Author Archives: bopdeadcity

About bopdeadcity

Bop Dead City is an independent, quarterly literary magazine. We are seeking new writers who have a great story to tell. Sound craftsmanship couldn't hurt either. All of our issues are available for purchase here on the site through Paypal. If you’d like to know more about what type of work we publish, reading a back issue would be the best way to do it.

Chitchattin’ with Issue 18’s Emily Light

Just got back in from a little weekend in New Orleans, so if you’re waiting on a reply to your submission, I’m working on it, I’m working on it, Christ. Didn’t get too drunk and I definitely didn’t have to sleep on the sidewalk this time. Getting old is sad.

Here’s Emily Light, author of the poem “[…]Like Taffy in Her Teeth.” In addition to being a fascinating and thought-provoking poem, it’s a great way to get your poem listed first alphabetically, every time.

 

Her bio doesn’t mention it, but Emily is actually J.J. Abrams.

 

Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

I’ve been told my poetry is lyrical narrative. In my eyes, it’s a pendulum of experimentation.

Talk about your poem “[…]Like Taffy in Her Teeth.”

“Taffy” is a hypothetical “what would have happened if…” scenario. I recalled a dream I had as a child about a friend’s father’s empty bedroom, and though nothing nefarious ever happened to me, in this poem I imagined the girl that would have been if the dreams actually meant something about the past.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Most of my inspiration comes from reading. I feel like, when I read a good poem, it dials me into a poetic frequency that is difficult to reach otherwise.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

No, but I should really start one!

What are you working on right now?

I am constantly writing, revising, and reading, but my thoughts are leaning toward putting together a chapbook this summer.

Where can we read your work next?

On May 1st I have one of my favorite poems being published in Amaryllis. More poems are upcoming in Lunch Ticket and Gravel.

It’s like Interview with the Vampire, but the vampire is Eve Kenneally?

Beware the blah, blah, blah. So tired of this Julius Caesar nonsense. Quite frankly, I’m always keeping my head on a swivel to make sure I’m not getting gang stabbed by senators, not just on March 15.

Anyway, here’s another wonderful poet, Eve Kenneally. She’s the author of an excellent chapbook, Something Else Entirely, which can be purchased here. I would have published three of her poems, but some other publications that “have their shit together” and “act like professionals” got to them first. So while you can read “Daring in a Thin Voice” here, I can also personally vouch for the greatness of her upcoming poems in Crab Creek Review and Stirring.

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Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

I write visceral, funny, weird, disturbing, sad poems about pop culture, things, queerness, gender, depression/mental illness, heartbreak, disassociation, and other stuff.

Talk about your poem “Daring in a Thin Voice.”

I love Anne Carson’s book of Sappho translations, If Not, Winter – it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. This past summer I was re-reading it and wrote a poem in response, starting with some of the original Sappho/Carson language. This poem brought out a fairly new voice that was exciting for me to play with.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Robyn Schiff, Ada Limón, my fellow Montana MFA poets/friends/professors, Sappho, 90s TV shows, conversations I overhear, weird advertisements, poetry Twitter, my grandma, depression

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

https://evekenneally.com/

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently trying to re-order my manuscript, compile a new chapbook, and edit a new batch of weird poems (with various celebrity cameos) that play with form more than I typically do.

Where can we read your work next?

Whiskey Island, Crab Creek Review, Mantis, & Wild Violet
Any advice for your fellow writers?

Procrastinate less than I do. And poems are everywhere – record what sticks with you when you go throughout your day and use it to spark something surprising in a new draft.


Interview! Christine Stoddard! Issue 18!

Here’s Christine, who did the same trip I did from north to south, but backwards. She’s got a hell of a lot of interesting stuff going on. Being a go-getter, what’s that like? Check out her sites and find out!
Describe your writing in 25 words or less.
My writing is a factory that manufactures glitter collage dreams and pony sweat. That factory is set deep in an enchanted forest that’s on fire.

Talk about your poem “Couchsurfing in Bushwick.”

The poem is part of my chapbook manuscript, Lavinia Moves to New York. The book, which I’m currently shopping around to publishers, is loosely based on an ex-friend’s story. Or should I say, my speculation merged with insights from my own personal experience. This friend and I had a falling out years ago, but I still check up on her from time to time. In my online stalking, I learned that she moved to New York City, lived there for about a year, and then moved back home. And that’s really all I know for sure.
Still, her background as a biracial woman from the South always fascinated me. There are not many of us, at least those who are open about it. There’s too much stigma attached. It’s no surprise that people who are white-passing as I am usually prefer to benefit from their white privilege. My friend did not have that luxury. She looked more like her black father than I resemble my Latina mother.
I wanted to imagine what it might be like for her to move to Bushwick, a place I got to know before I even met her. It’s also a place that I briefly lived after she already moved back home. In this poem and others in the collection, I simply blended some of the real with the unreal.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Everything from bullets to butterflies. Life is ugly; life is beautiful.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

Yes, you can follow my blog, www.lunalark.com, and my online magazine, Quail Bell, at www.quailbellmagazine.com. You can find my writing portfolio at www.wordsmithchristine.com

What are you working on right now?

