I'm very glad you accepted to be interviewed.
First of all, I would like to ask you about your poetic work. When did you first realize you were writing a poem and what were you striving for? Do you think it was a conscious attempt to express definite feelings or was it mostly an instinctive gesture?
i kept diaries as a kid and by 14 i was writing poems, publishing at 18. i think i needed to write and express myself. i just heard words and sentences, i was very inspired by nature at first because i grew up in new york and it was not what my eyes wanted to look at.
What is “good poetry” for you? What kind of poetry do you like most or find akin to yours?
i am partial to experimental, cut up, language poetry, sound text poetry, digit, visual and video poetry also interest me, i like poetry mixed with other arts.
Has your poetry changed much over the years? Is there a unique, distinctive feature that all your poems share?
it's changed a lot. i no longer hear lines or poems. i write from dreams when i have them. i don't sit down and write nature or love poetry. i play with generators, cut up machines, google searches, sometimes mixing it with my own writing. it's a lot more experimental which amuses me. i sometimes laugh out loud while i'm writing.
How do you usually write a poem and what role do chance and mental association play opposed to rational thinking when writing? Do you aim to evocate material from the unconscious as surrealist and DADA artists sought to do in the twentieth century?
at this point it is all dada, surrealist, cut ups etc. i think i would have stopped writing if i just waited to hear poetry in my head anymore. every morning i look forward to playing with my machines.
To what extent are your poems examples of social and political criticism? Do you think poetry is an effective medium to express dissent?
i think that i work with social and political criticism indirectly. i use google searches and news feeds so those issues end up in there. i think it effective to express dissent but when things are really bad in the world it sometimes seems it's not enough.
Would you like to tell us a bit about your activity as a video and visual artist?
i have been doing visual art my whole life and have used poetry in collage (visual poetry) and as a caption for a drawing/painting and as titles. i really have not been able to choose between art forms so video is where it all comes together for me. i turned to video as a compromise because health problems keep me from readings, performances, rehearsals etc. it is how i keep dancing. i often use visual art, animations, poetry, speech synthesis, sound in my videos in one form or other. i sometimes have an issue i need to deal with but it is all somewhat improvisational. the video tells me what it's about and i listen. it no longer feels like a compromise, i love doing it. no one is telling me how to do my art, i'm not telling anyone what to do, it's portable.
hmmmm, looks like the usual mix of original writing mixed with who knows what. i see the comedy, the repetition, the musicality
I KNOW YOUR QUINOA MIRROR
the bread police drop their pain
historic ceo brakes, testify testify
police loot the curb
the baby is bad gifts
i know your quinoa mirror
your selfie baby, christ parked
and mixed your tapes while u
your typewriter is real, i know
they sold your girlfriend for the next fifteen years
go sing to the ball a big blue baby
i am a pb&j butcher, i have a squid tote bag
and bicycle rights
don't u realize it's forage?
they sold my girlfriend very down in the mirror
your organic fashion coos
u buy my garbage still
cross my baby baby baby baby
is a cold-press baby
try hard in your gluten free flannels
sold out, i can't cross my baby is all
i have $4 toast and thundercats
u are a mirror and i'm not helping
u are an exercise bag
throwaway baby, baby is not helping
mom has charms, she's big, bald and blue
u begin to cross the don't the don't the don't
ready made portland
Other links on Donna Kuhn:
http://picassogirl.tumblr.com (poetry pics and glitch gifs)
http://www.saatchionline.com/donnakuhn (visual art)