I’m Paige, and I’m taking over The Growler this week! Bear Review was one of my first poetry publications ever. They published my poems “Salamanders” and “Belly of Stones” in Vol 7.2. You can check them out here. I’m also honored that they nominated “Salamanders” for a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize.
Marcus suggested I talk in my authentic voice for these blog posts, and that got me thinking about all the reservations I have about my literal speaking voice, which tends to be quite high and reedy. When speaking as an instructor or at readings, I go out of my way to lower my voice a few notes so people can hear me—a recurring issue when speaking to people who are hard of hearing. It’s doable but also tiring. At home and with friends, I just talk like a mouse. I live a secret double life!
When magazines ask me for a photo of myself, I opt for the Serious Black and White PhotoTM because I want my work to be read as “literary.” Maybe the readers will see the somber photo and read in the low velvet tones of a distinguished artist rather than Tutter, the mouse in Bear in the Big Blue House. I’m including a link here to Tutter’s iconic song, “What Kind of Mouse am I?” I’m 28 years old, and Tutter’s music still moves me! Perhaps a mouse inside me deserves to be heard, and Tutter is speaking to them.
At poetry readings, I worry that the content of my poems will be overlooked because listeners are distracted by my, shall we say, unique voice. A severe black turtleneck can only get me so far! On one level, I know the whole dark academia aesthetic is problematic bullshit, and yet I can’t quite pull myself out of its gravity well. Here’s hoping I start this blog takeover right by balancing images of Severe Paige with Squash Paige and letting my inner mouse sing.