The Power of Art as Witness: Call Me Down the Rain

The second Creative Thresholds issue in July was a very special one and perhaps one of the most important ones we’ve done. It was a series of poems dealing with attacks by Boko Haram in the city of Jos and other areas in northern Nigeria. The cycle of poems began when poet Laura M Kaminski (who grew up in northern Nigeria) posted “Call Me Down the Rain” on her Facebook page. Poet j. lewis responded with one of his own, beginningRead more

But I’m Not Really Sick Unless I’m Depressed!

I was trying to explain to my mom how confusing illness is when you’re bipolar. Last week I was diagnosed with bronchitis, and this week we’ve added reactive mono and mycoplasma pneumonia (a mild form of pneumonia). And all this time I really haven’t thought I’ve been that sick. Sure, I’ve been super-tired. Sure, I’m out of breath if I so much as walk from the bedroom to the den. And if somehow I venture to take a deep breath,Read more

David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green and the Precocious Jason Taylor

I just finished Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas—which was a Man Booker Prize finalist—and Number9Dream among others). It’s a coming of age story, recounting one year in the life of thirteen-year-old Jason Taylor, who lives in a small village—Black Swan Green—in Worcestershire in 1982. Cold War England. I came away from the novel feeling that Jason’s character and voice were pitch perfect in representing the life and experiences of a sensitive and aware thirteen-year-old. YetRead more

No more BIG projects in 2015

Has a creative project ever mattered so much to you that you simply did…nothing? Or next to nothing in its pursuit? Has it ever mattered so much that what you did in every other creative area in your life—and maybe even every other area in your life in general—didn’t register as “counting” for anything at all? It’s the “I’m moving forward in my BIG project or I am a total nonproductive, lazy slob” mode of life. My life for theRead more

Stigma, Story, and Solidarity

Several years ago, when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I didn’t mind sharing my story with others. I was struggling with horrible symptoms, due in no small part to being prescribed the wrong meds, and I sought community–both for encouragement and to encourage others. I was a grad student in a department very tolerant of mental illness; indeed, some faculty and students still held a romantic notion of the link between genius and mental illness. But as IRead more

End of the Year issue of Creative Thresholds ROCKS!

The last issue of CT  for the year–and the last issue before going to a twice-monthly format–ROCKED! Michael Dickins explores the blunting of awareness and empathy by our mass media in Michael Dickins: PreOccupied. J. Adam McGalliard works the layers of reality in  “Projections“: “The projected image works as a double-edged sword. It can starkly reveal something that is hidden, like the writhing tattoos of the Illustrated Man, or it can mask an individual as a concealing veil or garmentRead more

The Latest Creative Thresholds

Photography, flash fiction, experimental writing, critique, and iPad drawings: the latest Creative Thresholds. Go behind the scenes of photographer J. Christopher Matyjasik’s latest project: dixie’s s-bahn. See the continuation of Daniel Boscaljon’s and my collaboration in confession: the nature of my crime. Read our new columnist Christopher Hutchinson’s look at Rashid Johnson’s work in Postcolonial Thoughts: Afrofuturist Rashid Johnson’s Message To Our Folks. Hang with Rachel Troutman as she sketches her iPad drawings in Sofa Drawings. Check out Maria Protopapadaki-Smith’s mysterious flash pieceRead more

Creative Thresholds

Last year, in between my first and second surgery for thyroid cancer (I ended up having three), I came up with the idea of having a magazine-style blog called Creative Thresholds where I shared some of my work but also showcased some of my super-talented friends’ work. That was about 7 months ago and the circle of writers and artists has grown to include new artist and writer friends.  I’m constantly amazed and thankful for their generosity and creativity. TheRead more

Inspiration Here and Now

Sometimes it’s the little things. Today I did a poetry reading for the “Read, Write and Doodle” Guerrilla Artist Group youth art sessions at Mooresville Public Library. I’d been a little apprehensive when I’d been asked to do it, wondering if I’d have anything 12-18 year olds could connect with. At the end of the session, one of the girls, Aja, came up and handed me an illustration she’d made of one of the poems I’d read. I was completely surprised,Read more