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Samm Genesee, Featured Author Interview for Audacious Women: An Anthology

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 Samm Genessee, who shares several poems in this anthology.

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 someone who has a gleam in their eye and isn't scared of the truth, who has integrity, embraces her wildness, and inspires others without arrogance. The character Nausicaa from the anime by the same name comes to mind: she is focused but sexy and tender with animals while also being a fearless defender of nature, and she isn't frightened of the subterranean.

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

Though I often write about the mother body as a unique ecology, blurring boundaries between mother, nature, and galactic, in the poems here I toy with a flirtatious, female energy that is really much more than coy--it is an expedient for change, for witchy, anarchic power that can jumble inequitable hierarchies and make space for new voices.

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

One of my favorite characters is a very young woman named Catalina in Tear This Heart Out by Angeles Mastretta. Set in post-revolutionary Mexico, Catalina marries a powerful general who uses his power to diminish hers. He forces her to take on expected gender roles (to cook, ride horses, and be devout), but she uses these same roles to escape from her isolation, overthrow him, and reclaim her freedom.

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

These pieces are partly homophonic translations of Nara Leão's bossa nova album Tropicália as well as notes from the field of life, in nature, snippets of conversation both personal and eavesdropped, and my expression of hopes and dreams for my own life and the freedom, vitality, and just world I'm forever pining after.

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

I make poetry with my friend Robert Holliday who makes experimental music, and we are starting up a little community of sound poets and audio poems. It's great fun!

Samm Genesee is pursuing an MFT at Antioch, and has an MFA in poetry from SF State. She runs an experiential arts retreat called, Dream Factory Workshops, and has previously worked facilitating films and poetry workshops at, Turning Point Shelter, in collaboration with the

nonprofi t, Women’s Voices Now. She makes (audio) poetry and comics that can be found published in various places such as, Nokturno, Huffington Post, and Everyday Genius. For fun, she likes to do sand play therapy in cafes or in her living room with friends. “Not knowing is most intimate”—Dizang, from a Zen Koan


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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