Anne Malin – who as well as being a published writer and poet it also a musician – loves tap dancing, yoga, weekend trips to Chicago (jealous, us…?) and ‘causing a ruckus with my delightful friends’.
‘I’m really hard on myself, so if I put anything out there, it better be good,’ says Anne Malin of her work. ‘I’m known for embarrassing myself, particularly with premature publishing endeavours – but behind that, though, I think my desire to ‘make it’ is burning.’
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m currently deep in poetry with a Singaporean online magazine called OF ZOOS; its contributors were invited to participate in a summer workshop. I’ve been published in Scholastic’s The Best Teen Writing of 2011, as well as winning Quiksilver’s Summer Stories contest for poetry. I’ve also been published in Hollins University’s spring 2012 issue of Cargoes. This week, I’ve sent out a handful of new poems to select magazines, as well as two short stories entitled Babies and Preserving the Body.
In addition to poetry and fiction, I released a CD entitled Vessel (my recording name is Anne Malin) through CD Baby and on iTunes, Amazon.com and Spotify early this spring. I sing and play guitar, cello and tambourine, though only my vocals and guitar work are featured on the album. I also wrote all of the songs.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by an array of things. Some specific examples would include Balmain, Tom Ford, Louise Bourgeois artwork, the first arrondissement in Paris, the Christianity tradition and practice . . . and then more generally, I’m inspired by senses, phenomenons–the real grit of life. I love the ephemeral, the eternal, and how ‘blind faith’ (as pegged by a dear friend from Columbus, OH) plays into effect for both. Very visceral emotions and sensations also inspire me. Pain itself is a fascinating concept, the way it can toy with the body and mind. For me, when I’m creating any kind of art, I am possessed by whatever is trying to express itself through me. I’m a vessel. And through that, not only do I do my best to portray quiet phenomenons–I also discover things about myself and the world I inhabit.
What is your favourite piece of work you have created?
As far as writing goes, I’m incredibly excited about my short story entitled Babies. I worked on it with my spring workshop mentor, Sarah Cornwell, who totally shaped my love of writing fiction. Babies is a dark piece, but it contains some humor, and (I hope) really got at the gut of human insecurity. The main character has a terrible problem where she can only love and nurture things that can’t love her back: an abusive male, a heterosexual female, horseshoe crabs in a North Carolina aquarium… I’ve sent it out for publication, so we shall see.
With music, I’m most proud of two songs on my CD called Lavender and Armageddon Heart. I think, structurally and lyrically, they are the best songs I’ve written yet.
Finally, I’m working on a huge collaboration with a composer, a DJ (for lack of a better word), two female opera vocalists, one male contemporary dancer, and two visual artists who are making an art film to be projected during the performance. The event is to take place in December, and it is the revolution of four poems I wrote this year into a four-part opera. I’m hoping to get two peers to parade around with orange slices on silver platters just to mess with people. And, oranges are cool.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
For fiction, I really admire Denis Johnson’s book Jesus’s Son. The most meaningful short story I’ve read, though, is by Amy Hempel, called In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried. The mentor I mentioned in the ‘favorites’ bit showed me Johnson’s collection and the Hempel story. Needless to say, I wouldn’t be where I’m at had I not read them.
For poetry, I ADORE Frank O’Hara. And my all-time favorite poem is The Visionary by Emily Bronte.
For music, I couldn’t say. I’m influenced by classical music a lot, though that doesn’t translate to my own work. I’m also inspired by Jeff Buckley, PJ Harvey and Anna Calvi (the latter two being newer, cinematic rock musicans), and I wouldn’t say hints of their style can be heard in Vessel, but I hope my next CD takes a grungy, glamorous turn.