Jessie Knoles Interviews Yuna Winter

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 9:36 PM

Yuna Winter
hi jessie !! i am home and sitting down, i just thought of u and wanted to let u know i am here hi !!

Jessie Knoles
hello!!!! how are you?

Yuna Winter
hii i am well !!
a little sleepy but very good
how are you

Jessie Knoles
i’m ok!  can i just jump on into this thing? i think i’ll jump on into this thing. ok!!!! so i think i somehow stumbled upon your twitter like maaaaaybe six months ago or so. so i guess i know you from that. when did you become so popular on twitter? i don’t know if you think you’re “popular on twitter” but you definitely have a good following.
you’re kind of like a twitter mom who gives off just really nice feelings most of the time. which is pretty un-twitter really.

humanity-poems

Yuna Winter
yesss, idk how it happened, or i do and it’s just kind of a gradual thing that didn’t really seem too different one moment to the next so it’s hard to notice from up close
like, i started using twitter basically to voice my thoughts, as an extension of some sort of self care personal regime of honesty and worthiness of expression and my twitter was originally much more sarcastic and sad (honest abt my sadness tho) and i have just tried to aim for honesty and the more that has happened, the more i have had to face the fact that mediating my feelings through sarcasm isn’t honest,

and saying i can’t do things when i mean i don’t want to isn’t honest

i guess i have been focused more on a clarity of language and expression, and that has led me to tweeting some personal realizations and facts about the world

Jessie Knoles
do you think there’s some weird force of culture that is making us all feel this way, especially in the 21st century, or do you think it’s just like…the human condition? because i think this is pretty normal to feel like this. and maybe that’s why you’ve got such good twitter reception.

like maybe a potential fear of this stops us from writing, i know has stopped me in the past

Yuna Winter
like how the world habitable and lush even exists at all, has just been like a touchstone grounding thought for me

Jessie Knoles
‘self care’ has definitely been A THING recently. i wonder what the connection is between it and social media.

Yuna Winter
yeah i mean, we are all more connected than ever, physically and electronically, and i mean people can talk about “vibes” but this is actually visible and undeniable sense of connection via speed of communication and knowledge acquisition/dispersion capabilities
so it makes sense we are all caring about the same thing, informing each other of our own cares, influencing each others feelings/thoughts/desires/despairs etc

Jessie Knoles
totally
does writing serve that same purpose? or a different one?
because it’s still…….not immediate. not in the palms of our hands constantly, at every bathroom break, waiting for the bus, etc.

i mean maybe it is but i think more people hold phones more often than they hold books.

Yuna Winter
yeah i mean, i think written words are a really cool kind of word
like a permanent version of a feeling
and an externally visible thing, so it’s like potentially shared from the moment of creation
like maybe a potential fear of this stops us from writing, i know has stopped me in the past

Jessie Knoles
you have a book coming out real soon, right?

Yuna Winter
yessss omg, yes it is so cool

Jessie Knoles
i think i saw a photo. is it one of those books that flips over and has kind of two pieces in one?

Yuna Winter
it’s a collection /gathered amount of poems with common themes
YES it is Flippy
i am very excited about the flippiness of the book, i haven’t seen it yet but i really enjoy the concept of the physical format being part of the piece itself
one side is nature and the other side is humanity
i wrote the humanity themed poems first, and they are a little more wistful and like, full of maybe ennui ??
idk, i was sad
and the nature poems i wrote later and they are just like comforting and hopeful, and full of beautiful words that make me feel good

Jessie Knoles
is there a negative tone to humanity?
or just…sad?

Yuna Winter
i think i just wasn’t connected to nature ?
i think i kind of knew i should be more connected to it?
and i wasn’t, back when i wrote the first poems

raspberries-two-kinds

it also probably made me feel disconnected to nature
using all these dead and dying flowers every day

Jessie Knoles
ok. so you want people to read the humanity bit first and then the nature bit? or does it matter?

Yuna Winter
i think people will pick whichever one they want to read first and read it first

Jessie Knoles
where did you live when you weren’t connected to nature? have you lived in an urban area?

