“When I teach, my analogy is that fiction is a huge tree while poetry is a bonsai. It’s immensely helpful to toggle between working on different scales. Fiction helps me infuse my poems with narrative. Poetry makes my fiction more deft, descriptive, and concise.”
“I do feel (and this helped me persevere, in completing the collection) that stories of trauma endured and resisted by people of color, particularly women of color, have been silenced so many times that there is value in telling these stories, however imperfectly.”
I know it’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time before the dogs. We didn’t know what they could do. We didn’t know that a dog barking up in Washington, D.C. could feel the round clicking into a chamber in Austin.
“They cut off my mother’s breast at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and from the lobby, we watch the low-res screen in the waiting room, color-coded for which stage of surgery she is currently in.”
“Half the stories are about people in cities or in urban centers of the West who are only kind of glancingly aware of the anger and the occupation that’s going on around them.”