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Traci McMickle, 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 Traci McMickle, who wrote two gorgeous poems about historical women's roles 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.

Audacious women dare. They dare to be who and what they want to be. That may mean breaking out of traditional roles or daring to redefine those roles in a way that empowers them and all women. Audacious women dare to speak and demand to be heard. An audacious friend of mine has inspired me to be the one who stands up in a crowded room or a comments section and busts people on their bullshit. She has taught me to say what needs to be said because silence does no one any favors, especially those in marginalized communities who hear that silence as assent.

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

The women in my poems are more than just myself in disguise. Yes, there are parts of me in there, but I enjoy creating characters as much as any short story writer or novelist. My poetry's moods are very much my moods, though. If I'm missing someone, my characters are missing someone. If I'm grieving, the grief finds its way in even if it's not my intent when I sit down to write.

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

Questions about favorites bug me. If you're a lover of art or music or writing, there is no way to choose a favorite. The best characters are whoever we need at that moment in our lives. They may stay in our hearts forever, or they may come and go as age and tastes change. This question also gives me flashbacks to situations in my college days where it was used as a way to call me on the carpet and judge my tastes by my answer, and I have no patience for that.

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

"Bella in the Wych Elm" is one of several pieces I wrote that were inspired by Seamus Heaney's bog people poems. I sought out stories of lost women—ones whose deaths robbed them of their names. I imagined how they got there and who they were before they died. "The Closing of the Day" is a re-working of a lousy poem I wrote back in undergrad. I took some of the images I liked, borrowed a bit of inspiration from Tennyson's "The Lady of Shallot" and a dash of the fairy tale girl at the spinning wheel and made up the rest.

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

Lately, I've been getting back into writing slam poetry. The different rhythms and the emphasis on performance is something I haven't done in a while and have found myself missing. My reading these days runs to fantasy/sci-fi such as The Expanse series. While not what some would call "literary," the genre explores the same themes and contains the same depth as literary fiction while still engaging the part of my mind that needs to be entertained and find escape in what I read.

Traci McMickle (she/her/hers) is a bi/pan/queer poet from Montana, where she lives with a spouse and an incorrigible Rottweiler. Traci has an MFA from the University of New Orleans. Her work is published in Rattle, Chaotic Merge Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer, Plainsongs,Typehouse Literary Magazine, and Panoply.


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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