Creative Writing

Things We Carry: Jerakah Greene

Things We Carry is a series of short interviews with current students, faculty, and alumni of the Creative Writing Program. These conversations are interested in the tactile elements of writing: what do we hold essential? What tools do we need in order to create? The things we find essential to our writing process reflect our beliefs about craft and process.

This week, we were delighted to hear from writer and current New School student, Jerakah Greene.

Where & when are you writing these days?

I usually get home from work around 9 these days, so I do a lot of writing in bed with my cat, Roz!

Ideally, I’d do all of my writing under a big walnut tree back in Oklahoma. I think I’m at my most creative when I’m outside, when it’s warm, and when I can hear running water. Right now, the closest thing I have is my cat’s water fountain.

Do you have any tools or tokens that are essential to your writing?

I always need a beverage and some music while I’m writing. I’ve been really into drinking things out of goblets lately, so give me a goblet and a playlist and I can get some writing done. These days I’m listening to a lot of Descendents, Willi Carlisle, and old country.

Pen and paper, laptop and wifi, or a combination?

Laptop and wifi for sure. I journal a lot to drum up new ideas, but every time I start journaling it ends up as a rant about all the things in the world that piss me off. My laptop feels less personal, less inviting, so I can remove myself from the equation and just write.

Do you have any habits or rituals that help you get grounded before you start writing?

I usually spend a good 10 minutes picking a playlist before I get settled into a writing groove. Then I’ll decide I need a snack, and then a drink, and then some lotion, etc. Really any excuse to delay the writing process, ha!

You have been given a backpack and are being sent to a deserted island for thirty days of uninterrupted writing time. What do you put in the backpack?

A DVD box set of the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings, The Meat and Spirit Plan by Selah Saterstrom (one of my favorite books of all time), flavor-blasted Goldfish, and honestly? A case of beer.

Are there any words or quotes that you find essential to your writing practice?

“The road goes on forever and the party never ends.” – Robert Earl Keen

Jerakah Greene is a fiction writer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their work can be found in Crabfat Magazine, Impossible Archetype, the F(r)iction Log, and Hair Trigger. Jerakah was a Best of the Net and two time Pushcart Prize nominee in 2019, and a PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow in 2021. Currently, Jerakah is pursuing their MFA in fiction at The New School, where they are the assistant fiction editor of LIT.

Things We Carry is an interview series curated by Stuart Pennebaker.

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