Jacob Fowler (he/him/his), whose poem ‘The boy who knows all the park birds by name’ is published in issue 5 of Lucent Dreaming, is an elementary school teacher living in Oakland, CA. He recently graduated from Pitzer College with a BA in World Literature. His work has appeared in Barren Magazine, Selcouth Station, Soft Cartel, and The Sunlight Press, among others.
So, what inspired your piece ‘The boy who knows all the park birds by name’ and how did it find its way to Lucent Dreaming?
When writing this piece I was thinking about the relationship between language and memory. How at times we have access to memory but not to the language to explain it, or we have language without a context and how frustrating that can be.
This piece found its way to Lucent Dreaming because it was kind of a half poem/chunk of prose text. I felt like it needed a weird, accepting home and Lucent Dreaming was exactly that!
What does writing and art mean to you?
Writing is a way of exploring one’s environment and the relationships that exist in that environment. It’s a way of trying to uncover things often inexplicable to ourselves.
It’s also fun! I look forward to when I get home from work and can just sit and write for a little bit.
What are you most excited about right now and what writing/creative projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on poems about environmental catastrophe. I also am working on an essay exploring the influence of European Surrealism on American ecopoetics which has led me to some very interesting reading.
Tell us about some of your favourite books or art you’ve experienced – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
Cenzontle by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a recent book of poetry which I definitely consider one of my all time favorites. The way that Hernandez Castillo can be so metaphorical yet precise, distant yet intimate is stunning and it is exactly the quality I’m looking for in my own poetry.
Other current contemporary greats that I find myself returning to again and again are Tongo Eisen-Martin, Jericho Brown, and Layli Long Soldier.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
My most recent publication can be found on the Sunlight Press website and people can follow me on Twitter at @jacobafowler.