House is An Enigma—when I say that title aloud, what emotions come up for you?
Pride. A lot of pride. The poems in this book are my most personal and most frightening, as they address the things that frighten me the most.
Stephen J. Furlong and I talked about House Is an Enigma, and you can read our conversation in Full Stop. I’m so grateful for Stephen’s perceptive, engaging questions, which led me to talk about Emily Dickinson, art school, x-rays, ovaries, brain dumps, House of Leaves, and Agnes Obel‘s Citizen of Glass (I can’t stop listening to it). Thank you to Full Stop for giving this interview a home.
PS: When you check out the interview and all the goodness that Full Stop has to offer, I hope you’ll also check out Stephen J. Furlong’s What Loss Taught Me from Nostrovia! Press.
I’m tremendously grateful to Kasey Jueds for her beautiful and perceptive review of House Is an Enigma, and I’m also grateful to Salamander Magazine for giving this review a home. You can visit it here. While you’re there, I hope you’ll check out excerpts from their latest issue, which features work by Jane Hirshfield, Fanny Howe, Nick Flynn, Jessica Cuello, and more extraordinary writers. And while you’re at it, you should definitely check out Kasey Jueds’ extraordinary work, including her Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize winning collection, Keeper.
If you’re in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and you’re looking for something to do tomorrow night, I have a suggestion. I’m totally stoked to be reading along with other poets and prose writers whose work has appeared in Ethel zine tomorrow, March 2nd, from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Featured Ethels include Joanna Penn Cooper, Kate Van Dis, Lauren Hunter, Jessica Q. Stark, R. Bratten Weiss, and me. The reading takes place at The Carrack in Durham, where you’ll also be able to see their (incredible!) current exhibit, “It’s Complicated: A Project About Love and Intimacy.” There will be wine (good), snacks (even better), and books for sale and signing (BEST). One book you’ll definitely want to buy? Joanna Penn Cooper’s Ethel chapbook, When We Were Fearsome, pictured above. It’s one of my favorite books.
I think I wanted to give language to the kinds of experiences that women rarely talk about and the kind of introspection that I think is necessary to, I suppose, find the life that you really want rather than the life that other people tell you you should want. Maybe there’s somebody out here that’s experiencing what I experienced and if they pick up this book they won’t have to go through it and feel as lonely as I did.
As long as I can remember living, public radio has been part of my life. I grew up listening to WBHM 90.3, our local NPR station. I always dreamed of some day, one day, talking about my writing on WBHM. That dream came true last week, when I sat down with Andrew Yeager, a remarkably kind, patient, and brilliant reader and interviewer, to talk about my new book, House Is an Enigma.
If you missed the story today or you’re not in the ‘Ham, the interview’s now up on their website. You can hear me read and talk about two poems in the collection, “House Is the Word My Doctors Used For My Body” and “Beyond Love.”
And I wouldn’t be a public radio nerd if I didn’t mention that you should definitely donate to your local NPR station. I’ve always appreciated public radio — at this point in my life, I listen to NPR more than I watch television — but, after being in the studio, I realized that I never quite appreciated it as much as I should have. Andrew’s a brilliant interviewer and editor, and watching the team in motion in the midst of a fundraiser was beyond inspiring. These people are doing the real work, y’all, and it’s really important — now more than ever — that listeners support it.