Friday, March 11, 2022

On Writing #179 : Maw Shein Win

On Writing Thought Logs



I started writing thought logs in August of 2020.

A response to the isolation, the scatter of my mind.

Dreams & nightmares, observations, random thoughts.

Through these pandemic times, I find the process of writing thought logs a source of relief, comfort.

Word lists, juxtapositions, found language.

Each thought log has 16 lines.

Four of the lines have patterns of three: Fish death, coiffed leaders, splash cellar.

Sometimes a question: How can we propel you?

A fragment: Places with the highest daily reported cases per capita.

Observation: They colorcoded their bookshelves for social media consumption.

Instruction: Check the field notes before entering the rodeo.

Feeling: When I get nervous on Zoom, I start a conversation about hair.

Mantra: Life can’t kill my rainbow.

Listmaking, highlighting, selecting.

I write by hand, later, I transpose.

Thank you for asking, rob mclennan.





Maw Shein Win’s recent poetry book is Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn) nominated for the Northern California Book Award in Poetry, long-listed for the PEN America Open Book Award, and short-listed for the California Independent Booksellers Alliance’s Golden Poppy Award for Poetry. D.A. Powell wrote of it, “Poetry has long been a vessel, a container of history, emotion, perceptions, keepsakes.…These poems are portals to other worlds and to our own, a space in which one sees and one is seen. A marvelous, timely, and resilient book.” Maw Shein Win's previous collections include Invisible Gifts, Poems (Manic D Press); her chapbooks include Ruins of a glittering palace (SPA/ Commonwealth Projects) and Score and Bone (Nomadic Press). She is the inaugural poet laureate of El Cerrito (2016-2018). Win often collaborates with visual artists, musicians, and other writers and was a Spring 2021 ARC Poetry Fellow at UC Berkeley.