Thirteen Ways of Looking at Austin Kleon

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In preparation for my Skype interview with Austin Kleon on March 24th, I read and watched a ton of stuff by and about him on the Internet. You will hear our conversation in TKC 295, scheduled to upload on Friday March 28. Until then, with homage to Wallace Stevens, here are 13 ways of learning from this writer who draws and who has visited three of 20 cities in his current book tour for Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered:

I

A long Google+ hangout with
the Self-Publishing Podcast guys.

II
First installment of the journal Kleon
is keeping during the book tour.

III

The Minutemen thought they knew
which was the gig and which were the flyers 30 years ago.
The only reason for flyers was to promote the gig.
Nowadays, for a wired shape shifter like Kleon, it’s not so clear.
(We talked about this in the Kindle Chronicles interview.)

IV

Buy this album and listen to it
as you read the remaining ways of looking at Austin Kleon.

V

The Paris Review’s 1965 interview
with William S. Burroughs,
an antecedent of Kleon’s in the black-out poetry biz

VI

Kelton Reed found out
how Austin Kleon writes
and wrote an awesome post about that.
Many intelligent comments ensued.

VII

Honestly? I didn’t have time
to much more than scan this weighty Harper’s piece by Jonathan Lethem,
mentioned by Austin Kleon
in Steal Like an Artist.
I can tell you this: It’s about plagiarism.

VIII

Chase Jarvis interviews in black and white,
coloring his conversations with wit and humble brags.
He and Austin nailed it in this YouTube interview
last year. Paul Simon was sort of wrong.
Everyone one looks smarter in black and white.

IX

I like a public speaker who is not
trying to be Zig Ziegler ZIGLER or Bill Clinton, who just gets up there
in front of thousands of people as if he’s thinking out loud
about stuff that matters to him.
Like maybe everyone left the room and he kept on talking.
Watch Austin Kleon’s 2012 TEDx talk and see if you catch my drift.

X

This talk at Google looks good, too…
But Southwest’s WiFi is wimping out on me
39 minutes from Boston. Maybe you can let
me know what you think of it at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com.

XI

Here is my favorite quote from Show Your Work:
“Be ambitious.
Keep yourself busy.
Think bigger.
Expand your audience.”

XII

It’s been a while since I printed out an author’s words
and taped them to the bottom of my computer screen.
The last one was from W.S. Merwin, probably.
Merwin wrote me a letter once and urged me to read at random.
He said the patterns of my interest would show themselves.
He was right.

XIII

You bet I printed out Austin Kleon’s quote about ambition.
I’m staying busy and finished this
just in time–
Our crazy colored jet is bowing down toward Boston.
There’s a slight chance of bumps
as we descend to lower altitudes, our pilot says.
No problem.

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