Nick George has the talent for gathering people, speaking honestly while creating safe spaces to share thoughts, feelings, questions, dreams, and art. I have loved attending the Listening spoken word events. His blend of humor and care for his city is impossible to ignore, and I'm super excited to share a little bit about him here today!
Nick George, Writer, Poet, and Founder of The Listening, Inc.
What do you do/make?
Nick George (NG): I am a writer and poet. I make simple things complicated. Sometimes in reverse. Sometimes they rhyme.
How do you define success for yourself?
NG: The definition of success varies, because the use and function of what I write is different from moment to moment. Sometimes I write for myself, and that is success all on its own. It's not always easy to access the catharsis of creation. Other times, I may write to illuminate a truth in hopes that someone else might be impacted by it. If it lands on an open heart, and it leads them to seeing things differently, I count that as success.
What are two ways you characterize yourself that might seem contradictory? How do these make you who you are?
NG: As of late, I've been burdened by the realization of my identity and adulthood. No doubt about it, I'm still very much the same person I was ten years ago, but I've also changed in very certain ways. I've grown, but I'm still the same. I've matured, but I'm also very young-minded. It's a strange contradiction, because I do feel like the summation of my experiences, but each day feels like a revelation of sorts; I feel myself becoming something completely different that is at the same time truer to who I've always been. I'm not even sure if that sentence makes sense!
What are three influences from your childhood on what you find beautiful today?
- Michael Jackson - I don't think it's possible to overstate the impact of seeing a passion and talent like Michael Jackson. It is one of the things that informs my writing and performances, because while he is recognized as one of the greatest entertainers of all time, it seems like he is giving more and more of himself. I strive to have my own passion inform how I present my poetry when I perform, because I believe that allows it to transcend make the experience mutually beneficial.
- Huck Finn - Huckleberry Finn, by way of Mark Twain, is a character noted by his mischievous nature and curious maturity. I've just been fascinated in his account of the world around him, and his daring to learn his place in it and ask more questions. I wish I could say I was as scrappy, but maybe in my imagination, I am!
- Maya Angelou - Of course, as a poet, Maya Angelou has always been a major influence. I account her as my gateway drug, because she was the first poet I remember that made me feel like poetry was a language I could understand. I find the utility and function of words as a communication device astounding and humbling. These words can halt armies and create avenues of understanding. It's a beautiful thing to consider the ways we can use figurative language to make more.
How do you keep joy in what you do?
NG: I don't know that my writing serves the purposes of necessarily "keeping" joy, but more of re-experiencing and sharing the joy that I know. My worldview is that of believing in each person's access to what they were born with - what a joy it is to be a part of them recognizing their inborn value and beauty! If my words allow someone to see the world around them differently, I find that honorable and, to be honest, kinda dope!
What is some of the best advice you received?
NG: from poet Adam Gottlieb - "Poet, breathe now. Because it's the last thing you'll ever do for yourself."
Nick George's Websites and Social Media:
Dimensional Creatives is a series of interviews with a selection of the creatives who bring me perspective, inspire, and motivate me.
Every person has aspects of their work, personality, or interests that seem contradictory, but the way these traits coexist in the same human makes them multi-faceted and unique! Sharing these lets us all be a little more ourselves, which makes the world magical. Read more Dimensional Creatives Interviews here >
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