Occupation: Writer; her second poetry collection To Daughter a Devil (Unsolicited Press) hits shelves in January
Style: Princess meets Poet
In the bio of your Instagram, you give us three short descriptors of yourself: Horror, poetry, and pretty dresses. Is that how you’d describe your personal style?
Yes! To me, poetry is raw and honest and playful, and that’s exactly how I dress. I don’t dress to hide any flaws or particularly accentuate what may be considered my assets. I dress because this is the body I was given and while I’m using it, I’m going to have fun and wear what I like. As for the horror element, just as all of the gorgeous parts of the human experience interest me, so do the dark and dirty parts. I don’t mind getting my dress messy.
How long have you been writing poetry?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since before I could read. I have a distinct memory of watching my mother write a letter and thinking to myself, OK, all she does is put the pen to the paper and words come out. I can do that! I still remember how heartbroken I was when I gave my dad the story I had written and he explained I hadn’t written actual words, just indecipherable scribbles. I wanted to understand how to put what you saw inside of your head onto paper, and it became my goal to figure out how to make that magic happen.
I fell in love with writing poetry specifically in high school when I learned how playful it can be. Learning that any syntactic or grammatical rule can easily be rewritten or thrown out the window was so freeing. I’ve never been good at following rules, anyway.
Tell us about the experience of writing Dwellers, your debut poetry collection.
I wrote Dwellers while in my MFA program at Miami University. Before working with my mentors, I was aware that my writing was a little strange and I worked hard to make my poetry more easily digestible and “normal.” But I learned to lean into that weirdness the same way I did with my style. Dwellers was a product of that weirdness becoming a part of my personal poetics. It’s a collection of poetry about my girlhood in the rural Midwest, sprinkled with ghosts and dead things and love.
My next collection, To Daughter a Devil, focuses on women in horror and the horror in being woman. That will be out January 2023 and I couldn’t be more excited.
Your wardrobe looks like an ultra-femme fairy princess fever dream. Where do you find these dresses?
I love this description of my style so much. I’ll be using that verbatim. After my wedding in 2019, I was prepared to mourn the idea of getting to play the role of fairy princess in my story. Your wedding is the last time you’re encouraged to wear a sparkly, puffy, dress that you can properly twirl in. The more I thought about it, the less I could accept that there was no more playing princess in my future. Now is when I should be able to wear whatever I want! There should be no rules against being the fairy princess in my fairy tale every day. After all, it is my fairy tale. So I bought a big pink dress. Then another and another.
Selkie, Maison Amory, and Fairy Tong London are some of my favorite brands at the moment. If it looks like it’s out of a storybook with fairies and woodland creatures, I’m interested in wearing it. If it makes people say, “Where would you wear that?” I’m even more inclined to wear it.
Do you have a favorite dress?
The Aurora Butterfly Dress by Fairy Tong London is my favorite dress. It’s the perfect mix of whimsy and style. It’s exactly what a modern-day princess would wear.