‘Transitions’ is such an evocative theme, what compelled you to submit for this issue?
First and foremost, I’m trans! I’m also someone who thinks of transition in ways far more capacious than gender/embodiment. I wanted to contribute a piece to Epoch that was grounded in my experience as a trans person, while also inviting readers to think about other forms of movement –– between shame and celebration, legibility and illegibility, longing and satisfaction.
Do you have a routine for writing? If so, what is it and how has it evolved?
My only writing “routine” is that I make sure to work on [full-length-WIP] every day. One word, one sentence, one page, doesn’t matter –– I write *something* every day. It keeps me accountable and ensures the work gets done, even if it takes a long time.
In terms of my other writing: I’m writing more or less all the time as a PhD student, and tend to make mental leaps between scholarship and poetry and prose and back again. In that sense, much of the work I produce is less a result of routine and more the result of these unexpected intertextual encounters.
Do you find that CNF comes easy to you as a writer and/or what is challenging about it? For poets: What is most challenging and most rewarding about using real life in your poetry?
I don’t consider any form of writing to be particularly easy, though the form most natural to me sits in that hybrid space between prose and poetry (this piece was done in the form most natural to me). When it comes to writing CNF –– or poetry, for that matter, though poetry has more tacit permission to be opaque-on-purpose –– I’m constantly navigating a desire for disclosure and a genuine enjoyment of refusal. I’m asking myself, do I give my reader a treat, a breadcrumb, or do I refuse them? It’s a challenge I take on with every piece, one that I only sometimes succeed in. The times I feel I have succeeded are the times I have most pride in my work.
What is song is on repeat for you right now?
Lately, I’ve been returning to my middle school/high school favorite artist, Florence + the Machine, particularly her earlier work. Both “Dog Days are Over” and “Queen of Peace,” make these great, sweeping moves that I still find breathtaking. Some people identify a “feralness” in Florence Welch’s music, but truly, I think it’s quite a controlled catharsis. She moans, yells, and howls, but uses each as a delicate tool and makes wonderful music from it.