Foglifter Darlings: Foglifter Press Interview with Chekwube O. Danladi
As part of celebrating Foglifter’s selection of Pushcart nominees, we interviewed the writers! Our third author is Chekwube O. Danladi, published in Volume 5 Issue 2.
What piece of art—literary or otherwise—has uplifted you during this tumultuous year?
Lately I’ve really been connecting to (and inspired by) the work of two artists, Xandra Ibarra and Juliana Huxtable. It’s all transgressive and audacious and really striking, not bound by place or medium/genre. I’ve turned to and talked of their works often these past several months.
What writing habits/rituals are close to your heart?
Journaling continues to be the strongest habit these days, the only one with any kind of pattern. It’s still soothing when I’m seeking. When I’m really trying, I’ll write first thing in the mornings before the rest of the day can set in.
Who (or what) guides your writing?
These days my best directives come from witnessing and feeling. Through cultivating intuition, and developing a practice of pause, I’m guided to write about what I can no longer bury or fight against.
What do you believe is the role of the poet/writer in this cultural climate?
To pay attention with all senses available to you, then respond with urgency and care.
Beyond writing, how have you been finding joy or rest this year? Do you have a favorite quarantine activity?
I’m eased by leaving the city often for the forests, slow cooking, abundant time alone to get sorted and dance, intimate and sincere communion, long-distance running, writing and receiving letters, and making art by playing with new materials.
What advice do you have for emerging writers?
Focus on developing whatever makes your voice authentic.
Chekwube Danladi is the author of Semiotics (UGA Press, September 2020), selected by Evie Shockley as the winner of the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. From Lagos by way of West Baltimore, she currently lives in Chicago. www.codanladi.com
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