Yuna Winter
i live in Vancouver, a large city in BC

Jessie Knoles
you live there now?
holy shit. vancouver is huge!

Yuna Winter
i went to university there, and then after i had a job at a flowershop and it was beautiful but sad
yessss
i worked at a Fancy Florists
paid very little
doing Fancy things
it also probably made me feel disconnected to nature
using all these dead and dying flowers every day

Jessie Knoles
i hear vancouver has a lot of nice parks, but i also hear it’s basically the san francisco of canada

Yuna Winter
no i live in the country now
i work on a family farm
yeah it’s very expensive
the city, not the farm

Jessie Knoles
how does living in the country make you feel

Yuna Winter
omg it feels really lovely
farming and learning how to sustainably do it (there are ways!) is so uplifting and nice feeling
and there are weird similarities between the flower shop and the farm
but so different also
flowers / fruit

cherries

the nature poems are just really hopeful, but like, a lot of action involved in rebuilding hope / gardens are so physically and mentally healing and awesome, they are were food comes from, they are actually what feed us

Jessie Knoles
are you alone most of the time?

Yuna Winter
oh no, i work with my mom
we are good friends almost all the time
and with my mom’s partner, whose farm it is, i call him papa james, he is just james tho

Jessie Knoles
how long have you been working on their farm?

Yuna Winter
this is my third summer

Jessie Knoles
and once the season’s over? do you stay for winter or go back to the city?

Yuna Winter
oh no i actually ended up serendipitously staying in my mom’s house
she stays on the farm, and the house was Vacant !!! amazing/beautiful/magic
it is my house from childhood
and my dad BUILT it and at first it felt kind of weird and like a DREAM
but i try to maintain the yard and organize the house and generally keep everything better than when i got it

Jessie Knoles
that sounds amazing
i romanticize building my own house

Yuna Winter
this winter we are planning a family vacation back to mom’s old country (austria) and i want to fit in a few visits to inspiring farms

Jessie Knoles
i bet it’s just like one of the best feelings ever

Yuna Winter
omg, yah, papa james also built the house on the farm
i mean, i guess it just seems logical to built my own house
my grandpa built his house too
idk
people used to build their own house all the time

farm-selfie

I used to feel like, unreasonably upset, that people don’t document their lives, or like, that lives of people go undocumented i guess / farming certainly inspires a lot of thoughts, and lots of thoughts inspire writing

Jessie Knoles
people used to just be really connected to everything in a physical way, i think
like building a house

Yuna Winter
ALSO you can buy machinery and it makes boards out of trees
like, literally nature into building materials
sometimes i watch youtube videos of wilderness in situ demonstrations of these machines
it’s so chill that you can GROW the stuff that you make your house out of
like, i want to do that!!!

Jessie Knoles
what is your favorite bird?

Yuna Winter
there are like so many cool birds
there is a crow that sits on the front pine and cricklecricklecrickles
i just hear it often
crows are so smart
i would love to be friends

Jessie Knoles
what do you write in your ‘nature poems’ section? do you reflect on being on the farm and growing things or is it a larger thing

Yuna Winter
the nature poems are just really hopeful, but like, a lot of action involved in rebuilding hope
gardens are so physically and mentally healing and awesome, they are were food comes from, they are actually what feed us
so cool
and us, being alive here, on air and water earth, we can build them as much as we want
and this is just a really cool realization to have

carrots-in-love

also nature has so many fractally /metaphorically relatable lessons that seem so helpful and can be applied to so many other parts of life

Jessie Knoles
yeah it’s cool. but it’s also pretty depressing to realize how fucked up the food systems can be. would you say that eating healthy food is a privilege? it’s something i’ve been thinking about more and more often.

