Laura talks poetry and cyclocross in this video from The Vanilla Workshop. Video created by Field Theory Pictures.

Laura Winberry, Writer, Rider, Fool, Class of 2015

Picking her outfit out on the way to the party, since 1984.

Best Graduate Student Creative Writing Presentation, 2015 Association for the Studies of Literature & the Environment Conference

Laura Winberry—rider, writer—races cyclocross with Team Speedvagen. Via strand(ed) haikus, Laura is compiling a travelogue of her competitive biking adventures. “Punk rocker, gangster, dirt lover, master of creative writing, and queen of the streets,” Laura is also—when she’s not wrestling with muddy haikus—listed on LinkedIn’s Top-24 Creative Copywriter Profiles. Listen to Laura reading Ocean Vuong’s “Someday Ocean I’ll Love You” on Poetsound: Voice As Verb, where OSU-Cascades students read from their favorite poets, just ’cause.


If you could pick any two pop culture icons to blurb your first book, who would they be and why?

Jay Z, because he’s from back E and I know he’d use some sick internal rhyme scheme to blurb about my work, a lot of which erupts in syncopation and rhythm and beat, in cadence. Especially when I read it aloud. Because hip-hop is foundation, and because Jay makes comments like: When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow chops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch.

The other blurb would actually be a collaborative one written by Charlize Theron’s Mad Max character, Furiosa, and the hip-hop world’s Kendrick Lamar. Mostly because: feminism.

Laura WinberryIf you could pick any artist to do the cover of your first book, who and why?

I know he’s physically gone, but: Jean Michel Basquiat. His collaged works (which mostly include text) were often painted on found objects, including doors and windows. I’m a fan of using the “found” in the creative process. Plus, his aesthetic is dope. I’ve been an appreciator of his creations 4ever.

I might also choose Miranda July, because: Learning to Love You More.

If you could open (as a poet, yo!) for any musician/band, who and why?

Young Fathers! Without a doubt! Because they are huge proponents of the importance and place of platonic male affection within society! In large part, how we have (historically and societally) raised our “males,” on a whole, is greatly detrimental to the human species. Imagine that? Platonic male affection is also something I’m exploring in one of my (many) current and ongoing poetic projects.

Which writers/artists have most influenced you or inspired you before graduate studies AND after entering the MFA?

Procedurally speaking, a great deal of influence has stemmed from: collage poetics, music—rhythm, syncopation, beat, cadence, and sound—intertextual hinge, the Gurlesque, and smashed (compounded) words. Through my graduate studies, I have not only come to realize my connection to and reliance on the aforementioned, but also to explore and develop my sense of self as a poet within and through these contexts. Meaning, a la the poets Anne Carson and Susan Howe, the aim of my work and thus how I have come to form my contracts with it, has a great deal to do with being conscious of several things at once. There is beginning in a place of chaos and then reaching a place of creative order. There is aiming for useful and warranted fragmentation in order to allow the poem to break off leads into thoughts that simply cannot ever be comprehended. There is allowing the work to be a space of life, death, and change. And there is the trajectory of permission over curation.

Using Twitter guidelines (140 characters or less) describe your favorite moment from our biannual residencies at Caldera Arts.

TC led us through an exercise in compositional improvisation: tears, howls, laughter, leaving the body. The whole of it has stayed with me.

How can you get on Laura’s Glam Train?

Laura talks about her writing and creative endeavors on Art’s Cyclery blog.

Laura makes—art, creative copy, and more—for snow on her website.

Laura races: for Team Speedvagen.

Follow Laura’s writing and riding adventures on Instagram.

 

Laura Winberry—rider, writer—races cyclocross with Team Speedvagen. Via strand(ed) haikus, Laura is compiling a travelogue of her competitive biking adventures. “Punk rocker, gangster, dirt lover, master of creative writing, and queen of the streets,” Laura is also—when she’s not wrestling with muddy haikus—listed on LinkedIn’s Top-24 Creative Copywriter Profiles. Listen to Laura reading Ocean Vuong’s “Someday Ocean I’ll Love You” on Poetsound: Voice As Verb, where OSU-Cascades students read from their favorite poets, just 'cause.