Poet, performer, DJ, and educator Logan Phillips answers our questions about being the Library's Summer 2018 Writer in Residence. Enjoy these poems from Logan's first full-length book, Sonoran Strange, then book your appointment to get writing today.
Plus, don't miss him at this year's MegaMania!!
Saturday, July 14 from 1–5 pm at Pima Community College Downtown
1 pm - CC255
Slam Poetry with poet and performer Logan Philips
Learn to write and perform poetry with our Writer-in-Residence.
3 pm - CC251
What should I read next?
Poet and Writer-in-Residence Logan Phillips, YA author Janni Lee Simner, scholar and comic book author Lee Francis, and librarian Maureen Kearney share some of their favorite reads with you, and invite you to do the same.
What do you love most about the Library?
I’m the kid of a public school teacher, so every summer we spent tons of time in the public library. The Sierra Vista Public Library was the closest to where we lived. Through books I could escape the small town and feed my hungry mind. Without my parents, the library, and the love of books fostered in me, I wonder if I ever would’ve became a writer.
Oh libraries are the coolest. From the perspective of my writing spot, I get to watch the thriving community that fills the space all day. The computers, the programs, the books, the librarians, the air conditioning, the classes–– all such vital tools to encourage learning and increase access to opportunity in our community. In a world where there are ever fewer public, non-commercial spaces, libraries are more important now than ever. I’m reminded of how every time I go to the post office (another public space), folks hold the door for each other almost without fail. In that small gesture I see the seed of the civic, and it seems to me that democracy depends on actions of common care, of which I see other examples all day long at the libraries.
Why did you agree to take on this role? Why do you think the program is important?
I think my experience is similar to that of many writers––time and space are two of the most precious resources needed to produce work. In my case, I’m a parent to twin three year-olds, so quiet time in my home office is well, not so quiet!
Even after writing and performing professionally since 2008 or so, I’m still surprised by just how needy poems are, how much time and space they require before they truly become themselves. So all that is to say I’m thrilled to be locked in a fluorescent box for many hours several days a week, ha! It’s a gift that I’m humbled to receive and I hope to reciprocate with all these new poems, which are happening slowly but steadily.
From a wider perspective, I hope the program is a benefit to the community insofar as I’m able to demystify the work of the writer–– it’s a practice that’s available to all of us. You don’t need to be a writer in order to write. The creative practice is inherently rewarding, no stage or publisher required. That said, it does help to have a creative community, or at least a trusted reader that one can turn to for perspective, ideas and inspiration. I aspire to be a source of encouragement for folks who bring their writing in to me, regardless of what they’d like to do with it in the end.
What have you enjoyed the most in your residency so far?
From the community I’ve been reminded of the diversity of creativity that we have. So many kinds of people, so many kinds of writing. It’s been cool to listen and help where I can, I’m excited by it. I’ve also been reminded by how much more alive I personally feel when I’m reading a couple books a month and grappling with these poems. It’s been a few years since I finished work on Sonoran Strange, and there’s been a re-learning process on what it takes to flesh out a manuscript, especially since these new poems are so different.