That’s something I prefer to keep a secret. I normally have a few projects going on at once. They’re all at different stages, which allows me to almost always have something new or forthcoming.

Where can we read your work next?

I have forthcoming in several literary magazines, including Sukoon and Those That This, among others. I also have work forthcoming in a couple of anthologies, such as Nasty Women & Bad Hombres Anthology (Lascaux Editions.) Later this year, Dancing Girl Press will be publishing my chapbook, Ova, which is a collection of fiction and poetry.
Any advice for your fellow writers?
I truly believe in creating everyday. At the very least, carry around a notepad to jot down lists. Storytelling is a process. Cultivate your ideas.

Interview with Issue 18’s Patricia J. Miranda

Friday, finally. I haven’t been working a Monday-Friday, 9(ish) to 5(ish) job for very long, all things considered, but I do enjoy this weekend thing. Sorry to everyone in the service industry; I feel y’all and I’ll tip well tonight.

ANYWHO, this one’s with a fantastic young writer, Patricia J. Miranda. In addition to writing great poems, she’s got a lot of other smart, important things to say, so listen up, creeps.

 

Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

If I can read it six months later and not want to disown it, then it can join my collection.

Talk about your poem “The Therapist of My Dreams Writes Me a Memo.”

You know how, sometimes, random characters pop up in your dreams? Well, in one dream, this authority figure told me I’d been killing off hummingbirds, and that accusation forms the heart of the poem. I made up the “therapist” part and the “cute boys” part—well, pretty much everything in the poem—but unfortunately, the part about letting sugar water rot in the sun is a burden of guilt I must carry with me the rest of my life.

Who or what inspires you to write?

My husband and daughters expect me to do what makes me most me. Also, JRR Tolkien, Kazuo Ishiguro, Yann Martel, Lisel Mueller, and Mary Oliver (for the shake-your-head-in-awe inspiration). Literary journals like Bop Dead City, which are elbowing out space for words that aren’t meant to be weapons, but anchors and sails, mirrors and doors.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

No. I don’t even have a Facebook account or a smartphone. I think I’m a bit of a lost cause.

What are you working on right now?

A middle-grade fantasy novel about a girl and her best friend, a goblin. No trolls.

Where can we read your work next?

KitaabMount HopeYellow Chair Review

Any advice for your fellow writers?

Don’t let the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and our national cultural institutions be defunded.

Anything else?

Talk your words, live your beliefs, call your legislators.


Interview with Issue 18’s Catherine Edmunds

Here’s Catherine, the author of the fine poem “The Song Still Waiting.” Want to read it? Buy a copy of Issue 18.

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Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

My writing aims to shake readers out of their complacency, to startle them, make them question their assumptions—and above all, to move them.
Talk about your poem “The Song Still Waiting”

I never ‘explain’ my poetry, but as is clear from the text, this poem is about the agony of losing someone you have loved for a very long time. It’s not specifically about my own father, though there are echoes – I have some old books of his that have drops of candle wax on them from reading at night, as described in the poem; and the miners’ track is a route I have walked with him on his favourite mountain, Snowdon. We all hurt with loss, we all grieve, we all have memories that cut us deeply even if they seem like such small things – a particular shirt, a pizza, a glass of whiskey. We all hope to find that song again.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Life/love/sex/death. The point being, if I appear to be writing about, say, a walk in the countryside, I’m not writing a nature poem whatever it may look like. I also make use of a few ‘muses’ who are blissfully unaware of their role in my writing, but all of whom inspire every word.

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

I only remember my blog’s existence when someone asks me if I have one, so a better bet is to look at my multi-purpose website, which I update once in a blue moon. http://www.freewebs.com/catherineedmunds/
What are you working on right now?

My main current project is a set of poems due for publication in September that take as their source the memories of dementia patients. I am writing a magazine review of a new novel about Vincent Van Gogh, writing the foreword for a forthcoming poetry collection, and writing poems, flashes and short stories on a daily basis. I’ve recently finished a novel so am concentrating more on the short forms at the moment to give myself a breather before embarking upon another longer work.
Where can we read your work next?

