Amy Turn Sharp’s a local poet and host of Word Church, a word-worshipping night of fun that runs every six weeks at Brothers Drake Meadery. Typical gatherings include scheduled readings from local writers, poets and authors, an open mic portion and a DJ set to end the night. Sharp will read from her new book, “Hold Me Like Ohio,” which will also be available for purchase (along with chapbooks from other writers), at the next Word Church (8 p.m. Tuesday). These are a few of her favorite things.
Estrella’s Prophecies fortune-telling booth
As far back as I can remember my dad took me to Spaghetti Warehouse. I don’t really eat there anymore, but I’ll go once in a while if I’m over there just for this. It’s sort of like the one in the movie “Big,” where Tom Hanks puts in a quarter and it shakes kind of violently and produces a square card stock. I used to collect them in a tin box. Nothing ever came true off the cards, but it didn’t matter. It’s part carnival, part spooky, and I’ve always been attracted to it.
My grandmother kept a journal all her life — she’s 93 now. When my grandfather passed away, she stood outside and made a fire and burned all their love letters. She’s a very private person, so I probably won’t ever get them, but it’s nice to know they exist. I always have my Moleskin with me at all times. I try to think about things I encounter during the day and write them down so that maybe they’ll fall into a poem or something. It might be the sounds of a coffee shop or somebody’s eye color. Sometimes it’s long-form writing, or I’ll just draw a picture.
Andrew Wyeth’s Helga paintings
It’s a collection of around 250 paintings and drawings he did of his neighbor. She’s this gorgeous German woman who had four kids and was probably in her 30s when it happened. It was unknown to both spouses this was going on. They’re beautiful nudes and amazing, risqué-looking beautiful things. I’ve studied them and looked at them, but I’ve never seen them in-person. People make bucket lists, and this is something that makes me nervous — that I won’t get to see them, and that sucks. I’ve got shit to do; I need to figure out how to do this.
I grew up in southeast Ohio, and I learned how to drive on a tractor, a stick shift. We didn’t have a working farm, but my dad had a collection, I’d say a small collection, of tractors. Now it’s very large collection with everything from Massey Ferguson to John Deere. I’d love to have a tractor now, even though I live in Worthington. I’m just obsessed with the idea of what that means to me. It was freedom. I’d hop on my dad’s tractor and go to my friend’s house two miles down the road in the country.
The Talking Heads documentary “Stop Making Sense”
I didn’t see it in the theaters when it was playing in the ’80s because I was too young. I remember when I was in high school I thought it was the coolest documentary ever. I love it so much that my husband secretly rented out Studio 35 and played it for my birthday in November. It was so fabulous. I got to hear lots of stories from my friends who are older than me who were like, “Oh yeah, it was the ’80s, man, and it was the Drexel, and people were dancing in the aisles.” When I die, I would like it to be playing at my wake or funeral in the background against a large wall. My husband knows that, and it freaks him out, but I want people to dance.
I don’t know if people say they love social media things, but I really like it for my own self, as a writer. I get inspired. I follow very inspiring people, weird people, weird brands. It’s my daily allowance of strange. I can just be weird on it. I have no filter. It’s this place I feel very free. Maybe I’ll put out my poetry links and find things every day that inspire me to write more. It’s a microcosm of cool insanity. It’s changed my writing in a way. I’ll think of something and go to my Moleskin to write it down.
Photos courtesy of Amy Turn Sharp