This blog is definitely a little dusty over here at Book Dust. Since my Bread Loaf 2013 experience, I’ve been diving into the deep end of the lap pool that is my writing, completing a grueling 30:30 with some amazing writers (Phillip B. Williams, Nathan McClain, Aricka Foreman, Keith Wilson, Steven Kleinman, and Diana Khoi Nguyen in spirit), diving head first into revision, and actually sending out my manuscript with reckless abandon despite the rejections that continued to pour in. I’ve had some successes but in the invariable up and down that is the submission process, I continue to work on my new collection. The differences in me and my writing pre- and post- Bread Loaf are glaring to say the least. I’ve met some quality poets who have been honest enough to teach me things about myself in every conversation.
And then there are the days when my two worlds (hair vs. poetry) collide and yield a remarkably fun and artistic result. Recently, for my job with Bumble, I hosted around 80 attendees at an event in the up and coming neighborhood of Brookland in DC. In doing so, I ran into a photographer who was kind enough to volunteer his services to document this inspirational hair event. He did great work and it seems the experience released a bit of his own creative spirit. He began brainstorming about doing a collaborative series where he documents the artistic process of artists. I knew it was a stretch to photograph a poet without seeming to cliche or expected in the portrayal (writer bangs head against wall, writer drowns in vodka, etc.), but we decided to give it a go. We both knew the collaboration could blow up in our pretty little faces but in we went.
Moe Nazemi is a professional delight to work with. He made this silly girl feel very comfortable in front of the lens, and he was patient as I giggled and laughed and screamed in between serious shots because I felt so darn uncomfortable being “serious.” Before the shoot, we got creative with research looking at shots we admired like those by Sally Mann and started getting creative with the shoot. It was literally an artistic collaboration, which was very refreshing for this poet who was beginning to fall down her own rabbit hole of revision. Moe and I decided I would work on a piece that I was revising during the entire shoot. We wanted the “working” shots to remain authentic and hopefully catch me and my many grumbly faces during my process.
He came the day of the shoot with an idea. This one idea he had yielded the most creative, fun, and artistic shot of the day. The photo below showcases his creativity, his photography skills, and his ability to capture emotion in one image. Additionally, he managed to change how I will forever look at my front room. I am now completely creeped out by myself. Case in point:
Then we tried a series, where we took words form the poem I was revising the whole shoot and wrote them on a backdrop. Here’s the result:
And then, to finish, the wonderful Moe helped me acquire some head shots.
I did something out of my comfort zone. I collaborated in ways I didn’t expect would propel the work forward. I finally finished the revision of that damn poem that was haunting me. I learned something new about myself (I’m really uncomfortable in front of the camera), and I met a talented photographer who I cannot begin to give enough credit to. If you need a photographer for head shots, events, artistic collaborations, weddings, or whatever you want to capture, Moe Nazemi Photography is the real deal. He has a lot of creativity in that head of his, and this collaboration has spurred creativity in me, for my work and for the next photo shoot with Moe!