We recently visited the home and workspace of poet and visual artist Bianca Stone, who we’re excited to feature in our upcoming “Anxiety” issue. The rooms in Bianca’s third floor Prospect Heights walkup seem to unfold like an accordion, one after another. Her ash-colored kitty Russell—much more sprightly than his 16 years would imply—was eager to follow as Bianca led us into her dominion.
Since she spends so much of her time working at home, the environment has to be conducive to creativity. For Bianca, that means shelves and shelves of books (the confluence of her collection with that of her husband, also a poet), antique furnishings, photographs, vases and other intriguing objects, and desks on desks. The one by the window was occupied by paintings and frames—Bianca is preparing to participate in a Philadelphia show highlighting the work of artist/poets like herself—while another, hedged by a shelf of paints, brushes and jars of tinted water, is covered by her latest paintings-in-progress. Across from that is her writing desk. She prefers to take to her typewriter once she has a few lines of a poem, she says—an effort to write without self-editing, as well as get away from the internet’s endless distractions. “I used to journal all the time,” she told us. “Now that I have my smartphone, I don’t do it anymore.”
Nothing seems to be inhibiting Bianca’s output, however. When we visited she had recently returned from a trip to Vermont, her home state, where she’s working on turning the home of her late grandmother, Ruth Stone, into an artists’ retreat. The spirit of the pioneering poet was present in the living room with a captivating black-and-white photograph.
“It’s the writer who changes the way people read,” Bianca told Allison during their interview for the magazine. “We have to remember that it’s not always going to be immediately accepted or obvious what you’re doing. You just have to keep convincing people.”
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