30 Under 30 11/30: Fiona Chamness
Editor's Note: All caught up. <3 :)
Asst. Poetry Editor, Muzzle
“I am tired of talking about names and the power
of names, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever talked about,
so here we go again, lips to the topography, eyes
to the signs, teeth in the guidebook, designing a language
to write letters home in”
from Siete Dolores de Nuestra Señora
Have you ever watched a child play? If you haven’t, put on your least creepy clothes and go take a walk around your local park. Good, now that you’ve done that, did you see the look in their eyes when they have discovered something new? How the world becomes white space around them and the only things that exist are them, the object of their fascination, and their hunger to know every detail of it’s possibility? That is the work of Fiona Chamness. Where some poets have decided far before hand that they know the outcome and journey of the poem before they have set down to write it, Fiona’s work takes us on the journey of not knowing, of figuring it out, of getting wrist and elbow, sometimes whole body deep into the dirt of a poem, sifting through and finding the root of what she is seeking to understand. It is that childlike hunger to know coupled with her several lifetimes of wisdom that keeps me starving for Fiona’s work. I need to bare witness to the way she figures it out, and when she does… LAWD! She work does more than come off the page, it sprints off, knocks over your coffee mug, does the Chicken Head next to your grandmother, and then sits down and talks about the finer points of queer body politics with you. That is a poem I want around all the time. That is a poet I can stand behind. Away from the page, Fiona is a brilliant performer, able to give her poems the life and voice required for such strong, mesmerizing work. And she can sang, child! You think you know whats good in the world? Then you must know Fiona Chamness, and if you don’t, please introduce yourself to her work and let it take you wherever it wants to go.
Comments are closed.