Essay by poet/fiction writer Sibbie O'Sullivan

Instructions on participating in this art talk discussion


"In the destructive element, immerse."
Joseph Conrad
(Quote provided by poet Kim Roberts, Editor of Beltway)

Quotes in chronological order, starting from the most recent

  • I am fascinated by science and the orderliness, and lack thereof, I see in the natural world and derive my inspiration from what I see there—the way patterns are formed, for example, when twigs and leaves come to rest on the forest floor and the way birds fly in flocks except the one straggling behind.
    Mike Shaffer, Ijamsville, Maryland,
    Conceptual Artist and Writer

  • Whatever's Rural.
    Hiram Larew, scientist, poet, Upper Marlboro, MD

  • Anything and everything, when I let it.
    Nancy Davis, designer, Philadelphia, Pa.

  • I have visions--sometimes it's just a word, a thought, or a piece of scripture--and eventually I see what it's supposed to look like.
    Deborah Sokolove, visual artist, Takoma Park, MD
  • I am inspired by my environment -- the conversations and activities around me -- and prefer to write while sitting at outdoor/window-view tables in restaurants, on balconies or waterfront benches, or in the middle of city parks at lunchtime.
    Bernadette Geyer, poet, Washington DC
  • I'm inspired by explorers: people who embrace the thing they love to do, living authentic, original lives without a safety net, and never give up on a long-term vision of expressing themselves as fully as possible according to their own lights.
    David Lent, producer, MD
  • I consistently get ideas from reading (although from time to time this bothers me--shouldn't I be getting inspired by "real" life?--it's comforting to know there is this constant source of renewal there, just be going to my bookshelves), and anything printed can do it, not just poetry; I've written a poem based on a tabloid newspaper article; I've written at least two poems after looking at maps
    Kim Roberts, poet and editor of
    Beltway: An On-Line Poetry Quarterly, Wash, DC
  • To see an exhibit like William Kentridge's (at the Hirshorn thru May)--work that shows me hidden places in my own heart.
    Kathy Keler, visual artist, Washington DC
  • I am inspired by ideas like "light," "transformation," "flesh," "spirit," and by the process of making them "real" by using resonant materials and forms such as latex, chiffon, bones, ladders, and wings.
    Marilyn Banner, sculptor, Bethesda, MD
  • The ever-prowling search for poetry, prose and artwork with "the agenbite of inwit" gives me inspiration to keep publishing Potomac Review, 'the quarterly with a conscience & a lurking sense of humor.'
    Eli Flam, editor/publisher, Potomac Review, Port Tobacco, MD
  • The Unknown and my search for it.
    Deepa Miglani, journalist, Silver Spring, MD










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