Yuna Winter
i would say definitely access to food at all is a huge privilege
access to land, is like, probably the biggest privilege ever, maybe has been what everyone has been fighting over since anyone started fighting over anything
boundaries / borders / physical space and means of production

Jessie Knoles
i’ve noticed seattle is doing great things like having farmer’s markets in all neighborhoods and allowing EBT at markets/food co-ops

Yuna Winter
and not to mention most of the vegetables and fruits come from some Large company probably Not being very kind to the earth or the food they are selling

Jessie Knoles
but other places (like where i’m from)….people just eat straight processed foods or fast food places ,etc

Yuna Winter
at my farmers market and maybe all the ones in the province, you can sign up with a local club and get low income farmers market coupons too

Jessie Knoles
i think that’s so amazing and important

Yuna Winter
and also there is a collection for the food bank after every market as well

apricot-bin

Jessie Knoles
why do you think farming has become so popular with young people?
there’s this huge radical move to farm ethically and organically

Yuna Winter
um, probably because people will always need food
and nature is inherently beautiful
permaculture farming especially
like fractal niche-based design
very beautiful and efficient

Jessie Knoles
ok i’m just going to suggest it because it always comes to mind but do you think there’s any connection with farming and like…..the 21st century? like do you think it’s possible that it’s become almost counter-culture?

Yuna Winter
i mean, i think people have for the first time ever, the privilege to not need to farm their own food
for most of history food was fairly local
globalization is so post war new
all the processing tech for wartime food rations was just carried over to the mass population after
canned foods
etc
refined
we have just gotten really far away from the production side

Jessie Knoles
yeah but i think there’s this huge movement to “get back to the land” etc et

Yuna Winter
or you can look at it like the production has gotten far away from us
yeah, the biggest periods of growth are the ones where they give people land to farm
when they populated the west
they GAVE the land away
that wasn’t that long ago, remember?
mind you, this land is all stolen
mostly we should be giving back to the first nations people
to the black slaves who were made to farm the stolen land

nature is inherently beautiful
permaculture farming especially
like fractal niche-based design
very beautiful and efficient

Jessie Knoles
yeah they really did give land away. land has a really, really fucked up history in the states.

Yuna Winter
most certainly to actual PEOPLE and not corporations like Bunge Cargill Monsanto
the only reason canada doesn’t have a history of slavery involved african americans is because our land is not suitable climate for growing cotton, No Joke
canada has also been super shitty to all kinds of non-white people, don’t get me wrong

Jessie Knoles
makes sense. so…land has shaped human history…

Yuna Winter
yes
also food
like the spices and stuff

Jessie Knoles
that’s like the History of Earth in one thought

Yuna Winter
a lot of conquering and exploring was in search of spices
and new tastes
like food is SO key central to everything

Jessie Knoles
it makes sense. it makes humanity feel so simple and basic though. like. food. land. survival.
that’s it.
and then here we are in the 21st century, g-chatting for an online journal. flippy books.

Yuna Winter
yeah i mean certainly you have more of a chance to thrive when those basics are covered

Jessie Knoles
it’s just….weird.

Yuna Winter
like maslows hierarchy says
yup
thankful for the internet while it lasts
who knows what could happen to the satellites or the power grid or my computer

Jessie Knoles
where do you see yourself going after the farm? do you think about it?

Yuna Winter
omg, i have like Big plans
idk how they all work together yet
but they all exist and continue to form
i want to learn SO Much more about Everything

Jessie Knoles
what other interests do you want to explore?

Yuna Winter
on a personal level, i want to be strong and healthy, learn how to feed myself better and better
on an environmental level, i want to build structures, ponds, water cachements
plant new varieties of fruits
i bought a microscope
i want to make compost, learn about soil biology
how things work together
i want to take a design course for permaculture design so i can help others or myself fix landscapes to be more efficient
i would love to help organize farmers markets, and also a regulatory body for permaculture farms
also i am working on getting my drivers license, i didn’t get it and lived in the city for a while
i was really inspired by the poster for driving helpers for the elderly

omg, i have like Big plans
idk how they all work together yet
but they all exist and continue to form
i want to learn SO Much more about Everything

Jessie Knoles
driving is so scary

Yuna Winter
i was like aww shit, i should probably get my license so i can do this
Jessie Knoles
what do you want to make compost out of? food scraps? worm castings?

