READING SERIES | SMALL PRESS
An electrifying letter to family, country, and self, Unearth [The Flowers] is an essential collection, relentless in its journey through stages of grief and healing while celebrating life. Each poem is an anthem for resiliency, a testament to survival, a triumph over the stigmatized terror that pervades the everyday. Thea Matthews’s first full-length collection of poetry details a mind, body, and flower at the intersection of the personal and the political.
Red Light Lit Press
LOVE IS THE DRUG & OTHER DARK POEMS
Red Light Lit’s debut poetry anthology explores love, relationships, sexuality, and gender—and the corporeal space they inhabit. Love Is the Drug & Other Dark Poems features the work of 33 poets and 8 artists, each revealing the raw spectrum of the human experience that is both familiar and intriguing, comforting and thrilling, startling and validating. These diverse voices express the complexities of intimacy and identity in our modern life.
“Love Is the Drug is so shimmering and personal. These little moments when we achieve, with the aid of another, some kind of sublime, and time and space sort of dissolve and we’re right where it feels we’re meant to live—those little moments are quick sparkles, these efforts to pin them down in poetry feel as sweaty and muscular, as desperate and full of passion, as the sex itself. Each one a little flare, a little death, an I was here.”
—MICHELLE TEA, author of Against Memoir and Black Wave
—CARL ADAMSHICK, author of Saint Friend
“Within this book lives the profound work of pain turned into poetry, and that poetry, into power. These poems hold the best, most beautiful, brutal, sharp, and tender words of these wise and generous writers. My gratitude for their brilliance and generosity is endless. Elixir and companion, keep this book close. Let it leave your side only so that it may be shared with others.”
— REEMA ZAMAN, author of I Am Yours
“Poetry is my first love, and with this spectacular collection, I am reminded why. The aliveness I felt as I read each complex and unique piece in this book had me shaking my fist at the sky with knowing, had me tearing up, had me excited, had me heartbroken, had me undone. This book is the drug, this book is the love, this
book is life.”
—JENNIFER PASTILOFF, author of On Being Human
“In love, we are on drugs, and out of love we crave the next hit. Maybe that’s why there’s so much sugar in these pages, sweets and syrups employed as metaphor for what the Beloved withholds, the drug to set the lover free. Reader, prick up your ears! A choir of unruly, ardent, and embodied poems is singing.”
—LISA WELLS, author of The Fix
“Reader beware: These audacious, daring, often heartbreaking poems will shove love, with all its messy, unwieldy glory, in your face. This astonishing collection explores the underbelly of love from remarkably divergent perspectives. Yet each poet in some way posits the question: How can love survive in today’s world, with its high expectations and infinite distractions? These poems, and the edgy art that accompanies them, go a long way toward answering that question.”
—ALEXIS RHONE FANCHER, author of Junkie Wife
Red Light Lit is a mashup of live music, photography, storytelling and poetry set to a live score. The performers explore love relationships, sexuality and gender.
Red Light Lit with Lauren Barth
Thursday, October 3rd at 10pm
Los Angeles, CA
Red Light Lit with David Williams
Thursday, October 10th at 8pm
Boulder Creek, CA
Red Light Lit with Future Twin
Tuesday, October 8th at 8pm
San Francisco, CA
Red Light Lit: LitCrawl
Saturday, October 19th at 5pm
San Francisco, CA
We can't wait to see you at our next event. xx
Loria Mendoza is a writer, curator, musician, and performance artist. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she keeps it weird. Her work has been published in The Acentos Review, Mobius, Subprimal, Fourteen Hills Magazine, and The Walrus Literary Journal. Her book, Life’s Too Short (Fourteen Hills Press, 2017) won the Michael Rubin Book Award. She is presently looking for a publisher for her chapbook, A Stirring of Wings.
INTERVIEW WITH LORIA
RLL: Lidia Yuknavitch has coined the term “corporeal writing,” a way of writing about the body. Do you work from the body?
I think every character I’ve written and know well, whatever layer or extension of me they are, be it real or imagined, was written from the body. I often close my eyes and try to feel what a particular character is sensing in a critical moment, what they smell, what the night air feels like on their skin, how comfortable they are getting up out of their chair—all that stuff they teach you in the MFA program. But more so than anything, I try to feel how what they dream about affects their relationships, what ghosts they carry around with them each morning and how that shades what they see in the mirror, how well they can distinguish dreams from reality, how they break those patterns and escape the prisons of their character, or as Lidia Yuknavitch might say, their metaphors. It’s weird to think about, but that’s exactly how my first collection of stories, Life’s Too Short, and my new collection of poetry came about. After I wrote about fifty stories or poems, I’d realize that what I wrote about, I always wrote about. I’d think, “Oh, great, another story about a bird, another poem about ghosts,” but then I also realized I had a cohesive collection. I hadn’t ever taken the time to say, “I am going to write an X collection about Y that will have the running theme of Z.” I wrote haunting stories because I felt haunted. I wrote about recurring dreams to try to get mine to stop, about my dead grandmother and the immense loneliness I felt living physically in San Francisco off a huge student loan but mentally in the haunted houses of my failed or struggling relationships. I felt crowded and wrote about a hope chest that suffocates a young girl. I was compelled, you know? I think when you write from the body instead of from the mindset that you have to write something of a certain caliber for a particular spot on a particular shelf, you generate a body of work that’s incredibly individual. Every book you’ve ever read, every person who’s broken your heart, you carry with you, juggling them around hoping to get everything placed just so. And sometimes you do, and you let them go, pick something else up. That came out in my writing. My body of work illuminated a desire I had to find new ways of telling stories, and it’s taken me awhile to admit it. Because of course that’s also exactly what I didn’t want to do! I just wanted to be able to write a story that looked like Grace Paley could have written it, to have it published in a best-of fiction anthology. But I don’t write like Grace Paley, or anybody else, as much as I’ve often wished I could have. I write like me, and I’m still learning what that means, and that’s exciting. My writing is labeled all kinds of things: prose, poetry, prose-poetry, flash fiction, etcetera. I nod and smile, but I never write anything creative knowing what genre or length it will be. For me, that’s a mind prison. It’s exhausting surfacing material if I put those narrowing restrictions on myself.
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Photo by Allyson Darling
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