In popular expression, curiosity tends to be depicted as a reserved, passive and intellectual sullen condition.

n popular expression, curiosity tends to be depicted as a reserved, passive and intellectual sullen condition (see: curiosity emoji, Rodin’s Thinker, etc.). I’d like to challenge this notion of curiosity with my own experiences in creativity: how the process of asking important questions—in short, the condition of being curious—can also be driven by our most physical, active, emotional and primal selves. Jaed Coffin is a writer from Brunswick, Maine, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. His first book, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, is about the summer he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s village in Thailand. His forthcoming book, Roughhouse Friday, is about the year he won the middleweight title of a barroom boxing show in Juneau, Alaska. Jaed has published over sixty articles, essays and stories with a variety of national publications, and has been a featured storyteller for Moth Radio Hour.

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PRIMAL CURIOSITY

In popular expression, curiosity tends to be depicted as a reserved, passive and intellectual sullen condition (see: curiosity emoji, Rodin’s Thinker, etc.). I’d like to challenge this notion of curiosity with my own experiences in creativity: how the process of asking important questions—in short, the condition of being curious—can also be driven by our most physical, active, emotional and primal selves.

Jaed Coffin is a writer from Brunswick, Maine, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of New Hampshire. His first book, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, is about the summer he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s village in Thailand. His forthcoming book, Roughhouse Friday, is about the year he won the middleweight title of a barroom boxing show in Juneau, Alaska. Jaed has published over sixty articles, essays and stories with a variety of national publications, and has been a featured storyteller for Moth Radio Hour.

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I don't think we often honor the journey that immigrants take to America with traits that are positive, right? We tend to honor the desperation and the difficulty, but we don't often ascribe the kind of positive agency that is authentic to their experience. — Jaed Coffin

I'm interested in the idea that somehow we've convinced ourselves that the best way to answer questions is to think our way through them rather than to feel our way through them, to physically engage our way through them. — Jaed Coffin

At the heart of those stories [I write] is a fundamental question, Do the people who I think of as the most deeply related to me, do I fundamentally understand them and to they understand me, you know. And that is at the heart of so many stories. — Jaed Coffin