1. Describe Your Book
I am the author of 15 books of poetry, all of which feature predominantly my Shakespearean sonnets. I wrote a book recently that was hybrid prose and sonnets, a novella called Flutter Southern Gothic Fever Dream. I’m currently writing another book like this even more developed, a full novel with art by Amy Alexander. It’s called Crow Carriage. It’s a horror piece set in Victorian England where a terrible experiment is being performed involving the young girls of a seaside village. People can find out about all my books at www.kristingarth.com at the book tab.
The book, though, I’d very much like to talk about because it is affected by the Covid-19 situation is my erotic BDSM memoir in poetry, The Meadow. It releases on April the 11th with APEP Publications.
2. Share a Few Lines from the Book and Briefly Explain What Those Lines Mean to You/ Express About the Book
The Meadow is divided into two parts called Small Town and Sex Object. These divisions categorize poems that first deal with my negotiating my sexuality in an abusive home, a small southern Bible Belt town. The first section largely are poems about not being in control of my desire. An example of this would be these lines from the title sonnet, The Meadow:
“A place, chartreuse
and blue remakes you, on your back, rainbow.
She makes herself a meadow, sneaks inside;
a pretty patch beside all hurt, she hides.”
This is me navigating abuse as a child by going to a place deep inside myself that was idyllic and serene. As an adult this became for me a sub space, a term used in the BDSM community to describe a place of bliss and calm where submissives go to when they are in service to a dominant. To me, I knew this place from my childhood. I had been there and pain was a key to that world. The trick began finding consensual, safe relationships to obtain that and that’s not always an easy thing.
3. Who/What Influenced the Writing of This Book?
This book tells the story of two relationships I had with dominants. The first dominant I had was not a match for me and my own needs. He was less into the catharsis of pain I craved that brought me to The Meadow. He was more of a swinger as these lines from the poem “We Are Fucking Happy” would suggest:
you are a pleasure, denied, he may grant,
unexclusively, to you — and then some
friends. You could learn to like it or you can
hold it in behind a cervix fingers strum
numb. We are fucking happy. Understand?”
I met my second dom through an acquaintance I met at one of the first dom’s parties. She recognized my pain at being a party favor and having my own needs and reasons for being in the scene disregarded. She saw in me some fight, tbat I got off on being able to show anger and cry and scream because of pain — in a way that I was unable to deal with those emotions. Pain made me an animal and honest. She found this out because she made me an animal with a riding crop and a singletail whip. I reference her and the second dom she introduces me to in the poem “Scarlet”:
“My friend, I find
him girls like you. A pretty servitude
to suffer true.” — so little left behind.
A party mistress, photos, pain, one night
a ticket, tears, to torture, city lights.“
4. If Your Book Had a Soundtrack, What Would it Be?
The Meadow actually does have a soundtrack or playlist. I made one for the music magazine Pastel Zine. It features a corresponding song for every sonnet in the book. You can hear it here https://www.pastelzine.com/blog-1
5. What Else Would You Like to Share About your Book(s)?
The Meadow will be available for standard copies from my publisher APEP Publications http://apeppublications.com/ and the preorder there begins March 28th. You will also be able to order signed copies or what I call annotated copies (copies with handwritten explanations and notes expanding upon the text) at my website kristingarth.com. You can follow information about the book and myself there and on my Twitter @lolaandjolie and my Instagram @kristiningridgarth.
Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of fifteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House and Shut Your Eyes, Succubi (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage and Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press) and The Meadow (APEP Publications). She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter: (@lolaandjolie) and her website kristingarth.com.