head shot 2 - Sarah A. Chavez.jpg

SARAH A. CHAVEZ (she|her)

Issue #5—Dear Carole, You’d be impressed by all the things I can do drunk; Dear Carole, There is no one with whom to have secrets

What's something you want to create in 2019?

What do I want to create . . . Metaphorically, space in myself for a re-envisioning and reassessment of what I truly need/want at this stage of my life/career. Literally, a bookcase. I want to get planes of wood, screws/ screwdriver, nails/hammers, paint/brushes and build a bookcase for my office. I've been putting together particle board box furniture for years now, but I think 2019 is the year to step up my furniture game.

Name a writer you discovered in the past 12 months that you think others should know about

This feels like not much of a literary answer, but in October a friend gave me a Lady Mechanika comic written by Joe Benitez. I really appreciated Benitez's translation of U.S. hybridity/mestizaje into a steampunk environ by creating a part human, part machine heroine trying to understand her own identity. I really like that series and am now seeking out his other work.

Name a book you read in the past 12 months that surprised you

Chen Chen's debut collection, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (2017).

For my introduction to poetry writing class, I wanted to teach a newer, younger writer that I wasn't familiar with. I had listened to Chen at a reading years before the book came out, but didn't really know anything about the collection. I was surprised by how well many of the poems straddled humor and heart devastation. I was also surprised by how much the form throughout reflects influence by Whitman and Ginsberg. To clarify, I wasn't at all surprised by how wonderful the poems were, but rather to see a newer writer be so successful with relatively narrative poetry (a favorite genre of mine) and for how successfully the book went over with the students; those teaching risks don't always pay off, but this one did.

If your approach to writing were a car company slogan, what would it be?

Dream it, write it, revise it.

What are your sun, moon, and rising signs?

Sun: Aquarius; Moon: Capricorn; Ascendant: Pisces; Sextile Venus, Trine Uranus, Square Neptune

What is a piece or project you're working on now, that will be released soon, or that was recently released that you'd like to share with our readers?

For the last few years, I've been working on a full-length collection of epistles titled This Dark, Shining Thing and while that has not (yet, hopefully) found a publishing home, poems from the manuscript are. Most recently, two are in this issue of IDK, one was released on The Fourth River's Tributary Series, and two more were included in the Spring 2018 issue of Pretty Owl Poetry. These poems come from the nexus of my personal identity explorations, scholarship, and obsession with the epistle form, so I am deeply appreciative they are finding life out in the world.