Episode 1: Introducing Emerging Form



Emerging Form is a podcast about the creative process. It’s a discussion between a poet and a science journalist, recorded over wine. Episode 1 introduces hosts Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Christie Aschwanden as well as the podcast’s patron saint, poet Jack Mueller. And the hosts wrestle with what it really means to be in service to the writing–to let your creative project know more than you do.

Join our discussion of this episode at our Facebook group.

Christie and Rosemerry, obeying the emerging friendship at TEDx.

Episode Notes

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Christie Aschwanden
Jack Mueller,
Chill Switch Wines, Dave Aschwanden’s boutique winery

Consider the Octopus, by Colette Volkema DeNooyer

A Hundred Falling Veils, Rosemerry’s daily poems
Stop Trying to Be Creative, Christie’s story about Kenneth Stanley’s work on creativity and artificial intelligence.
Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective, by Kenneth Stanley
Documentary about Jack Mueller

*errata: in this episode, Rosemerry erroneously refers to Jack as a South Beach poet, but the correct name is “North Beach,” which is an old neighborhood in San Francisco and home to the iconic “City Lights Bookstore.”


6 thoughts on “Episode 1: Introducing Emerging Form

  1. I absolutely loved your podcast! I’m a former art teacher, and am currently painting for myself. I wish I could have told all my students to “Obey the painting’s emerging form!”. Instead, I’m sharing that with my daughter, who is studying journalism. She wants to be a writer! I will also be sharing it with my other two teenage kids, as well as my husband who is a creative director for a major corporation. Thank you both so much! Now I’m off to obey my newest painting’s emerging form!

  2. In first drafts, I give myself over to that liminal, semi-conscious dream state and have come to trust that the form will find itself in the content of the poem. Finalizing the form comes with revision, of course. But, I find it invigorating to watch the form emerge as it flows down the page. It’s like kyaking. Once you give yourself over to going through whitewater you think might eat you, the fear is overshadowed by the excitement. When you are through the rapids, you feel terrific.

    1. Pam, yes, that is the perfect analogy. Literally “in the flow,” though the stakes can sometimes feel higher in the rapids than in front of the blank page … and then again, sometimes they feel highest in front of the blank page! Thanks so much for joining us!

  3. late in my life and after a parkinson’s diagnosis i know the form is emerging when, like good medicine, i’m being changed/transformed within. the poem is truly healing–not in the sense that I am cured or “over it,” but in the sense that i’m “getting better.” my well-being is expanding and I can feel the improvement. even “bad” poems have medicineal powers in this way. when this does not happen, I know to be on the lookout for another way where medicine will find me.

    1. Oh Wayne, I love this response so much. You are soooo right. Our bodies are amazing, efficient true barometers of our artistic work. Here’s to the healing of the poem, and to the many many ways you share this healing with the world. You, friend, are a shining example of what’s possible with poetry, how it is so much more than just an exercise in being clever. How it can be, in fact, life changing.

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