Q: With two full-length collections (including your forthcoming Gordon Hill Press title) as well as a chapbook [UNSEEN GARDEN, knife fork book, 2018] under your belt, how do you feel your work has developed? Where do you see your work headed?
BENNETT: I think it’s developed less concern with being ‘correct’: are all the commas and periods in the right place, is it coherent, is it logical, which I think was strangling some of my earlier work. I was trying very hard to make the work ‘fit’ into what I believed was ‘poetry’. And now I don’t give a fuck. I don’t fit in the world but I was trying to make my poetry fit. As I grow into a deeper understanding of myself, become more accepting and comfortable with myself and my many and various afflictions and ailments, my work has become, I think, more fluid, less (f)rigid.
“And now I don’t give a fuck. I don’t fit in the world but I was trying to make my poetry fit.”
I’ve been taking workshops with Hoa Nguyen and she has a magickal knack for allowing freakiness into the work, she encourages the weird. “I myself am strange and unusual” but have often felt like I had to be closeted, so to speak, with how different I am, trying to pass or having passing privilege as “normal”: straight, sane, able-bodied, neurotypical, when I’m none of those things. I think my work reflects that and will continue to get weirder.
ROXANNA BENNETT TtD supplement #139 : seven questions for Roxanna Bennett