest definitely played a large part in my selections, as did euphony.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

nat: I consider myself an artist before I consider myself a writer in that most of my writing practices don’t differ much from my art practice. I took a class in early undergrad about using “any medium necessary” to accomplish something creatively, and treat my poetry as a medium within that practice. So my creativity comes out in many ways, and is mostly kindled by my lived experience. Most of my work starts with something I observed, often woven into a memory.

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

nat: My photographic idol is absolutely Nan Goldin. I’ve always really related to her practice of documenting the people and places around her every day and find myself emulating her in some way or other basically always. I definitely look up to many of my fellow editors and artists as well, considering many people who started as collaborators to be close friends now. To name just a few wonderful creatives and friends, check out the artwork of Sarah Eckstine, Hyacinth Schukis, and Nick Norman, and the writing of Rachael Crosbie, Charlie D’Aniello Trigueros, Clementine Williams, and Andrew Daugherty. I also want to give a special shoutout to Kelsey Sucena, who’s both an artist and a writer, and someone whose work I recently published that I admire.

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

nat: I would say not in any specific way, beyond experiencing nature through visiting my parents’ house in the forests of Baltimore County and my extended family in Appalachia. The other thing I would say is that often, my imagery begins with (or touches) the way light is behaving, and I think that comes naturally to me as someone who studied photography for my undergraduate degree.

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

nat: I’m somewhat of an obsessive maker. I typically have an idea for something and go right for it, stopping very little along the way. It’s definitely how I’ve been able to maintain such a consistent practice over time, but it does lead to a lot of things being tabled for later and never returned to. That being said, a lot of my recent work has involved explorations of the past that allowed me to return to those abandoned WIPs—childhood religious trauma in my chapbook ‘preparatory school for the end of the world’ (2021), substance use and femininity in my early 20s in my hybrid memoir ‘you stupid slut’ (2022), and objects as agents for memory in my chapbook ‘specter dust’ (2022). A professor of mine told me the past is unbelievably rich for inspiration through memory, and I definitely agree.

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

nat: I tend to have a lot going at once, but the project I’m working on most actively right now is a full deep dive into the idea of the digital archive. I’m searching my old social media posts and backup-drive documents and pictures from as far back as 2009, as well as working on erasures of novels I read as a teen. The final result of each work is a hybrid piece that combines a piece of writing with a digital collage. My work tends to be personal, but this is a very different kind of personal for me and it’s really exciting.

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

nat: Though I read a lot of great work and consume a lot of incredible art as an editor, I consequently rarely get to talk about how much I love music. I love ambient music—and really beyond just lo-fi, though I love lo-fi too. I’m constantly discovering new ambient artists, but my favorites consistently come from Jonny Nash, Suzanne Kraft, Virginia Aveline, and Suso Saiz. I’m also a huge fan of Glass Animals and Fall Out boy for their lyrics.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

nat: My website is viewable at natraum.com, and I’m on Twitter and Instagram (@gr8earlofhell).

TINY TALKS WITH RAY FROST

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Ray Frost from Issue 9, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Remix! Find their collage comic, “The Intimacies We Have Shared” in our ninth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What was your process for engaging with the Cut/Copy/Paste Remix? How did you choose what to keep or what to omit?

Ray: I read through the whole issue once just to experience it. Then I reread it a few days later and cut out all of the words, phrases, and images that jumped out at me. The next day I looked at everything I cut out and played with arranging them until I found a poem that I felt told a story.

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Ray: Nature, music, and things I see out riding my bike.

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

Ray: I look up to a lot of the other artists who also work out of the Reno Generator. It’s an amazing community with so much talent. I also look up to Ashley Anderson (@hiddenstash.art), Pine Bones, and Hyena Hell.

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

Ray: The moon is a huge symbol in both my life and my work. My work is also heavily influenced by the landscape of the Nevada high desert.

