When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?
Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler. Over and over again. This painful multi-vocal symphony of a book, which explores the unspoken, as well as gives voice to those who have not always been afforded one, has stuck with me since I first heard Smith read from it at The Dodge Poetry Festival in 2010. As someone who is often thinking through the relationship between the nonhuman and the human, I am particularly fascinated by Smith’s personification of Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes. I think what makes the book a powerful renewal for me is that it comes at topics that are important to me (climate change, the representation of the nonhuman, the way individual and collective bodies and personal narratives are elided by official narratives) from different angles than I normally do, which helps me think more expansively about content, representation and style.