Chiemi’s Corner: Music Reviews and Events
Somerville News, August 9, 2006
Hot Month at the Sherman: Houlihan sizzles with ideas
Coleen Houlihan will strut her stuff at the Sherman Café, August 13 at the Somerville News Poetry and Music series. Also featured are Ross Goldberg and Jacques Fleury (“The Haitian Firefly”).
Houlihan is a novelist and poet who studied writing at Wellesley College. She has featured at Stone Soup and published poetry in the Alewife and abroad. Her poetry is sensual and magical, with vivid images of haunting beauty. She has released two chapbooks, the most recent titled, “This Human Heart” a collection of eight poems spanning several years.
Houlihan started writing seriously in college during her sophomore year. She said, “I wrote as a way to make sense of my emotions—file them, if you will, in a more manageable form. Love and its loss sparked my writing, and then I discovered that writing was the key to feeling.” Also, Houlihan said, “Creating pain, drama, and excitement through words is a way to experience the sensations without risk to ones’ skin—it keeps one out of trouble, sometimes!”
Houlihan has a writing muse. She said, “(The muse) understands that I am always interested in seeking her, and so she comes to me during the day and at night. She does not take offense if I do not respond right away to her charms. She knows that deep down I secretly covet and love her. Sometimes my writing is frenzied, other times there are periods where I do everything but write. “
“Writing is about more than words,” said Houlihan. “I have a friend who is one of the most amazing writers I know, but if he has ever written anything, I have no idea as I have never read one word, but he is always thinking of writing, reading others’ thoughts, compiling his own. If he had less fear he would be amazing.”
Recently, Houlihan said she has been attempting to write poems that are stripped down and bare of all but their essentials. She said she likes different styles.
“I have written many confessional pieces and pieces in character,” said Houlihan, “One of my darkest poems is called “I Found Him by the Ocean” and is the retelling of a child molester who comes across a little boy playing with a red ball on the shore. My shortest poem is one line, and my longest piece is thirteen pages.”
Houlihan said that people inspire her to write. She said, “I believe each person is a walking page-turner, however most people keep their wondrous ways under wraps, even from themselves.”
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