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

Ray: Most of my work starts with a note in my phone and a bunch of reference photos on my laptop. I make sketches until I find an image that speaks to me and go from there.

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

Ray: I’m currently working on finishing up issue 10 of my zine series How Did This Happen??? which follows the adventures of a reanimated roadkill coyote

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

Ray: Coyote Doggirl by Lisa Hanawalt.


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

Ray: My art is a huge part of how I cope with my depression and I hope my work is a bright spot for other people as well.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Ray: @indoorcoyote on Instagram.

TINY TALKS WITH CRYSTAL BOWDEN

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Crystal Bowden from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read her poem, “Dream State” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Crystal: Giving myself the space and time to sit with ideas is essential for my creative practice. Also, reading is a constant source for me. Books live inside me, changing how I think and what I know. That inevitably bleeds its way into my work.

Poetry and collage are how I express myself and draw on my relationship with others in the most collective sense. In this way, each poem or collage I create tells a different story through interiority. I hope people find their own stories buried within the layers.

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

Crystal: Too many to list for sure! Honestly, I find women ridiculously inspirational. Every time I see another woman doing something amazing, whether it’s a creative endeavor or not, I feel uplifted. I feel stronger. We all have so much potential within us that at any given time is being suppressed, both externally and internally; all I can think is BRAVO. Get it. We’ve got this.

Time

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

Crystal: As humans, everything we are is rooted in the natural world, so I find that connectedness essential to my work. I love to make a study of nature. I’m an avid bird watcher – my yard is full of feeders! Peterson Field Guides and the App Seek are great for identifying things I cannot put a name to.

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?

Crystal: I’m a pen and paper person when it comes to writing. And I rarely write poems at the start, even though poems are all I write. Instead, I like to get my ideas and thoughts down loosely on the page before I ever try to turn them into something more structured and coherent. These usually look like lists more than anything else. Then I’ll take those ideas and start arranging and structuring them into a poem. Only after that will I move the poem from my writer’s notebook into a digital document for revisions. It’s best if I take some time between the original writing and revisions, so I lose some of my sentimental attachment to the original and view it more objectively.

When I create visual arts, I hardly ever go into a piece knowing my overarching goals or what will happen in the artwork. Instead, the process is intuitive and generally driven by mood and whatever is currently sitting heavily in my brain. Those inform my decisions, whether the color palette, imagery, or composition. I try not to overthink these things and let myself flow.

Simple Rhythm

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

Crystal: Currently, I’m working on a manuscript for my first poetry chapbook titled, Before the Exhale. The title comes from a line in my poem, Middle Spaces, about all the ways we live in between one thing and the next. These show up in my work in numbered and varied ways, and you’ll see this throughout Before the Exhale.

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

Crystal: For other poets, I highly recommend the book, Glitter in the Blood: A Poet’s Manifesto for Better, Braver Writing, by Mindi Nettifee. For those who love reading poetry, read Lord of the Butterflies, by Andrea Gibson.

Mood

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

Crystal: I regularly publish in magazines! You can keep up with new  individual publications by following me on social media. You’ll find my work included in upcoming issues from The Spring City Journal and Pile Press.

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Crystal: My website | Instagram | Twitter

Interview with Aerik Francis, Spring Tiny Resident

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? Do you follow any rituals or creative exercises to spark your writing process?

I had two poems appear in the Memory issue of Tiny Spoon, and both of those poems were inspired by thinking whimsically about everyday life. One poem was inspired by a moody portrait of my cousin, and the other was inspired by thinking about how sensory experiences contain the living memories of my family/ancestors. I ask myself questions, like what would it look like and mean to place all those sensations together. For “Remembering: Redux” what if I placed my passed on family members in the same poem– what sensory elements introduce them to the poem? At the end of that poem, there is a nod to a Frantz Fanon quote I’ve always admired, the final lines of Black Skin, White Masks. So another part of my inspiration is reading and being inspired into a kind of conversation with the authors. 

What inspired you to begin and maintain these practices?

