Sensory Study: Monica Wendel
LOCATION: Kerouac House
College Park, FL
TIME: 10:30 AM
TEMPERATURE: 75 degrees
CONDITIONS: Light-dappled and breeezy
“Between Fairhope, Alabama and Ocala, Florida I drove away from the sun until no lights were left on the highway, just woods around the road…”
In her poem Brain Science, one hears the rhythm of driving. The hum of the tires. Monica Wendel’s keen sense of sounds and surroundings fuels her creative voice. Monica joined us last month at the Somewhere in the Suburbs Destination Journal location and is the current writer-in-residence at The Kerouac Project of Orlando.
So how does she use what she hears to hit our hearts, and has she noticed any new sounds in Florida?
” I try to get the sounds of the words to reflect the surroundings they’re describing. When I’m writing, word combinations and poems I’ve memorized just stick in my head, like others get songs stuck in their heads. Sounds I’ve noticed while in Florida are, of course, the car—a lot of driving happens here— and also birds. Bird chirps that I’ve never heard until now. Hearing them, noticing how unfamiliar they are, has been interesting. I’m wondering how they’ll make an appearance in my writing,” says Monica. During her residency, Monica’s writing schedule has shifted from a morning routine in Brooklyn, New York, to an evening one here in College Park. And she’s noticing the rain and thunder, which sometimes “shakes The Kerouac House during stormy evenings.”
This week, take a few moments to listen to the sounds in your car, on the subway, or on your porch. Experiment with their richness and rhythm in your Destination Journal.
Poetry lovers. Interested in receiving Monica’s new book, No Apocalypse? Simply share what inspires your creativity on the sensory front. I’ll be selecting one of your comments and mailing a copy of her book to that lucky reader! Comment by midnight Friday, May 24, 2013. — Thanks to all who participated and congratulations Alexandra. Your comment was selected—Monica’s book will be coming your way soon! Dina