Thanks to Erica Wright and Guernica, you can read a great interview with Shelly Taylor (Black-Eyed Heifer, Tarpaulin Sky Press 2010), who discusses her latest collection, Lions, Remonstrance, published by Coconut Books in May 2014.
Here’s a snippet:
War is a lived experience, and I did live with it. It lived in my home, I woke to it. I have always written to make sense of the world. Post Black-Eyed Heifer I found myself living with a man suffering the post-trauma of war, and I felt I had to be more plainspoken in order to get it right. The ethical dilemma of what is right is something I have questioned myself near daily about. I asked myself what right did I have to put this incredibly tough work out there as I had no firsthand experience in combat and am not an overly political individual. I grappled with how this would affect my friend, my beloved, this soldier who no doubt is still in conflict about his past reality—three tours to be exact, post-9/11 to 2007. In the end, I came to understand that this is a book solely about myself, and I set this up from the first poem onward. As a result, much of the content of my friend’s experience that I felt ethically conflicted over was omitted.