Towards a former career path, I read a lot of political theory and critical theory. I would find that they inspired thoughts and words, but that it rarely came out as neat and clean prose. When I leaned into those ideas as poetry instead of just as messy prose, it opened up how I could interact with what I was reading and thinking. It also made it easier to apply those ideas back to my everyday life. So it’s the same boring but true advice most writers have: read more and use the reading to get inspired to write. It’s never consistent, but I try my best to maintain a regular reading schedule, which in turn maintains a regular writing schedule.

Does your writing intersect with other creative practices?

Absolutely! As a poet, I try my best to operate as a musician. I am very interested in multi-media work and it is another reason why I love poetry: it is very amenable to many formats. My extended play project SYZYGY started out as poems and became music and short films. Also I have plans for my chapbook BODYELECTRONIC to have an experimental audio component to it as well. Even my paintings and visual art has found its way back into my poetry, with a few of my paintings now as cover art for poetry projects.

If your work was a song, what would it be?

Such a hard question, just one song!? I feel like my answer would change everyday. So today, my answer is Jupiter by Kelela. There is such a feeling, such a gravity to that song for some reason, that eclipses even the lyrics in sentiment. But the lyrics too– simultaneously, it feels like I’m eavesdropping on an intimate phone call and also being comforted by a close friend. I hope my work can evoke those kinds of feelings, regardless of what the words are. And that the words can maintain an air of mystery and intrigue, while also being comforting and familiar.

Are there any artists/ heroines/  idols/ friends who have been influential to your work?

So many! I gotta name my favorite musicians, of course, so Kelela, FKA twigs, Sevdaliza, Kllo, Jamie Woon, Purity Ring. Too many wonderful poets to name also, but poets like Liza Sparks, Beca Baca, Ashia Ajani, Hakeem Furious, C. Louise Williams – all of them friends but also talented poets who have impacted my craft and poetics greatly! Also, importantly, shoutout to my sister Alisha who was the first to teach me that creativity breeds more creativity. 

Are there any natural entities that move your work?

I don’t explicitly consider myself an eco-poet; however, nature, and especially a dire concern for the human damage upon nature, is always entering my poetry in one way or another. I focus on the body as an entry way into these discussions, as conversations about the body tend towards the environmental conditions and elements. So all kinds of natural entities move my work, always!

What is on your reading list this season?

There are always so many good books coming out, again too many to name. So I’ll share my current library book haul (I’ve started all of the books but am still working through each one): The Renunciations by Donika Kelly; Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis; Gumbo Ya Ya by Aurielle Marie; Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake Skeets; Heed the Hollow by Malcolm Tariq; and Exiles of Eden by Ladan Osman 

Can you share your philosophy on sustaining creative communities?

Probably the most important thing is to show up! Show up for your friends, attend their events and pay for their merch. Try to show up to events and meetings as often as you feel capable– and get involved, take on roles and positions. We have more power than we think we do– we can start our own open mics, our own publications, our own organizations. But also, there are always so many people already doing the work we want to do– partner up with other artists and organizations and work together to achieve those shared goals. The ultimate philosophy is simple: You shine, I shine, we all shine. 

What advice would you give to emerging writers?

Similar to the last answer. Just show up. Start now. There is always more to improve and more to learn, but the reality is that you truly are enough now. Start where you are and build up with the folks around you, build upward with your friends.

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

Not to be a walking comercial, but just check out my work! There is a growing archive on my website phaentompoet.com . I write all sorts of poems, so if one isn’t for you, perhaps another might be! I have a chapbook out as well as a few music projects and single poems. Let me know what you think!

What projects are you working on? Can we find you at any upcoming events, etc.?

