Today’s poet is Abigail Wildes, who likes to combine Tea with her poetry.
When did you discover poetry and who influenced you?
Other than being read to as a child my first experience of falling in love with poetry was in middle school. We had a very brief two weeks of poetry in English class and I was head over heels with writing since then. Although it took me most of my life to actually pursue writing poetry in a bigger way than just personal. But I did get my first poetry publication while I was in high school.
Why do you write poetry?
I write poetry because I feel like I have to. It spills out of me like a rushing river, sometimes even a waterfall. I could no easier stop that flow than I could hold back the ocean.
What do you think is the most difficult aspect in writing poetry?
Editing! I can edit a single poem for years sometimes. Finding that perfect word to fit in the perfect spot can be the most agonizing process. It’s not just about getting it right, it’s a bending, a stretching of myself. A way of growth and personal challenge. And sometimes I edit because the damn thing just doesn’t make any sense.
Do you explore particular themes? What are they and why?
HAHA! Oh yes. I find that I just love themes in general, not just in poetry or prom night but in the books I read, music I listen to, even my outfits (dress-up is my favorite game and lifetime pursuit). The themes explored in Tea With Death are rather dark but sewn together with light-hearted humor. Whether it’s poisoned tea or ghost stories or the perils of lying, I’ve tried to match the melancholy with an equal amount of pure fun.
What is it about dark (speculative) poetry that you think attracts people to read it?
Without the night we wouldn’t know how to appreciate the day. Without loss we wouldn’t hold our loved ones so close. Without death, life would never be so precious. I think that people are drawn to the dark because without it nothing matters quite as much. Human beings do not change, grow or excel without the pressure and pain to push us do so. Without pain there is no compassion, and compassion is the greatest of all humanity.
What projects (publications) are you working on or have coming up?
Oh my goodness, far too many! But with my poetry I plan to make Tea With Death into a collection of three books–the first, Tea With Death, of course. The second will be Let’s Eat Cake. The third I haven’t settled on a title just yet but will be along the lines of Dig My Grave or Find My Grave, or some such. So that when they are all combined, years from now, into one big collection that one will be called Tea, Cakes, & Graves. All will follow in the same flow and have the same artwork from the amazing Jeanna Pappas who has done an incredible job on Tea With Death.
In between those, I’d like to produce a consistent series of small books (a lot like Edward Gorey’s) that will have various ideas and collaboration with different artists. I have some children’s books as well that I’m hoping to publish soon. And I’d like to pull some focus to building my Secret Tea Society.
Abigail Wildes is an oddity. Displaced from time and maybe even space. She writes her strange and delicious poetry while spilling tea and dreaming of partially restoring dilapidated houses. She’s a paradox and a mystery, with a smile like sweet southern sunset and a wicked little grin that knows your secrets and your soul.
Tea With Death available from Alban Lake Publishing or purchase one of the numbered, signed copies and accompanying goodies at https://www.etsy.com/listing/755009325/signed-copy-tea-with-death-dark-humor
My Crafts~ https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBlackParasolco
My Socials~ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17034938.Abigail_Wildes https://www.instagram.com/abigailwildes/
My Secrets~ https://www.patreon.com/thesecretteasociety