An interview with Erin Belieu, from Willow Springs 71
I am very aware of anger—of female anger—as transgressive. And female anger is something that’s not spoken to often in poetry. Or anywhere, really. I think of women artists who’ve addressed this feeling directly and the backlash is usually intense. Very much a how-dare-you reaction. Which is absurd when you think of how surrounded we are by expressions of male anger in our culture. How venerated they are. Male rage is cool! But female rage is still disturbing, displacing, abject, unnatural. Except it’s not. It’s normal. And more than any other poem I’ve written, people come up to me and say, “Thank you for writing the Red Dress poems. They’ve meant a lot to me.” Which is about the nicest compliment anyone can ever give you.