For folks in Denver, after the Sunday workshop in the evening, I am a featured performer in a fantastic lineup of a wonderful poetry and music show. Listen to Your Skin is teaming up with Jazzetry for their first in-person event on April 24th at 7pm at RIVER. I have full-length poetry collection manuscripts I’m working on. One is titled BODYPOLITIC and the other is titled ubiquities . Most pressingly, for my chapbook BODYELECTRONIC (which is out now!) I’m trying to put together an experimental audio experience as well as a set of events to celebrate its release. Stay posted on my social media for more info about that. 

Where can people learn more about what you do?

You can find me everywhere @phaentompoet or via my website phaentompoet.com

More about Aerik Francis and our Tiny Residency can be found at https://tinyspoon.org/2022-tiny-residents/.

TINY TALKS WITH OORMILA VIJAYAKRISHNAN PRAHLAD

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Oormila Vijayakrishnan Prahlad from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Read her poem, “Death Dream in Purple” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Oormila: Everyday things! I believe there is magic in the commonplace. I see my art and poetry as documentations of my daily experiences — conversations I have with my children, the people I meet, sights and scenes I encounter on my walks, photos I take.

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

Oormila: I can think of so many! Off the top of my head, I look up to Carolynn Kingyens for her luminous poetry that brims with tenderness and humanity, Zaina Ghani for her wonderfully imagistic works, Nina Bennett, Beate Sigriddaughter, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Sneha Subramanium Kanta, and Mandira Pattnaik’s for her lyrical flash fiction. Idols I admire — my friend Sandhya Devanathan. She is my role model.

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

Oormila: I live in a green and leafy suburb of Sydney. I get visits from all kinds of lovely wild spirits:  bunnies, possums, magpies, bush turkeys, cockatoos, and lorikeets to name a few. I have published several series of mixed-media artworks and poems inspired by these beautiful creatures. My studio overlooks a lovely garden and during the lockdown, the wildlife was pretty much my social life. They figure prominently in a lot of my work.

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?

Oormila: I have several projects going on at any given point in time, and I keep switching among them. I like to work in an organized space which is easy when I am writing poetry. It’s the painting that gets messy and I find myself getting distracted and cleaning up in the middle of work very often! I always carry a sketch book and a notepad. In the pre-Covid days, a lot of my poetry drafts were written either on train commutes or while waiting to pick my kids up from school.

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

Oormila: I am working on two micro-chapbooks. Both my parents have milestone birthdays coming up this year. My mum turns 70 and dad turns 75 and I want to surprise them with two collections of poems dedicated to both! I also have plans to put together a full-length poetry manuscript at some point.

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

Oormila: Carolynn Kingyens’ books Before the Big Bang Makes a Sound, and Coupling. I am a huge fan of Gaia Rajan’s writing, and I loved her chapbook Moth Funerals. I would also recommend Phillip Hall’s brilliant collection of poems, Cactus, which is a heart-breaking exploration of depression and what it is like to live with it. I also recommend all Shankari Chandran’s books: Song of the Sun God, The Barrier, and her latest novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens.

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

Oormila: Besides writing poetry and painting, I play improv piano — some Metallica, Pink Floyd, Guns and Roses. I have a huge collection of odds and ends in my studio, and I use some crazy materials in my mixed media works sometimes. Recently, I made “cat wool” from the hair from my cat’s brush. It made for the most delicate silver wool, and I added it as accents to a few winter-themed mixed media landscapes. It looked great!

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Oormila: I’m on Instagram and on Twitter.

TINY TALKS WITH SHANNON GARDNER

Tiny Talks is an interview series with Tiny Spoon’s talented contributors. This week we spoke with Shannon Gardner from Issue 8, Cut/Copy/Paste: The Original! Find her artwork, “Mother Monster,” “Nighttime Hue,” “A Joke to You,” and “Don’t Stop or We’ll Die” in our eighth issue!

Tiny Spoon: What kindles your creativity?

Shannon: Watching horror movies and studying paranormal kindles my creativity. The spontaneous process of nature inspires me to explore Earth’s unfound beauty and imitate its natural imperfections. I enjoy creating art depicting paranormal elements and iconography. 

