The sage and always illuminating words of Jayne Benjulian whose considerable experience as a highly respected dramaturg quietly underlines her authority. But it is Jayne Benjulian the poet, writing from her understanding of how language works dimensionally, even architecturally, that gives her writing beauty and resonance. Clear and true as a tuning fork.
My First Editor
Once I publish a piece, I see that it has not lived up to my vision of what it might be, and I vow to make a leap in my next work. If I have matured as a writer, it is largely owing first to dissatisfaction with everything I write; and second, to accepting that the drive to approach closer and closer in execution to the work as it is imagined is the preoccupation of art.
The Quivering Pen, July 11, 2016
The Journey to Five Sextillion Atoms
In my twenties, I wrote poems and published them under a name no one will find anymore. To dredge up those poems, you’d have to know the name I was born with—my father’s name and the married name of my mother, who died when I was a child.
Women=Books Blog, Women’s Review of Books, March 7, 2016
For people who don’t have experience working with actors, know this: actors are the most underestimated element of writing drama by those who have not yet written it. The actor is to theater what words are to the poem.
Agni Blog, November 30, 2015
On Accepting—and Leaving—Mentors
The longer you write, the more you fortify your own ear, and the more eccentric your voice becomes. That is the nature of art—if it weren’t, it would be wallpaper. People who never liked your work will dislike it even more. To my mind, in order to mature as a poet, you have to exploit your own gifts.
Agni Blog, September 24, 2015
Read Jayne’s essays in HowlRound here
A Conversation with Jayne Benjulian and Taylor Mac
A flower wants to marry a woman but can’t because he’s a flower. For just about anyone who can breathe in San Francisco, that story is a metaphor for gay marriage. To its creator, that’s not all. If the flower is a metaphor for gay marriage, then gay marriage is a metaphor for how we create myths to foster or tear down community.
The Ordinary and the Luminous
Any Given Day is the story we might miss seeing, and seeing it is what makes unconventional art.
Octavio Solis on Tarell Alvin McCraney
An interview with Jayne Benjulian
I want to do plays that are visceral, raw, poetic and profane. Plays that call on the magic and mystery of the universe rather than on technique and style….