Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Where Writers Write: Kathe Koja

Welcome to another installment of TNBBC's Where Writers Write!

Where Writers Write is a weekly series that will feature a different author every Wednesday as they showcase their writing spaces using short form essay, photos, and/or video. As a lover of books and all of the hard work that goes into creating them, I thought it would be fun to see where some of TNBBC's favorite authors roll up their sleeves and make the magic happens.

Photo by Rick Lieder

This is Kathe Koja, writer and Detroit native.  She has written 15 books including THE CIPHER, SKIN, BUDDHA BOY, TALK, HEADLONG, UNDER THE POPPY - which I recently reviewed and loved! - and its sequel, THE MERCURY WALTZ (forthcoming in 2013). UNDER THE POPPY has been adapted for immersive performance. 

Kathe, as you will see below, has acquired many writing spaces that influence her and her stories. Come, take a peek...

Where Kathe Writes : The Appropriate Landscape 

Where do I write? Many places.

In Detroit, a city like no other city, alive to its own struggle, a landscape historic and beautifully fierce.

At my desk, an old-school schoolteacher's desk, seven drawers, two pull-out leaves, scratched golden varnish, nearly a lifetime's worth of work produced here - this desk and I have been together since I was eleven years old. When I'm here, with research books, research piles, and the all-important scraps of paper, my mind knows that I'm home, and ready to work. Music's playing, always, on an iPod, the playlist chosen to suit whatever's being written, to energize it and goose it into the world.

In a visualized past, a dark and passionate Victorian world of true love and foul deeds, upon which modernity is encroaching, as modernity will; a heartbreak brothel, an opulent townhouse, Under the Poppy which itself encroaches on modernity, finding itself remade by actors as the story is remade, rewritten, in lines of dialogue and notebook scratchings. 

In new venues all the time, this time a garden folly, a landscape of gorgeous green where a modern fable, aided by Elizabethans and scored with a tango, will make its debut as a commissioned piece later this year.

Where do I write? At the desk and keyboard. In a spiral notebook. Listening to actors speak. Watching the sun find its way into another day, or out of it. Everywhere my eyes see and my brain goes, grateful for every turn on the way.  

Be sure to check back next week when we discover where the magic happens for author David Maine!

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