Laura Elizabeth Casey has been writing poetry off and on for over 3 decades. Her poetry has recently appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University’s undergraduate creative writing program and currently lives in southern California with her wife, dog, and two cats.
How does poetry and identifying as lesbian/bi come together for you?
I started writing poetry as a way to work out the feelings I was having towards girls. I was 13 and I was confused by what I was feeling and knew these feelings were not considered “normal”. Writing poetry was a way to disassociate so it wasn’t me having the feelings–those feelings were the feelings of the anonymous voice of the poem.
Today I use poetry in exactly the opposite way. Now poetry is a vehicle for memoir without all the necessary conventions of prose. I get to tell my story — the story of one Gen X, queer, poly person who uses she/her pronouns — exactly how I want to tell it.
What does it mean to you to be part of something like SMITTEN and have your work along side other women who love women?
Although I have been writing poetry about loving women for decades, I have published very little. So it is very gratifying to be included in an anthology with other writers who share my love for women.
Why is love a worthier subject than erotica to write on?
I disagree with the premise of this question because I don’t think one subject is ever more worthy than another to write on, be it love, sex, nature, etc. Whatever you’re writing about is inherently worthy. Even if it how you stubbed your toe on the corner of the sofa or tripped over the cat. I have found that what is most important is that you are writing.
Have you ever been SMITTEN and if so, do you feel it’s possible to summarize those feelings in poetry?
I am smitten with women every day, all day. I don’t feel it is possible to summarize those feelings in poetry but I’m going to keep trying to do so.
SMITTEN is a collection from throughout the world we have writers from India, Africa, Australia, Canada, the UK, France and many other countries. What does a multicultural collection accomplish?
I think anytime you can dispel the notion that there is one way to be in the world, and that one way is the “right” way, that is a good thing. I also think a multicultural collection demonstrates that for all our different experiences, our humaness is not very different.