Ol Poogley-Pie, Collage, 2021

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

Shannon: I am inspired by German Expressionism artists like: Edvard Munch, and Tim Burton. Surrealist artists like; Picasso and Claude Cahun. Expressionists like Egon Schiele and Contemporaries like Polka-Dot artist Yayoi Kusama. My process is similar to artists who encourage exploring the taboo and Surrealist/Psychic Automatism or the act of creating art disconnected from consciousness. My work focuses on exploring the unconscious mind as a way of creating art, resulting in innate, dream-like imagery.

The Arm, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

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

Shannon: Supernatural entities continue to inspire my work, paranormal phenomenon. The surrealist unbridled reign to the consciousness is how I approach art making. I have an ambition to spend my life studying the occult and paranormal. I enjoy projects that involve a proactive and sustainable message. 

Siren Song, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

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?

Shannon: I enjoy line and dot work, stippling and cross-hatching, clusters of value implying crisp texture and depth, giving the illusion of change through time. My serendipitous approach to watercolor and ink creates a profound contrasting aura with my surrealist illustrations. Through my process, I attempt to disassociate my hand from my consciousness, work directly from instinct. As a result, I have found my best work is created when I’m not thinking.

I often draw on paper with an ink pen an interesting idea, inspire in the spur of the moment. I enjoy creating multiple line pieces over a relatively short period of time. The pieces sit unfinished until I find enough time where I can devote myself to paint all the pieces with watercolor. This makes a cohesive palette of color throughout multiple pieces. 

Mommy’s Girl, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

Shannon: I usually paint when I work in my studio. I enjoy painting from a used palate, working off pigment from previous sessions to avoid wasting materials. I find working on paintings in the mornings while working on drawings at night yields the best results. I am currently working more in collage, assemblage, and sculpture. I have always worked in 2D with an emphasis on the outline, so when branching out to 3D I am enjoying playing with the minimalist relationship between figurative and abstract work.

I have much confidence in my work; as a result, I have been featured in dozens of publications worldwide. I understand that if you apply yourself the worst outcome is a formal rejection with appreciation of your submission. I have the ability to create a plethora of work in order to meet deadlines and ensure quality work.

David, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2020

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

Shannon: I’m currently working with Collage-Lab where I’ll be teaching a workshop on how to incorporate hand-drawn illustrations and collage. There I will explain Surrealist Automatism and how to think of collage making as a spontaneous process. 

I am also involved with an online Zine called Continue The Voice. Released quarterly as a platform to share art and voices of all kinds. My original illustrations are featured throughout and exclusively on the Coorie Moments pages.

All-Star, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

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

Shannon: A book that I’m currently into is called, Begone Satan: A Soul Stirring Account of Diabolical Possession in Iowa, a 19th century exorcism of a woman local to where I am from. For inspiration I would suggest researching and finding books from your childhood that encouraged you to read as a child or that inspired you in any way. Revisiting those stories may help or unlock things that can benefit you in the future.

Optometrists, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

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

Shannon: What I value most in my work is honesty and confidence. As an artist I strive not to be a perfectionist, I seek to make mistakes. Appreciating the process of nature, death, and decay I practice the Asian technique of Wabi Sabi; the aesthetic within imperfections. I strive to explore the unearthed beauty and imitate the natural imperfections. I live for crooked lines and brushstrokes. The human journey is not a straight line but a labyrinth of twists and turns, an imperfect spiral with one way in and out. Through my work I hope to embody those imperfections. My goal is to show the audience the importance of appreciating people, emotions, achievements and pain. I strive to evoke a haunted aura of remembrance that death and decay reflects the evident future of life. All parts of Earth’s cycle should be celebrated, not overlooked or forgotten.

Flower Child, Watercolor and Ink on Paper, 2021

Tiny Spoon: Where can people learn more about what you do?

