For Morri Creech, writing poetry is how he makes sense of an often chaotic world. Of all places, he fell in love with this expressive form of writing while studying at a technical college. He switched gears from an occupational degree and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English from Winthrop University. In 1998, he received an M.F.A. in creative writing from McNeese State University. Currently, he’s an assistant professor of English, drama and creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte. The award-winning writer will release his third book of poetry, “The Sleep of Reason,” in 2013.
Q. When did you first start writing poetry? I wrote a lot of stories as a kid and I always liked language, but I didn’t become a poet until I was 19. I went to technical college in Charleston and was trying to get a vocational degree. I took a poetry class when I was in technical school and it turned me around. I fell in love with poetry.
Q. What do you like about poetry compared to other writing forms? Poetry is compressed, succinct and very sensual. Unlike prose, it really plays with the shadows and ambiguities of the words themselves. Etymology, connotation and all of those things are coalescing. It’s more expressive than prose for me.
Q. How do you come up with ideas? I like to sit down with no notes and no idea at all of what I want to say. I don’t like to know what I’m working out when I sit down. I like to find out on the first draft what my unconscious mind is preoccupied with. Once those images and those lines come, it’s a matter of shaping the piece and finding the form that it wants to be.
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Q. What’s your process? My composition process is me sitting in front of a piece of paper or computer for several hours writing two or three words and then erasing them. Other times something comes to me and I get right into it. I tend to work spontaneously. I will look and rake through the refuse of my brain to find what I’m attached to. Once that happens, I’m on a roll.
Q. What can people expect from “The Sleep of Reason”? The poems are, in terms of what I’ve done before, much more contemporary. Poems can be either very personal or very formal. They deal with the anxieties, fears and joys of living in the moment.