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Kathryn de Lancellotti, Featured Author Interview for Audacious Women: An Anthology

Updated: Apr 15

HRM's Audacious Women: An Anthology is now released to readers and the public, and we are pleased to share some illuminating thoughts from our contributors about how they view "audacious women," their contributions to the anthology, and what they are working on now. Today's featured author is Kathryn de Lancellotti, who wrote two gorgeous, inspired poems in the anthology that explore female identity and agency as constructed by societal expectations.

How do you personally define an "audacious woman" and what role do you feel audacious women play in the world? What role have they played for you personally? Tell us an anecdote, a brief fact, or a true story.

An audacious woman is a woman connected to her heart and to her senses. A woman in touch with her true erotic nature. A woman who stands for truth and beauty. Who stands up for children and for the planet. A woman who terrifies the patriarchy with her beauty and brilliance. A woman who doesn't compare or compete with other women. Who wants all sisters of the world to stand together in their true power. An audacious woman will help heal the world with her pussy, with her love, and with the innate gifts she has to offer. A pussy is a portal to the infinite. An audacious woman is a portal. 

What are your work's favorite themes when working with female characters/subjects? 

My work’s favorite themes when working with female subjects are childbirth, motherhood, landscape, and the body. They’re the themes the poems always go back to. The places the poems and the poet seek to explore.


Who is your favorite female character in art or literature and why?

My friend Marty says I’m the first feminist he ever met, in fourth grade! As a child, I naturally questioned the status quo and embraced my rebellious side. A classic pastor’s kid! I told my youth pastor I was going to rewrite the bible from a female perspective. I’ve now written several poems from the perspective of female, biblical characters—and Mary Magdalene is closest to my heart. Many believe she was the female equivalent of Christ. That she was an even more gifted healer than he, yet, she’s been depicted as a broken woman, a prostitute. I’m fascinated by the way her story has been rewritten throughout history (his-story). I’m fascinated by the way audacious women are turned into villains, erased, and dehumanized.

Can you speak to your piece/s in the anthology and what inspired it/them? 

“American Girl in Italy” was inspired by Kim Addonizio’s poem, “What Do Women Want?” and by a famous black and white photograph of a young woman walking down a street in Rome, etched in my mind since childhood. “Oval Window” was inspired partially by my Christian upbringing but also by the universal experience of being raised female in a patriarchal culture. Both poems speak to the male gaze, the body, and of female power and powerlessness. Power and powerlessness can exist at the same time—as do beauty and terror, light and shadow, life and death. Many of my poems explore those juxtapositions. 


What are you working on right now that lights you up?  Who are you reading that does the same?

I’m excited to share that I have a full-length poetry collection, Figure Study, forthcoming October 2024, Moon Tide Press! I’m also pleased with a poem I recently finished that works to speaks about the heartache of living in these times: the tragedy in Gaza and the crippling cognitive dissonance of watching a genocide unfold on my phone. The horror of school shootings, of climate change. What it means to be a parent and a citizen. It’s a poem that came through after a month of rage and sadness over the many injustices in the world committed by a broken system.

Kathryn de Lancellotti’s chapbook Impossible Thirst was published June 2020, Moon Tide Press. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former recipient of the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems and other works have appeared in Thrush, Rust + Moth, The Night Heron Barks, The American Journal of Poetry, Quarterly West, and others. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sierra Nevada University and resides on the Central Coast, California, with her family.


To read work from this awesome contributor in the Audacious Women: An Anthology--and more exciting work that explores the complexity of women in life and literature, get your copy now! Every purchased copy keeps the lights on for small presses doing great things! Thanks for reading!

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