Abby Minor head shot

CALYX is happy to showcase Abby Minor’s piece “Whitetail,” which appeared in volume 28:2.

Abby Minor has studied at Smith College, The Penland School of Crafts, and The Pennsylvania State University.  Her book reviews and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Georgia ReviewAGNI OnlinePleiades, and The Fourth River, among others.  Also a visual artist, Abby directs Being Heard, a creative writing program for elders in Centre County, Pennsylvania.  Her writing, quilts, and drawings respond to issues of race, region, gender, and reproductive justice. 

What piece/pieces are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a book-length documentary poem about contraception and abortion, although really I want to say that it’s a poem about solitude, language, stigma, class, race, and the profundity of a specifically female and/or feminine relationship to 
void as a place of creative possibility, power, and meaning.  The project responds to stigmatized reproductive experiences across three generations of women in my family, and considers these events in their historical contexts.  As I work on the poem, I’m learning about the (historical and ongoing) testing of contraceptives on marginalized people, about violence against abortion providers, and about histories of sexual education in the U.S.  I’m also experimenting with humor–I think in our poems and in our politics we have to sometimes be funny!  I once heard bell hooks say that the revolution is going to have to include humor.

Where is your favorite place to write?
At my desk, in a house that’s currently semi-heated–so I wrap up in blankets and hope for occasional interruptions from housemates and cats.

Who are you currently reading and/or which author has inspired your writing the most?
This year I’ve been reading Alice Notley, Khadijah Queen, Evie Shockley, and Susan Howe.  Edna St. Vincent Millay and Mary Oliver were the first poets I fell in love with.