Shannon: You may purchase my work here

View my original artwork quarterly here

Sign up for my newsletter at UneasyViewing@gmail.com

Human//Body: SPOTLIGHT ON AERIK FRANCIS, SPRING TINY RESIDENT

_Facial Recognition_ by Aerik “phaentompoet” Francis

iHave doubted my smile–
if it existed in the face
of those mouthing

of my ubiquitous grin.
but iDo know when
my smile smiles– feeling

the evidence in its departure.
here, it wasn’t the picturesque
Los Angeles January Sun,

but a removal of a tether’s
never questioned presence.
such a wonderful good-bye

greeting a lucky camera.
happy, it seems, visited
me in spontaneous burst.

my personal captured volta–
iCan hear a cackling Yes
so loud iForget the sound

was always an exclaimed No
so closed-eyed, so mouth-wide,
so smiled it blurred–

––This work was first published by Mixed Mag

phaentompoet aka Aerik Francis is a Queer Black & Latinx poet & teaching artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They are a Canto Mundo poetry fellow and a The Watering Hole fellow. They are also a poetry reader for Underblong poetry journal and a coordinator with Slam Nuba. Aerik recently released an EP of poetry-songs called SYZYGY (available now on bandcamp), and they have a chapbook titled BODYELECTRONIC forthcoming April 2022 from Trouble Department Press. They have poetry published widely, links of which may be found at their website phaentompoet.com. Find them on IG/TW/youtube/soundcloud @phaentompoet

Learn more about Aerik’s upcoming workshop HUMAN//BODY: BODY POLITICS & BODY POETICS.

Issue 8 Feature: Jackie Partridge

Our 8th Issue is packed full of exciting artists and writers! Our blog is an extension of the issue so we can share even more experimental, beautiful work with our readers! This piece is also in print.
Looking In

Process Note: Establishing Roots first created in 2016 inspired the later series of altered atlases What Is and What Was. Establishing Roots uses a world atlas and as each page turns one house shape is hand-cut from the page. 

What Is and What Was from 2018 includes four wooden stools circling a table inviting viewers to sit down and view four altered North American and Canadian atlases. As the pages turn houses are removed from the page showing the changing landscape both through the altering of cut-outs and the found object of the atlas continuing to outdate itself. Looking In is one of the featured atlases in this piece. 

Establishing Roots
Establishing Roots

Bio: Jackie Partridge is a mixed media artist working with handmade paper, recycled maps and objects living in Wellesley, ON, Canada.

Workshop Intentions: AERIK FRANCIS, SPRING TINY RESIDENT

I want to approach this workshop openly and simply: Each session we will come together and read poems and talk about them and write our own poems. That’s it! That’s the basic gist with the added twist of thinking about and engaging our bodies in relation to the poems and the writing. The workshop is another opportunity to practice craft and connect with other artists interested in doing the same. The workshop’s themes will hopefully allow us to more critically consider our own bodies and what our relationship to them is in practice as well as in our writing.

What do our bodies need right now? How can our writing work towards fulfilling those needs?

I hope the workshop can generate thought and answers towards those questions. The body is always communicating, so the question always comes back to if we are paying close attention. Hopefully at the end of this workshop participants will write new poems and meet new people. But above all of that, I hope this workshop inspires new relationships with bodies, our own and otherwise. 

phaentompoet aka Aerik Francis is a Queer Black & Latinx poet & teaching artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA. They are a Canto Mundo poetry fellow and a The Watering Hole fellow. They are also a poetry reader for Underblong poetry journal and a coordinator with Slam Nuba. Aerik recently released an EP of poetry-songs called SYZYGY (available now on bandcamp), and they have a chapbook titled BODYELECTRONIC forthcoming April 2022 from Trouble Department Press. They have poetry published widely, links of which may be found at their website phaentompoet.com. Find them on IG/TW/youtube/soundcloud @phaentompoet

Learn more about Aerik’s upcoming workshop HUMAN//BODY: BODY POLITICS & BODY POETICS.