Here’s some context for you, courtesy the fine people of Lamplighter:
Lamplighter’s 2015 Artist Writer Mashup is featuring the illustrations of New Jersey artist Lauren Clarke. Each participating writer is paired with an illustration. Throughout the project, writers are given a series of prompts, contemplations, and questions. Each participating writer is to compose some work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry inspired by the illustration. Here are today’s questions:
- Who are you?
- What is your experience with writing?
- How did you find Lamplighter?
- What do you expect to accomplish while participating in the project?
My name is Maribeth Theroux. Tomorrow’s my birthday.
I don’t want to say, “I always knew I was a writer,” but, really it’s the only thing I ever knew for sure–even when I had never written anything of my own. Then, in high school, I wrote an extended epilogue to George Orwell’s 1984, dramatically titled, “The Love Child,” and that really clinched it. So I moved from Massachusetts to New York City, attended college, enrolled in a poetry course, felt confident going into it that, “I am not a poet,” and have proceeded to write poetry ever since. I also write one-act plays sometimes, including one that I performed as a one-woman show.
I found Lamplighter last year through editor-in-chief Patrick Boyle when we were both participating in the same Poetry Month project through the Found Poetry Review. I was living in New Jersey at the time, and the project called for us to use our local paper as source material for the found poetry prompts, so it was really cool to connect. I think we were both using the Star Ledger. I live in California now, but my heart is very much still in New Jersey.
I don’t have a lot of expectations for what this month and this challenge will bring. I’ve written two poems inspired by Lauren’s illustration so far, and I’m really enjoying the process. Because I’m drawing from the artwork, I find that I’m not worrying about approaching the poetry in ways that I normally do, which is liberating. Normally I use my own life as a jumping off point, so it’s interesting to use the artwork as the jumping off point. To that end, I guess I just hope that I continue to write all this month so that at the end I can really get a full experience!