Today’s guest on “What Are You Writing?” Friday is Chase Streetman! Chase is a senior Sociology major with minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Interpersonal Relations here at BSU.
So tell me about your writing style. Which genres do you prefer to write in and why?
The main thing that I write is slam poetry. I’m very drawn to the nature of that kind of poetry because it can be delivered so terribly differently every single time I perform it. For example, my piece “Roy Sullivan has been Struck by Lightning Seven Times” can feel so terribly different if I come at it from a place of bitterness or anger or sadness, and that uniqueness is so fascinating to me. In the same vein, I’ve rarely felt so much accomplishment from my writing as when someone comes up to me after a performance to tell me how I made them cry or how I broadened their perspectives. To be able to see the immediate effect of my work, and to make someone feel the same way that the subject matter made me feel is such a magical thing. That’s really what it comes down to, I suppose; the fleeting nature of slam performances gives the whole thing a certain amount of wonder to me.
Has any of your work been published yet? When are you hoping to get published?
I had one poem published my freshman year in The Odyssey, the art and literature magazine of the Honors College. I recently submitted a few of my poems to The Broken Plate, and it would be nice to see my work there as well. If I’m allowed to really fantasize, I would adore to be published through a group like Button Poetry. I don’t know what I would do if my work was highlighted alongside books like The Crown Ain’t Worth Much or St. Trigger.
What does writing do for you? What do you get out of it?
To me, writing is a way of processing something, and performance is a way of solidifying and sharing that process. I like to think that if someone sees a piece of my work they don’t just see how I felt at some point in my life, but that they can also see how I fought through that instance. To be able to take everything in my world that I deal with and condense it into three minutes of manageable, if strong, emotion makes the whole world seem so much less intimidating.
What projects are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on two pieces that aren’t in any state to even share an excerpt from.
The first piece is inspired by the Pulse shootings. I started it on the same break at work that I heard about the shooting, which was barely an hour after the event actually happened. I set it to the side for a while because it felt too emotional and have kept returning to it intermittently.
The second piece is about the impostor syndrome I feel in the world of slam poetry because of how recently I’ve started performing and how much I don’t feel like I fit in in that culture. It’s a weird piece, because it feels weird to talk about how much I don’t feel like a “real” poet through poetry. I have high hopes for this one.