Note: My Monomania is an interview series by which I bring to you information about people whose work causes me to break out in a fever. This time, I asked poet Wendy Chin-Tanner the probing Monomania questions of WHO WHAT WHY WHEN WHERE and HOW.
I must get this out of the way: consider this a peer interview.
That said, I would be obsessed with Wendy Chin-Tanner’s poetry even if I could not stand her. As it stands, I absolutely adore her. You need to know who she is, if you don’t. She writes well and her work will resound in your mind forever.
Chin-Tanner’s first book, Turn, will be released by Sibling Rivalry Press in March 2014. I have had the pleasure of reading it and I give it six stars . It is fierce, feminine and deliberate. It’s a history of a womanhood, and tackles many different topics, including race, feminism, femininity, motherhood, relationships, selfhood and family via the application of precise poesy. An excerpt from her poem Blue Moon, published this week at Ink Node, shows how even a poem about trying to conceive, something highly personal, brings the reader inside.
“After the appointed fuck, I wander
the house barefoot, climbing up, peering
out every window until I find you…”
Chin-Tanner has her iron in more fires than I do, which further makes me adore her. She is and co-author of the graphic novel AmericanTerrorist (A Wave Blue World). She is a founding editor at Kin PoetryJournal, poetry editor at The Nervous Breakdown and Stealing Time Magazine, staff interviewer at Lantern Review, and co-founder at A Wave Blue World. Born and raised in NYC, she was educated at Cambridge University, UK and now lives in Portland, OR, much to all of our delight. You snooze, you lose, NYC.
Wendy Chin-Tanner. Poet, writer, editor, educator, mother, wife, daughter, New York native, Portland transplant.
New York City, London, then back to New York City, full circle.
Turn spans the years 1976 – 2010. The writing of Turn, including its many revisions, spans the years 2009-2012.
What goes in must come out. These were the poems that had to be written before writing other things.
Through writer’s block. Through childbirth. Through the looking glass. Because through the glass, you can see the refractions and multiplicities that are necessary for rendering experience into poetry.