The Unexpected Shape

The Blog of Esmé Wang

Esmé Weijun Wang
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art of creativity

Art, obsession, and bravery in writing: an interview with Jessica Piazza.

Art, obsession, and bravery in writing: an interview with Jessica Piazza.

A section of my mini-program, Where’s the Electricity?, consists of an interview with award-winning poet Jessica Piazza in which we talk about creative obsessions, and how they influenced Piazza’s poems in her collection Interrobang. Here I’m printing a different version of the interview, which covers art and obsession, the politics of poetry contests, and what […]

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How to get creatively unstuck.

How to get creatively unstuck.

Criminy, am I excited. If you’re able to watch the video, I recommend that you watch the video. (This is a rare chance for me to get to speak to you face-to-face. However, if you need, or prefer, a transcript, I’m providing the text of this below.) I’m so pleased to tell you that Where’s […]

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Infusing magic with a daily ritual.

Infusing magic with a daily ritual.

Implementing your own ritual, to my mind, involves careful thought and deliberation. Listen to me read the below here:   I wake in the very early hours, anywhere between 2:30AM and 4AM. The sky is black as pitch. The house is silent but for the sounds of my pack breathing. What differentiates habit or routine […]

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How to be productive while living with chronic illness (or any sort of unpredictable life situation): Part II

How to be productive while living with chronic illness (or any sort of unpredictable life situation): Part II

Find Part I of this article here. We all have different definitions of what is productive, and “what is productive” tends to be “whatever we imagine someone who is doing more than we are is doing.” Listen to me read the below here:  [Purchase this print] Having introduced y’all to my systems and processes in Part I […]

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I was in solitude for a month in Nebraska, & this is what I learned. (It’s not what you think.)

I was in solitude for a month in Nebraska, & this is what I learned. (It’s not what you think.)

As many of you know, I was in Nebraska for a month, living and writing at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center of the Arts. Listen to me read the below here:   A brief note: I know that some of you may have been waiting for Part II of my mini-essay about remaining productive while living […]

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Other people’s success: on artistic jealousy.

Other people’s success: on artistic jealousy.

I wish so many of us didn’t feel that saintliness was somehow compulsory when it comes to jealousy and our artistic careers.   I’m fortunate enough to live, despite not being in New York, in a city where I have access to a community of writers I can call my own. Most of this particular […]

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A starring role that fits: on remembering who you are

A starring role that fits: on remembering who you are

I’m a writer. I say this on my website; I claim the identity for myself because of what I’ve studied, what I’ve accomplished, what I do, and because of how it belongs in my being. But participating in this conference is going to be, I suspect, a different experience entirely. Listen to me read this […]

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Two important ingredients for creative discovery.

Two important ingredients for creative discovery.

It’s looking closely, becoming entranced, and developing obsessions that leads us down the road to discovery. Listen to me read this piece here:   When you look closely at anything familiar, it kind of transmogrifies into something unfamiliar — the sort of cognitive version of saying your name again and again and again, or a word […]

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Writing, & the waiting game.

Writing, & the waiting game.

I realized today that my first book has now been out to publishers for over two years, which is an unthinkably long time to my writerly peers — most of whom had their first books picked up in under a week, or even under two days. Listen to me read this piece here:   On […]

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