Interview: SMITTEN: This is What Love Looks Like Anthology

Interviewer Candice Louisa Daquin, SMITTEN’s Lead Editor

Candice: How does poetry and identifying as lesbian/bi come together for you?

Hokis: In the cracks of direct truth of prose is poetry. The mixed meanings of poetry leaves others unable to argue with your truth, especially truth of your true love. In this way poetry and identity are powerfully linked for me. I do not speak my truths to people who do not hear them, who cannot hear them. Not speaking personal truth from a place of confidence limits a person as much as hiding self out of fear.

In poetry I found a place for my story to enter the ethos, with my confidence and my form of love. Mine is not the standardized story of those would grammar and spell check, not the political hot button story of he, she, and they. Poetry was a private pause in relationship with myself. There was a delicious freedom in this pause, this exploration of what love looks like.

My contribution to SMITTEN, “Preference Over Judgement,” was THE turning point in my writing, which mirrored my self-acceptance. My hope is this piece brings us back to our humanity, and our natural roots of being a creature on Earth.

Candice: Do you find any stereotypes in lesbian/bi work that you would personally remove?

I find it challenging to feel authenticated as a bisexual female in a 20 year marriage with a male partner. I chose a pen name that reminds me that my scope of existence is beyond even my own boundaries; Hokis, which is Armenian for “my soul.” This pen name keeps me true to my truth. My hope is this provides others space to offer themselves permission to be true to theirs.

Please consider supporting this project of over 120+ talented poets and authors by purchasing a copy of SMITTEN for someone who appreciates beautiful poetry. I Invite you to read the interviews of other SMITTEN poets on The Feathered Sleep. SMITTEN is launched October, 2019 and is available from all major book retailers. For more information visit Indie Blu(e), our generous publisher, or us @SMITTENWomen on Facebook!

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