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Swimmers Club

The pioneers of aviation were never lonely

Friday, March 2, 2018


Who: Rose Knapp
Where: Los Angeles, USA
What: Writer, Musician

Can you tell us a bit about a few of the things that influenced you to become a person who writes things for publication?

This a long answer, but I touch on some issues I find important to comment within literary culture. I’ve always had a deep interest in language both individualistically as a serious writer and collectively as someone very interested in the future developments of literary cultures. Both in constantly experimenting with it, twisting it, caressing it, on the rare occasion hating it and inevitably warming back up to it, forming the always present New.

I have very little interest in what I see as the common division, yet over-simplistic false dichotomy made within some literary circles of endlessly placing writers into ‘real’ or ‘amateurs’ and publishing endless how-to articles describing how to attain said ‘realness’ while avoiding characteristics of so-called ‘amateurs.’ Advice to fellow writers is one thing but it seems endemic. The definitions are also so ill-defined, this is a tangent but it’s almost become a sort of self-help genre which all offer different opinions. Just getting more clicks sells ad revenue I suppose yet it often seems these completely arbitrary guides are almost taken as serious as the mass market self-help books. Defining a bad writer essentially as ones who write with little to no desire of pursuing publication for their work. Reducing everyone who writes poetry or novels without caring about receiving public accolades to a teenage diarist is absurd. Many so-called canonical writers would earn the amateur label today. The practice could be an effect of the relatively new phenomenon of the poet-as-academic, poets as a more coherent social class with more social status than historically afforded poets, Romanticized notions of the impoverished artist as the ideal can be harmful but so can the view that only academic poets are the ‘real’ poets.

I grew up in a conducive family environment in a relatively well-to-do area of Minneapolis that encouraged openness and free-expression of thought. My father was a philosophy professor so I’m sure that influenced me and how related personal beliefs are to artistic process. It also gave me the increasingly rare luxury of studying at university in America and graduated without a mountain of debt. I find the often cited Scandinavian stereotype for allowing just about any kind of free cultural expression, no matter how obscene or bizarre largely true and beneficial in pluralistic societies. Of course, you could argue that this pluralistic openness only works within homogeneous mono-cultures, although I tend to disagree. I’ve traveled widely and lived in very different areas of the country, have been to most of the areas and countries of the world I’ve desired to visit. I find traveling beneficial to openness and creativity even if it’s not across continents. I graduated with a degree in philosophy and religious studies and so I find a certain criticality is often present in my work more than most other writers, which can be a double-edged sword depending on whether you enjoy blending notions of art critic and artist to an extent.

I often ask why does anybody decide to commit a large part of themselves to writing down at least part of a literary culture or subculture, or even just record their own individualist time here? Regardless, I personally choose to write and produce electronic music quite simply because I’ve found them to be among the main things that I truly ‘love,’ [for lack of a more accurate word] doing, as cliché as it might sound and with an English word with so many possible connotative meanings. Perhaps if I had to define in a quick sketch of my own poetics and being brutally honest I tend to take a pretty Egotist point of view when it comes to viewing most artists justifications for why they ‘do’ what they do, from a more detached philosophical/poetics standpoint. You can argue against it with arguments for art as politics [art as ‘justice,’ however that’s defined], yet the Egoist can always reply that from a psychological individualist point of view all approaches to art mainly as justice, gradually bringing about utopia, could be seen as fulfilling the artist’s personal need for feeling moral etc. I empathize with this political approach and maybe a majority of most art created is done for the sake of altruism. I’m not against altruistic art, but it is difficult to argue against the view that all altruism can be considered Hedonistic, Narcissistic, or Egotistical in some fashion, or maybe it’s simply my lifelong obsession with aesthetics.

Can you tell us a little bit about your most recently published book? It’s style and what influenced it, etc?  Their definitely seemed concerned with making a new and interesting syntax, for instance?

It’s my first full-length collection to be published so a first-full length always special. All of my poetry is heavily influenced by Dadaist notions of abandoning traditional lyric poetry’s’ notions of gradually pacing until the reader reaches some sort of memorable climatic line near the end. I have a chapbook previously published with Hesterglock Press and when comparing the styles of the two I would say that my chapbook is slightly more traditional in its’ use of line, metre, and pacing whereas this collection is more Dadaist in its’ use of fragmentation and juxtapositions while the collection overall still makes use of narrative to an extent. Many of the poems in this collection were written while I was living in New York City, which was a particularly challenging period in my life but also contained many beautiful moments that I hopefully captured in the book as well.

What are you currently working on?

I have my second full-length collection being published later this year and my third will be published in early 2019 so I’m excited for those to be released. I also have a full length electronic album and several EP’s being released this year as well.

Swimmers Club has a focus on the state of independent culture at the moment (anything from independent presses, record labels, even coffee shops, etc). What are you opinions on the state of independent culture today?

I’ve already talked a lot about this but I will say briefly that with the seemingly ever-increasing influence and presence of corporations and the digital pressure of the power of data algorithms attempting to homogenize all aspects of life, independent culture is more important than ever.

Finally, can you swim?

I actually can swim really well, I was forced to take all the classes, I just don’t really enjoy it since I see it sort of analogous to running around a track endlessly.

Metempoiesis (Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experimental) by Rose Knapp is available to buy here:

Municipal Pool

Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.