Talking to Emilia Phillips @ OmniVerse

Lisa: I don’t think there is a moment that feels extraneous in Signaletics, or ‘put on’, which can be a danger in that kind of braiding. You’re also agile in terms of form. There are many different forms in this book, which seems unusual for a debut. There are prose poems, and blank verse, there’s a “Ghost Sonnet” … can you tell us a little bit about the forms?

Emilia: Sure. What’s so weird about the forms in the book is that… in one way I’m very conscious of it, and in another way I’m not. It’s not like I set out to say ‘I have to have a prose poem, I have to have this fake sonnet that is not fourteen lines but is close to 140 syllables.’ But I think I ended up picking poems that formally ran the gamut, because if I am going to write on a similar subject in a lot of poems I want the form to rework it, so that the excessive tendencies in subject matter don’t seem so overwhelming.

I think form does a lot to mediate that. It distracts us visually and distracts us sonically, so that we inhabit the subject matter in very different ways. I was trying to provide different landscapes for the reader, and the landscapes may have the same foliage but the view is changed.

Read the whole interview online.

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