All posts by jessgigot

About jessgigot

essica Gigot, Ph.D, M.F.A, is a poet, farmer, teacher and musician. She has a small farm in Bow, WA called Harmony Fields that grows herbs, lamb and specialty produce. She also offers educational and art workshops through her Art in the Barn series. Jessica has lived in the Skagit Valley for over ten years and is deeply connected to the artistic and agricultural communities that coexist in the region. Her writing has been published in the Floating Bridge Press Review and Poetry Northwest and her first book of poems, Flood Patterns, will be published in 2015.

I did it!

National Poetry Month is coming to an end and I have finished my poetry marathon! Thank you all for your support.  I am including a link to the archived 30/30 poems.

IMG_3518This project was a good exercise for me in daily writing–it was harder than I thought and something that I aspire to continue. Lars (cat) and Fran (dog) have been my loyal writing companions, waking up with me in the early hours to write and watching the sun set with me for inspiration. How easy it is to let the daily tasks and concerns take over during the in-between time!

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With this space for daily writing, I have been surprised by the subjects that came up for me. In some instances I was influenced by current events, like the recent earthquake in Nepal, but I also found some deep memories surfacing as well as a lot of reflection on my pregnancy. I regularly found myself reaching out to the landscape around me and luckily it was very willing to answer back.

I can’t say that any of the poems are done.  They may end up as stanzas in other poems or totally rewritten.  The exercise of sharing these “rough drafts” daily was also a challenge for me.  I tend to be a perfectionist and this marathon was a helpful act of vulnerability. I appreciated hearing about the poems that my readers have liked and fielding the questions about the ones that were confusing.

Onward into May–thank you for reading!

30/30 almost halfway

My poetry marathon, otherwise known as the Tupelo 30/30 project, continues and day 15 out of 30 is rapidly approaching! I have enjoyed the rigor and discipline of writing every day and as this months goes on I am moving beyond a “get it done mentality” to really enjoying and digging into the process. Many thanks to the people supporting me along the way! I am close to exceeding my fundraising goal.

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Last weekend I was at the AWP conference in Minneapolis and I am proud of myself for continuing to create some new work amidst the fervor of words, conversation and ideas at that event. Over 12,000 people attended this year’s conference and it felt like it.  I was overwhelmed, exhausted, inspired and astounded by all the talent gathered in one place.

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Some new discoveries for me were fiction writer Bonnie Jo Campbell and poet Diane Seuss. Both women were featured on a panel called Hick Lit, which focused on writing from rural places.  I loved their readings and found their commentary on rural life both hilarious and relatable.  Some other new creative non-fiction finds for me were Seattle-area writer Elissa Washuta and Oregonian Lidia Yuknavitch.

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My list goes on and on as well as my moments of awe after seeing and hearing many of my favorite writers and poets.  Minneapolis has a vibrant literary scene and I enjoyed my weekend of Midwestern city life.

Back at the farm I am deciding on when to plant what where, but there are still more poems coming this month. Thanks for reading!

30/30 Week 1

The 30/30 project is underway and I am excited to be creating new work alongside such a talented group of poets. I hope that you have a chance to read through the daily posts and if you feel so moved support Tupelo Press.  I have some lovely letterpress versions of my poems, printed by the talented Jules Faye, to offer anyone that makes a donation to Tupelo Press in my name during this poetry marathon.

Writing daily is a constant goal of mine, but between teaching and the farm season sometimes weeks go by without a spare minute to collect my thoughts and get some words on the page. In this rich and rare interview with Mary Oliver, she confesses that she writes daily and always writes her poems by hand. I do keep a fairly regular journal and I go back and forth between writing by hand and the convenience of the computer. As long as I am writing I am content at this point. The 30/30 project is a great experiment in habitual writing–we will see where this month takes me!

Lars, our former barn kitty turned man of leisure, seems to crave my attention exactly as I find the time to sit at my desk to write.  Despite his antics, I am 5 for 5 with my poems and look forward to another week of new writing. Thank you for your support!

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