So when I first heard about the anthology that Cool Skull Press was putting out an anthology of video game poems, all written by women and non-binary authors, I was so in. Except I missed the deadline. And then they emailed me and were all like “can you send us some things?” and I was all like “YAAASSSS” (except, you know, super professional) and now I get to say that I’m in GODDESSMODE, which is so very excellent (I’ve seen the insides and everything) and I absolutely cannot wait for everyone else to get their hands on it. Meanwhile, I thought I’d check in with August Smith over at Cool Skull Press to see how this fantastic anthology came about. Here’s our interview.
E. Kristin Anderson: What attracts you to video games as a subject for poetry? This isn’t Cool Skull Press’ first video game poetry book.
August Smith: That’s a difficult question because I feel like the answer is very nebulous. I can pick out a few standout reasons, though. On one level, it’s really just a form of nostalgia-mining for me. I get to revisit these characters, words, landscapes, and ideas that I spent a lot of with as a child, and somehow I find that pleasurable and emotionally resonant. I think the impulse is similar to the impulse behind people writing fanfiction– there’s something powerful in taking these expansive fictional universes that are outside of my control and modding them in any way I like. And readers that were raised on these games have an easy emotional access point with my video game work. I received so many emails from people who were excited about my MARIO KART 64 chapbook because they used to spend hours playing it with their siblings so many years ago. There is an emotional connection to these games and it’s not superficial.~ read more ~