- Shinjini Bhattacharjee (Hermeneutic Chaos journal & press) interviews Sonya Vatomsky about their work, including My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press) and Salt is for Curing (Sator Press).
Our society conditions women to be reactive. Like, teenage girl sexuality is all about anticipating your partner’s moves and then blocking or allowing them, and that block-or-allow gatekeeping shit ends up seeping into just about everything. I don’t think it has anything to do with bodies or minds so much as socialization. Some of us get fed up with gatekeeping really young, and some never do, and for me it bubbled up in my mid twenties in a very major way. A lot of Salt is for Curing is about spending years operating within a framework that’s completely rigged against you, and what that kind of build-up looks like when the fever breaks.
- INTERVIEW: “Dinnerview: Sonya Vatomsky” via Entropy. If you have strong feelings about food, this interview just might be for you. We agree about the runny egg whites.
- a piece on identity & writing poems (and other things!) on PBS News Hour: “Chen Chen on writing poetry while Chinese, American, and gay.”
- INTERVIEW: On the Chapbook and the “Possibilities of Risk”: A Conversation with Chen Chen and Margaret Rhee over on the Lantern Review Blog.
For Set the Garden on Fire, I was interested in the child’s voice, the queer child’s voice, the voice of a child of immigrants. So a lot of the poems in this first chapbook wrestle with childhood, early adolescence, and engage coming of age in this very intersectional way. Companion poems like “Write a Letter to the Class About Your Summer Vacation” and “Write a Letter to Your Mother About Your Longest Winter” helped structure the collection—echo and break, circularity as well as surprise, I hope. Flowers and fires, yes, but donuts also play an important role. The chapbook is full of questions about what tenderness means and what kinship or community could look like. // more