Daily Archives: February 10, 2020

Women in Horror: Tiffany Morris

WiHM11-GrrrlWhiteToday’s guest is Tiffany Morris

When did you discover poetry and who/what influenced you?

I’ve always loved and written poetry, but I feel like I didn’t truly find my poetic voice until I was introduced to Anne Carson’s translations of Sappho in If Not, Winter. This provided a new way for me to view how poetry is written, and how experimenting with form, language, and omission can make poems hit harder.

Why do you write poetry?

Poetry just makes sense to me in a way other writing doesn’t! I think it’s because writing an image is easier for me than writing a more prosaic sentence; poetry allows me to weave images into a web of connection with an immediacy that other writing forms don’t provide.

What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?

Formatting, but it’s also the most joyful, because where you can have fun and surprise yourself. I love to see, for example, how throwing an enjambment in an unexpected place can make the same words sing in a different voice.

the adversary

slow comes        [the dawn]
buried and         barely
survived:
light is                 a ragged breath
taunting veins [on]
closed eyelids.
sap     coats        the coarse
tongue of           night, glues
entropy              -> to bark.

battered [and] battered
and bruise-[knuckle]d
hope is             a revenant
scraping          wakefulness
from                 stormclouds.

thunder           rolls
[sideways]
into nothing.
wake : pause : wake
continue          if
[and only if]
you must

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Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?

I’m fixated on the apocalyptic, the spectral, and the liminal – my chapbook, Havoc In Silence, explores all of them – and how those themes create a stratum of calamity. Everyone encounters these ideas in some way, so I like to examine and dissect them into image systems and turn those into poems. I’ve also expanded into writing on demons and possession, linking these same ideas to the infernal, and looking at how leaning into calamity can simultaneously make us powerful and rob us of power.

What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?

A lot of poetry, I think, is a distillation of moments and ideas to barer essences. In dark or speculative poetry, we’re able to explore the terrain of anxiety, terror, and the macabre by using poetry’s tools of structure and form to reveal the mind to itself. Plus, y’know, it’s spooky and fun!

chaos is a ladder

black, the water. grey,
the skin. tearing and torn,
growling. climb despair
into tomorrow. open
the door, close the
window. burn the
dry grass, pray
in the embers. clutch
the rot to your chest.
spoil in black, the water.
grey, the skin. seeping
and crawling. climbing
despair like a staircase,
creaking and swaying
in nuclear wind.

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What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?

I’m Mi’kmaq, but am not fluent in the Mi’kmaq language, so at the moment I am working on a collection of horror poetry that includes Mi’kmaq words and their translations in each poem as a way of learning the language. Mi’kmaq itself is verb-based, and horror is an action-based genre, so the two have a surprising amount of harmony and congruence. I also have poems coming out in Augur Magazine and Helios Quarterly this spring, and a full-length manuscript that is currently out for consideration (wish me luck)!

Morris bioTiffany Morris is a Mi’kmaw writer of speculative poetry and fiction. She is the author of the chapbooks Havoc in Silence (Molten Molecular Minutiae, 2019) and It Came From Seca Lake! Horror Poems from Sweet Valley High (Ghost City Press, 2019). Her work has been featured in Room Magazine, Prairie Fire, and Eye to the Telescope, among others. Find her on twitter @tiffmorris or at tiffmorris.com.

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