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Madison Zehmer- 5 Questions

1. Describe Your Work I have a chapbook coming out in 2021 with Kelsay Books called “Unhaunting.” It includes some of my earlier work from when I began writing and submitting poetry and is very personal and confessional. My more recent work has moved towards the surreal, the formal, and the experimental. I go back and forth between limiting myself to a certain number of syllables per line or going completely experimental with formatting and syntax. I’m still finding my style, which is super fun! Here are some themes/topics of my poems (some that will appear in the chapbook, some that won’t): the movie Carol, stars exploding, deer, Greek Mythology, religion, vultures, and earthy images. 2. Share a Line or Two from Your Work and Briefly Explain What Those Lines Mean to You I’m proud of these lines from my prose poem “Ex Nihilo,” which appeared in Gone Lawn in March:

- “Watch ruins like people combust into steam.”

- “I remember when you drank pesticide—rewarded hubris—as your insides melted you still sang to me.” These lines demonstrate my use of strange and striking images, which is what I love to do with my work. I like playing around with words and their meaning, so something I do a lot is create compound words. I have a poem coming out in May in Another New Calligraphy’s journal Impossible Task in which one of the words is “skinghosts.” I love the possibilities of poetry. 3. What Influences Your Work? My personal recovery from an eating disorder has influenced my work a lot. My dear friend Katie Hogan, who is also a poet, has listened to me talk about poetry and read my rough drafts and has been an awesome friend. I also love Cynthia Cruz and Jorie Graham and admire their work. 4. If Your Work/Book Had a Soundtrack, What Would it Be? I love this question! Here are some songs: “Cinnamon Girl” by Lana del Rey “Shrike” by Hozier “Dandelion Wine” by Gregory Alan Isakov “Feel Real” by Deptford Goth “Ghost” by The Acid 5. What Else Would You Like to Share About your Work? Here’s my bio! Madison Zehmer is a poet and wannabe historian from North Carolina, with published and forthcoming work in Déraciné, Drunk Monkeys, Gone Lawn, LandLocked, and elsewhere. She is editor in chief of Mineral Lit Mag, and her first chapbook, "Unhaunting," will be released by Kelsay Books in 2021.

Here are some poems I’m particularly proud of: My social media handles are @madisonzehmer on twitter and @mirywrites on Instagram and I have links to all of my published work at I also run a literary magazine called Mineral Lit Mag:

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