Ethereal Interview Series with Mauve Perle Tahat: Rose Knapp

an in interview series in which Mauve gets personal with brilliant artists, too perfect for this world yet living in our time.

Using 5 images 2 songs and 3 text messages, describe the writer inside of you.

I make electronic music, these are two songs that describe me.

What non living relative understands you most and what do you want them to know about your world right now? 

I would say my father, who passed away about ten years ago, understands me the most. We both loved philosophy, which he taught at a university and I majored in in college. I would want him to know about how I came to love poetry and have had ‘success’ in. I came to know poetry after he had passed away.

For each interviewee I am picking a page from Talal’s [my oldest child] Ispy book and asking them to describe what they see like a Rorschach test.

I see an angry face with marbles for eyes. I see a shadowy figure with utensils for arms.I also see the letters P L A, maybe almost forming the word PLAY. There are also animal figures and a ballerina.

You craft your work with style in a way that touches my soul. Tell me when you first started experiments with style and if you experience phases of your art.

I’ve been interested in experiments with style and form since I started writing in my mid-twenties. I’ve been greatly influenced by Dadaism and to some degree Futurism. I’m attracted to the nonsensical, the chaotic, and the mystical. I like poetry that questions and ponders rather than prescribes morality or meaning. I think my art does experience phases. For a long period I was more fixated on longer, somewhat grandiose forms. Lately I’ve been more interested in brevity and concision, while still approaching much of my poetry from a Dadaist perspective.

Lately I’ve been connecting with the way to talk about the body–both with your work and social media. Talk about this or talk about something completely unrelated. 

I’ve written about the body. My poetry tends to be abstract but my work tends to celebrate the body. In particular I’ve written how trans women are divine goddesses in a world that often erases us entirely or treats us as a fetish for the male gaze. I’ve also written about the effects of HRT, as I’ve experienced them, both on a physical level and a spiritual level.

I’ve known your work since about 2014. Tell me about your mental-emotional space during that time span. 

Wow, 2014! My mental-emotional space has changed tremendously over that time span. I’ve lived in New York City, Los Angeles, and currently in Minneapolis. I’ve started transitioning and started HRT about a year ago, which has effected my psyche and body in deep and positive ways. I feel much more in touch with myself on many levels. I’m also a more mentally stable and balanced person than I have been at some periods over that span.

You read more poetry than anyone I know. Do you have top 5 recommendations for readers they can jump into this season [fall]?

Thank you, I do read a lot of poetry. Reading and writing are like rituals for me.

I have a new collection, Shadow Beings, out with the stellar Beir Bua Press. They’re a new avant-garde Irish press that has published some phenomenal work. My recommendations for fall reading are some I’ve read recently.

Shadow Beings, Rose Knapp

Word/Play, Helen Bowie

Womxn Heatwave Mama, Michelle Moloney King

Twenty-one Computations, Sascha Engel

I’d Better Let You Go, Nikki Dudley

Buy a collection from Rose, any of the ones mentioned above. You will thank me.

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