Interview #3: Kate Horowitz

Kate Horowitz (she/her) is a poet, essayist, and science writer in Washington, DC. Her work has most recently appeared in Doubleback Review; Rogue Agent; and small poems for the masses, volume four. She has work forthcoming in Moonchild Magazine, Aesthetica, and Drunk Monkeys. Find her online @delight_monger and thingswrittendown.com.

Kate's untitled poem will be published for blood orange's upright Ten of Pentacles card on May 30, 2020.

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What drew you to submit your work to blood orange?

Tarot and writing are my two primary tools for self-reflection. When I learned about blood orange I was so excited by the possibility of my words becoming part of a deck, especially in conversation with other writers. I find that one of the most profound aspects of a tarot reading is the way the cards interact with one another and how this can shift their meaning.

What poets have influenced the way you write?

Hanif Abdurraqib, Hera Lindsay Bird, Issa, Ono no Komachi, Ada Limón, Maggie Nelson, Joanna Newsom, Mary Oliver, and Danez Smith.

What are you currently working on?

For some time now I've been circling themes of love, womanhood, disability, family, monsterhood, safety, and danger. There's a book of this brewing inside me, although what shape it will take remains to be seen.

Do you have a favourite tarot or oracle deck?

I use James R. Eads' Prisma Visions Tarot in conjunction with Megan Wyreweden's Nocturna Oracle. Typically I'll draw cards from one deck, then choose a few from the other deck to complement and deepen what I'm seeing or want to explore. My reading approach is unorthodox: I flip through the entire deck, face up, and set aside every card that feels significant in that moment. Then I winnow that pile to the handful of cards that feel most urgent, even — especially — if I don't know why. Time and meditation almost always answer that question.

Do you feel a particular connection to the card your poem is published under?

I really resent the Ten of Pentacles, the same way you might resent a strict but wise teacher who pushes you because they know you have potential. Happiness is painful and difficult for me to envision, pursue, or accept. This card presses on that sore spot and, as I say in my poem, invariably makes me cry.

How important has community been to your work?

Hugely. Without the influence, love, guidance, insight, and perspective of my peers and teachers I'd probably be a pretty bad writer and a fairly crappy person. To learn from others and to be able to offer support in return is an immense gift.  

Why is small/independent/anti-publishing important?

The publishing industry is systemic injustice incarnate. Privileged voices are further uplifted, and the same folks who have always been silenced are still being pushed to the margins. We hear the same tedious, violent messages over and over. The small press world isn't perfect, but — at least in the places I look — the reverse seems to be true there. 

Can you name a poet/press/project you think more people should know about?

I really love Post Ghost Press, especially their small poems for the masses. They're doing inventive, fun, and exciting things with poems as physical objects. The curation and collage work in the upcoming volume of small poems is just extraordinary; I feel honoured to be a part of it.

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