Jabberwalking with Juan Felipe Herrera



From the Library of
Congress in Washington DC. And, as in
uffish thought he stood, The Jabberwock, with eyes
of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came! -The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol >>Juann Felipe Herrera:
I want to talk to you about Jabberalking. It's a brand-new
book I just put out. It all comes from I
wanted to write a book where I could teach others
how to write the way I write. And I figured I do very basic
things, for me, very basic. I scribble, I walk and write. I'm very visual. I used giant sheets of paper,
little tiny sheets of paper. The pens are big
and the crayons, they feel excellent in my hands. The newspapers are exciting because there's things
on the newspapers. Then I use fountains
pens, Japanese quills, an assortment of colors. Jabberwock, with
eyes of flame, Came whiffling through the tulgey
wood, and it's burbling as it's moving through it. Because then the writer has
eyes of flame as it moves through her environment
and burbles in that human movement-which
is expressing ourselves, which is writing. So Jabberwalker is always
moving, is always noticing, is always observing, and is always participating
in the larger group. When we got to the
open space on the top floor, and all the beauty-sculptures,
marble, different kinds of marble, mythological
figures, names of disciplines, philosophy art, Jefferson's
Library. So much detail, so much
knowledge, so much taking in for the Jabberwalker. And then we went
downstairs, to the tunnels. It just had things and pipes
and maybe two or three colors. I thought that was just
an amazing contrast. It went from scribbles, doodles,
walking, moving, screaming, experimenting, to an
amazing experience and collection of material. And then it morphed into
a mural and a mosaic. And that's the beauty of
Jabberwalking that you can go through an alley or a street
that you go through every day and maybe you notice
something and maybe you don't. For the Jabberwalker,
you notice things that maybe you didn't
notice before and that's what poetry is. >>Student: Darker
darker, brighter brighter, Some sense of things getting
lighter Flowing pipes, dirty stairwell Cellar deep, chairs all stacked Lighthouse
lights, doors to the end >>Juann Felipe Herrera:
So I encourage you to be professional
Jabberwalkers. Moving, being creative,
taking in what's going on. Pipes and birds and trees
and bark and little dogs and a baby crying
and a baby laughing and the leaf falling down,
slowing in front of you, and a feather floating by. And you will go "Oh! I can't believe it! That feather was amazing! I want to write a
poem about it!" And then you do that. That's Jabberwalking, full of
inspiration, just like you. >> This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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