BWW Interview: Writer and Poet Dominique Venzella Woods
Dominique Venzella Woods has been a featured poetry reader at many of the Buffalo, N.Y. venues.
She discussed her writing, photography, sketching, painting and being around nature.
MCL: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
DVW: I nver thought about that or had anyone ask. Crazy, I guess, trapped in the upside down as the world keeps spinning, the female colored skin humanish being attempting to my experience like every other artist. Writing (multiple languages scattered throughout) photograph, sketch, paint sometimes, being around or in nature. I like darker areas of thought and view point. The modern world is crazy so why can't I be?
MCL: When did Poetry come into your life?
DVW: When my friend Ricky was hosting poetry night at Michael Mulley's College Street Gallery in Allentown. Artists that helped with providing positive and negative feedback to each other, sometimes just providing a free beer. Occasional late night punk show open mics in basements or attics, getting tricked into signing up after too much vodka.
MCL: Describe your Poetry style
DVW: Raw, rough, ugly, duality, honest, obsessive thoughts.
MCL: What Poets have influenced you and how?
DVW: Mostly local buffalo poets for showing others there is no need for censoring yourself for art and the strength to share their own highly personally works.
MCL: What motivates you to perform and share your work in front of an audience?
DVW: Booze. Just kidding. Kind of. But really just knowing I can be around people doing the same thing I am makes it a lot easier. I don't like performing in front of crowds, especially strangers. Being apart of something, a community helping each other by listening or observing their creations, is a nice feeling. Perhaps like "we're all victims here and life is sufferings and stuck on this same plane of existence!" but it's okay that we're weird and can express and share our art. Instruments, singers, poets, rappers, dancers, painters and builders, so much amazing art is made in Buffalo.
MCL: How has your Poetry changed in the last five years?
DVW: Probably just I over analyze more. I feel insane sometimes when I write, and try to control and overthink. It's a lot of pressure sometimes to write and want to make sure meanings is clear. Change happens, hopefully always for the better. I hope to start revising more as I have a bad habit of never re readings or writing work until after I present it once or twice.
MCL: What is the Buffalo, New York community like for you?
DVW: More beautiful and strange than I could have ever asked for. Downtown, Allentown and the elmwood strip are where I feel at home in Buffalo. All the art galleries, bars and food (many hosts open mic nights) shops, bars, and friendly bodega owners, it's so much to take in coming from living by corn, cow poop, and apple fields.
MCL: What's the hardest part of writing?
DVW: Staying on topic. I have anxiety and easily distracted. Poetry has so much freedom I tend to avoid structure or rhyme schemes. But sometimes a good Shakespearean formula is fun to play with.
MCL: What do you do to get past writer's block?
DVW: I stop writing until I feel like I know what I want to say. I can't force the insanity of thinking, trying to ride the waves as opposed to falling off a cliff.
MCL: Time to promote yourself ... What's coming up for you in 2017?
DVW: Hoping to be doing more readings, get involved with different poetry circles in allen and elmwood areas. Ideally making framed photography for Mulley at the Queen City Gallery in the CEPA building for first fridays. Infringement festival most likely.
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