Yuna Winter
like damn i want to help the elderly get around

Jessie Knoles
being able to drive is like super empowering but i’m also so afraid of it

Yuna Winter
i think it’s more the ratios you use and maybe the innoculants
i am really inspired by dr. elaine inghams work with the soil food web
she is great

Jessie Knoles
i’ll have to look her up

Yuna Winter
totally recommend watching some of her youtube lectures

Jessie Knoles
soil is SO COOL

Yuna Winter
YES
omg it is

Jessie Knoles
like i get offended when people come into the nursery i work at and ask for dirt idk why
‘dirt’ has such a negative connotation
but SOIL is EMPOWERING

Yuna Winter
omg, dr ingham says soil has three parts
the dirt is the inorganic part
like the minerals
and all other non carbon things on the periodic table
and the second part is the organic green and brown plant matter
and the THIRD most important thing
is the life, the bacteria/fungi/nematodes/protozoa/arthropods etc

Jessie Knoles
it’s alllll bout the fungi
that’s amazing

Yuna Winter
yesss
also also also
amazing thing is there is a bacteria/fungi ratio
according to the progression of bare to untouched earth
recently fucked with earth is very high bacteria count and low fungi
and old growth forest on the other end of the spectrum is a lot of fungi low bacteria
so if you can get the bacterial/fungi ratios correct (and you can w proper compost) you can make the soil more prone to growing certain plants/plant families
and less weeds/other things
idk i’m super excited about making compost and its immense potential

Jessie Knoles
wow yeah thats amazing
do you read up a lot on these kind of things

so if you can get the bacterial/fungi ratios correct (and you can w proper compost) you can make the soil more prone to growing certain plants/plant families
and less weeds/other things
idk i’m super excited about making compost and its immense potential

Yuna Winter
yesss all the time
like, the internet is so cool like that
so much available knowledge

Jessie Knoles
also wait real quick before my computer may die 1. who are you favorite writers/ who are you reading now 2. which twitters account do you love 3. what’s your sign

Yuna Winter
oh geez i haven’t had a lot of time to read
i have a book i’m reading on dowsing and another one (it’s BIG) and i haven’t read much even yet, called eco farm
it’s like, a non-fiction book about the history of plants and farming and it’s really nice and interesting, like a wikipedia but in a book

Jessie Knoles
what about poetry? do you read a lot of poetry?

Yuna Winter
steve roggenbuck has been a consistently positive art and feeling source and as a twitter also
no i don’t read a lot of ANYTHING recently, also music i don’t listen, actively, to any music either
i almost feel really shameful, like this is an admission
i just idk, i have been trying to just like be for a while, listen to the sounds of whats going on
write out my thoughts without feeling like i’m taking them from the last thing i have read and liked

Jessie Knoles
no that’s awesome
that’s like…what people aspire to do sometimes, you know?

Yuna Winter
idk, i feel like really silly and like “non cultured” to say it i guess

Jessie Knoles
ok my computer is dying and it’s time for dinner. do you mind if i send you some more questions if i think of them? i definitely want to hit more on your book!!!!

apple-orchard-selfie

no i don’t read a lot of ANYTHING recently, also music i don’t listen, actively, to any music either
i almost feel really shameful, like this is an admission

Yuna Winter
yeah for sure!
we can also chat later tomorrow or in the week
have a super good dinner !!
thank you for talking with me tonight ~~

Jessie Knoles
ok yay! i’ll definitely chat you soon. i feel like i could talk to you forever…??
have a lovely evening!

Sunday, September 25, 2016 12:09 PM

Jessie Knoles
hi yuna! just sitting down with a cup of tea and wondering how you think writing and farming relate to each other? if at all, i suppose.

Yuna Winter
oh good question i’m not sure. I used to feel like, unreasonably upset, that people don’t document their lives, or like, that lives of people go undocumented i guess
farming certainly inspires a lot of thoughts, and lots of thoughts inspire writing
also nature has so many fractally /metaphorically relatable lessons that seem so helpful and can be applied to so many other parts of life

i think u kind of bare witness to this at maybe a higher frequency when you are farming and working with nature all the time

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Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.

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