For many publications, poets are interviewed in a journalistic, narrative fashion, even when being interviewed by another poet. During the Poet to Poet series, we are turning that notion on its head, interviewing Minnesota poets from diverse communities in the forms they work in the most. This week we’re interviewing Wendy Brown-Báez.
Wendy Brown-Báez is a writer, teacher, performance poet and installation artist. Wendy is the author of a poetry CD Longing for Home, a full-length collection Ceremonies of the Spirit (Plain View Press, 2009) and a chapbook transparencies of light (Finishing Line Press, 2011). She has published both poetry and prose in numerous literary journals.
Wendy has facilitated writing workshops since 1994 and received 2008 and 2009 McKnight grants through COMPAS Community Art Program to teach writing workshops for youth in crisis. Wendy received a 2012 Minnesota State Art Board Artist Initiative grant to bring workshops into non-profits and has workshops begun or planned with The Bridge for Youth, Well With, Pathways, Shingle Creek Commons, and Saint Paul Almanac.
As a performance poet she has given performances internationally in cafes, bars, galleries, bookstores, cabarets, cultural centers, peace centers, writers groups, art festivals, women’s retreats, and private homes, solo and in collaborations. Wendy studied alternative healing, ceremony, and spiritual traditions with Earthwalks for Health and lived in Mexico and Israel. You can learn more about her at http://www.wendybrownbaez.com/
Hearing eternity requires exceptional insight, soul.
Years organizing, undulating, riverine,
Sing, examples caught rising, educating tomorrows,
Meandering explorer, speak: Should a girl endure?
You must learn one thing:
Surrender to grace.
Home for a moment, this pilgrim
weaves memories into one vivid
cloth, her feet blistered and sore but her
mouth filled with sweets.
Why encounter new doors yonder,
Between rivers of wonder, nature,
Browsing, appreciating earthwalks zestfully?
Sometimes the world is achingly beautiful.
Sometimes love takes me to my knees on earth
smelling my hands after they have touched river water,
wind in my hair, dancing yellow tulips, sunfire roses,
blessing blessing blessing
Proceeding on extended travels adventurous,
Lingering unusual news accompanying
Transparencies of light, ceremonies of spirit,
Maybe, soon, another book?
We are connected, words the way we step
out over the abyss of being solitary to be
held in a web of light. The book of Secrets
longs for a home, wants to be savored,
dreams of a bent cover under your warm hands.
Every action changes hearths.
Each view engages
These humorous esoteric rites examined,
Nights ever wondering:
Keep names of what is now gleaming?
This is the path to knowing
or perhaps becoming a holy fool:
chant verses fingered and skeined,
draw slowly through loops of silk,
press the pen to your wrist and bleed ink,
trace a story in the sky with
the smoke of your sacrifice,
abandon yourself to the illumination
Finality inconveniences nations and learning:
If nothing questioned understands, interprets, remembers yet
Now opens ways, the heart asks: Notions, knowingly savored?
The portents are engraved on
our breath. The stories are asking
to be told. The bard is transported by an urgency
to weave, to keen, to celebrate, to explore.
To enter the cave of mystery
takes courage and the light of your
own candled soul.