DEVIN DEVINE – POET WRANGLER –
Bio:Devin Devine is a proud Spokane local and a graduate from Gonzaga University, where she studied both theatre and creative writing with a concentration in poetry. She spends too much time lamenting her loans instead of paying them. As she pursues the life of an artist, she works as a server downtown at Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie in the Liberty Building. She was a member of the 2015 Spokane National Poetry Slam Team that traveled to Oakland this August, and recently self-published her first chapbook Feral Empathy. She can be found reading in bars around Spokane, convincing strangers the magical properties of a pickleback.
Talk to us a bit about community, about yourself as an artist, and about PorchFest, please…
I went to Porchfest last year to see some friends perform (and perform myself!) and loved it! It felt so routine to walk from one porch to the next, eat some hummus from a stranger, shake their hand, sit on their lawn, and enjoy some local talent. It was a beautiful day and I expect this year to be just as fantastic.
For me, there’s two ways to look at community. The larger and greater community of Spokane that brings us together through winter storms, dry summer heat, “near nature/near perfect”, our handful of national headlines a year that leave us with our heads in our hands, a hashtag to defend our worth #SpokaneDoesntSuck, and so forth. And then within that there’s your passions, your life, your choices. The neighborhood communities are obviously easy to spot, especially with centralized spots like the Perry District providing more and more reason for businesses and restaurants and action to truly become a part of residential areas. But for me, my community isn’t my street (living off Division does that), it’s definitely my pursuits. The poetry, and then the greater literary and arts community of Spokane continues to surprise me with growth and support.
I know this is silly but honestly… Spend my money at local places. I’m a restaurant industry worker that just goes out and spends what I do make by eating out, drinking out, and connecting with friends and strangers by breaking bread. I’ve learned more about Spokane in the last year by drinking my way through downtown bars and talking to strangers than I have in my fourteen odd years of living here. Also, participating. You’ll find me almost every Wednesday at Neato for Broken Mic, and at the poetry slams in town too. But also going to events that aren’t my usual scene, letting friends drag me to their favorite band that is at The Bartlett, or maybe a co-worker has an art show coming up etcetera. I’d love to enter a role of facilitating soon, in some form. Not sure what that will look like yet. Maybe volunteering more.