This content was originally published with Big Easy Magazine, a publication dedicated to being a progressive voice for New Orleans and a soapbox for residents in every neighborhood. You can find this article and more content all about the Big Easy here.
By: Nolan Storey – Staff Poet / Contributing Writer at Big Easy Magazine.
New Orleans is a city that harbors a great deal of talent. When most people think of New Orleans, they think of the music scene, particularly Jazz groups and Brass bands. While it is true that our great city harbors much musical talent, it is also bursting at the seams with creative talent of all sorts. New Orleans is chaos and order colliding. It is a melting pot of cultures in a way that few other cities are. It stands to reason that out of a city that is poetry, great poetic talent arises. In a field historically, unjustly dominated by men, it is important to shine a light on the talented women who are breaking out onto the poetry scene. What follows is a highlight of five rising women poets in New Orleans: Kellyann Bates, Julia Taylor, Sharita Simms, Molly Kirschner and Camille Goering share their thoughts, works and lives in the profiles below.
All of these poets have been previously featured in Big Easy Magazine’s art section! Each Wednesday we feature a local poet’s work! Be sure to check back on Wednesday’s for new and exciting work from these five, as well as other local talents!
Julia Gene Taylor
In space, I’m in love
Does he love
The touch of my lips?
They all love
The curve of my hips
They all love
The bounce of my tits
They all come
In breathful bliss
I still love
The pretty dream
I still want
The real thing
I don’t buy
That you don’t love me
I don’t stop
To wait and see
I dive deep
Down a trap
Now I need
You to love me
So I know
It’s a possible task
Nolan: Who are you? How would you describe yourself to someone coming across your work for the first time?
JGT: I am an artist of many disciplines with a strong intuition, a deep sea of emotions, and a distaste for the patriarchy.
Nolan: When did you first start writing poetry and what’s your goal in doing so?
JGT: I wrote as a child, but began writing poetry regularly as a teenager. I am translating the subconscious — giving my feelings and perceptions a voice. It is my favorite way to find magic within reality.
Nolan: What is your connection to New Orleans? What does it mean to you and how does living here affect your poetry?
JGT: I grew up in Tangipahoa Parish, so New Orleans served as a nearby cultural hot-spot and place of exquisite history. Aesthetically, it is a fantastic dream, and I am inspired by the artists, writers and musicians that surround me. I have now lived here many years, and this place with its blessings and curses of poverty, resilience, wealth, corruption, decadence, denial and celebration means everything to me, because it is my home.
Nolan: What unique challenges or circumstances have you faced being a woman in a field that has been historically (unjustly) dominated by men? How have you overcome these hurdles and how does this come through in your work?
JGT: I am fortunate that my first poetry teacher was Devorah Major, an amazingly talented woman poet. The inequalities of history are constant motivators to work harder. Women everywhere are learning to channel their inner truth into creative practices— instead of creating something to fit in the mold that is laid out for them.
Nolan: What are your goals with both your poetry and your life overall moving forward?
JGT: I hope to write another chapbook titled Ghost Stories in the near future. I hope that my poetry encourages honesty and empowers the meek. I hope to combine my painting, printmaking and poetry practices and to continue learning through experience and interaction.
As stated at the beginning of this article: All of these poets have been previously featured in Big Easy Magazine’s art section! Each Wednesday we feature a local poet’s work! Be sure to check back on Wednesday’s for new and exciting work from these five, as well as other local talents!
Nolan Storey has lived in New Orleans for 10 years. He fell in love with this city as he received his bachelors in English from Loyola University New Orleans in 2012. Since then, he has gone on to publish three books, including two books of poetry. Feel free to check out some of his other articles, poetry, and short fiction pieces here.