I submit so many stories and poems, I don’t know where to start. I have something new either online or in print virtually every week, but I am particularly happy at the moment to have placed poems in a forthcoming anthology of disability poetry from Nine Arches Press. Details will be on my website in due course.
Any advice for your fellow writers?

Read more. Seriously, even if you’re utterly immersed in writing your latest novel, you need to be reading as much other writing as you can.

Anything else?

I have strong views on craft, and accessibility, but rather than subject you to a lengthy rant on this subject, I’ll direct you to a guest blog piece I wrote recently for The Literary Consultancy. https://literaryconsultancy.co.uk/2017/02/craft-why-it-matters/


Q + A with Jennifer Martelli, Issue 18 Contest Winner

Though she’s already been interviewed by us about ten issues ago, she was generous enough to answer even more inane questions. Hurry, Jenn! And remember, if you want to read Jennifer’s award-winning poem “At the Border,” you can buy a copy of Issue 18 by clicking here.

 

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Describe your writing in 25 words or less.

That is a tough one! I can say what I’m not, or where I’m trying to improve: I’m not a very good narrative poet. I’m working on that!

 

Talk about your poem “At The Border.”

“At the Border” is sort of an ekphrastic poem. I have an old snapshot of my younger sister with my grandfather on the couch, and you can see my hand, arm and leg (a 60’s version of a photo bomb). I’ve been writing about Kitty Genovese (murdered in Queens, NY, 1964), and kind of entwining my own childhood in the 60’s. That picture—my go-go orange tights, my tanned arms—seemed to embody so much of that time. . . .including the bigotry.

 

Who or what inspires you to write?

I’m inspired by reading other poets, or by becoming obsessed with something. I rarely plan to write a poem. So, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction (about the murder), which I have to temper with poetry, for the music. I’m re-reading Danez Smith’s [insert] boy.

 

Do you have a website or blog so we can follow your writing?

Yes, my website is www.jennifermartelli.com. I am very bad about updating it! I also have a Facebook author page.

 

What are you working on right now?

I have two manuscripts almost done (I think). The one nearest to my heart is about Kitty Genovese.

 

Where can we read your work next?
I have working forthcoming (in March) in Tinderbox, and later into the spring, in Outlook Springs and Glass Poetry. My chapbook, After Bird,  was chosen by Grey Book Press to be published later in the spring also. I also have a “collage” essay in Five 2 One (again, about Kitty).
Any advice for your fellow writers?

Write! Write! And find a writing community!

Anything else?

Don’t stray too far from poetry!

Last Issue 17 interview: Preeti Talwai

Hi everybody! Soon the interviews with our Issue 18 authors will be posted, but here’s Preeti, who gave us three poems (a Bop Dead City record) and honestly, I should have published all five that she sent. She’s got some wise words, and if you’d like to read her amazing stuff, click here or, if you’re a real jerk, don’t.

Describe your writing in 25 words or less.
I would characterize my poetry as always vulnerable, often nostalgic, and sometimes unsettling. I revel in the “what could have been.”

Tell me about your poems “Skin,” “Someone,” and “Home.”
All three poems, in different ways, are about coming to terms with the idiosyncrasies of one’s identity. “Skin” is about a South Asian woman confronting the aesthetic expectations of Western beauty — her physical identity. “Someone” is a cry for acceptance and celebration of fragility and imperfection in emotional identity. And “Home” attempts to capture the yearning for belongingness — searching for the symbolic feeling of “coming home” — and speaks to a kind of spiritual identity. Like much of my writing, these poems, too, are a way for me to dissect and grapple with my own insecurities and sense of self. 
Who or what inspires you to write?
My everyday observations, nostalgia about the past, my social interactions, and the work of other poets. I often write as a way to analyze my own thoughts and emotions and reflect on emotional experiences. I am inspired to write when I have encounters with others; my poetry is a way to express in writing what I cannot express verbally to that person —  a kind of afterthought to an emotional experience. As a result, my poems are often very short and written in the second person. I’m also very inspired by my cultural background and experiences growing up as a first generation Indian American. 
When did you first start writing poetry?
I can remember writing my first poems for school projects in elementary school, and acrostic poems for family and friends.
What are you working on now?
Sporadic bursts of poetry, that I hope will crystallize into some sort of collection or book.
Is there a website/blog where we can keep up with your work?
Not yet, but hopefully in the near future!
Any advice for your fellow writers?
Don’t equate your literary performance/acceptance with your literary identity. I think this is particularly hard because many writers take their craft so personally.