My latest interview with Isobel O’Hare is up at the New Books in Poetry podcast and ready for listing!
Isobel Oâ€™Hareâ€™s all this can be yours (University of Hell Press, 2019) presents a series of erasures crafted from celebrity sexual assault apologies. These poems offer fierce explorations of the truth hidden behind apologies intended to explain away or dilute culpability, rather than accept responsibility. The result is a powerful collection that opens up a wider conversation surrounding sexual assault and the need for change on a systemic level.
I was also excited to learn that the interview has been featured on LitHub!
Here’s a bit from O’Hare during the interview:
Erasure poetry for me started out as a magical, playful, light-hearted exercise to jog the brain, to sort of get me thinking differently. And it also started out as a conversation with someone elseâ€™s work, and sort of a reverent oneâ€”approaching someoneâ€™s work with great respect and the desire to bring something out of it that might be hidden beneath the surface. There are lots of methods of doing thatâ€”Iâ€™ve used whiteout in past erasures, and Iâ€™ve done blackout with Sharpie. Iâ€™ve experimented with cutting words out.
The idea is youâ€™re removing somethingâ€”or youâ€™re not removing something. Jen Bervin had a really interesting term for it . . . something like restitution. Itâ€™s a really interesting word for what youâ€™re doing with erasure, which is not necessarily removing something, but bringing something forward. So itâ€™s not always you violently attacking someone elseâ€™s work, which it can feel like sometimes, but youâ€™re allowing things to bubble up to the surface that may not have been apparent before.