Tan Shivers is from Charleston, SC. She started writing poetry at age seven and has been writing ever since. Tan considers poetry to be one of her favorite therapeutic outlets. She recently published her first collection of poetry, Dark Days Lit Nights – Distant Memories… Up Close and Personal. Some of Tan’s previous work has also been featured in Transcendent Zero Press’ Harbinger Asylum and the Rising Phoenix Review.
Do you think there is enough representation of lesbian poetry and writing in general and if no, what do you think is the reason?
There doesn’t seem to be enough representation, but I think that the more people feel comfortable enough to come out of their shells to talk more freely about their experiences (i.e. women who are sexually fluid) then that’s when we’ll begin to see more poetry and generally more writing on those experiences. Majority of my sexual encounters have been with women who identify as “heterosexual” and they identify as “heterosexual” only because they feel they may be rejected by their families and/or religious communities if they were to live their truth. So the more open we are about women loving other women, the more we inspire people to put their experiences and their feelings to paper.
Do you feel projects like this help dispel some of the ignorance surrounding lesbian/bi love?
Yes, projects like this are much needed because they help educate people outside of the LGBTQ community on lesbian/bi love and allows the reader to see that lesbian/bi love is just… love. Projects like this show how universal love really is; the ups and downs, the joy, the pain, the bliss, and everything in between. We can all relate to those things no matter what our sexual orientation.
Why is love a worthier subject than erotica to write on?
Love is a worthier subject simply because love is eternal. While erotica plays an obvious role in love, it’s sort of a by product of love, meaning with love comes emotions, sexual feelings, desire etc. So because love is all encompassing of those things, it makes love a more noble pursuit and a worthier subject to write on.
Do you think lesbians/bi’s are more objectified and if so, why? What can we do about it?
This anthology is a great way to help “de-objectify” lesbians/bi’s as it focuses solely on love. Since love is universal, anyone can relate to the writings in this anthology without being distracted by elements of erotica that sometime lead to that objectification in the first place. Indie Blu(e) is definitely on the right path to not only “de-objectify”, but also to put emphasis on the universal elements of love that are shared by all who partake in love’s vast offerings.
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 applaud Indie Blu(e) for including works from women all around the world. To say that a multicultural collection is important would be an understatement. Having various perspectives on love gives credence to love’s universal power and shows the reader that a girl walking down the crowded streets of Mumbai daydreaming about her secret crush is just the same as the girl in Johannesburg who hides love letters under her bed waiting for the day she musters up the courage to deliver them to the girl of her dreams. Multicultural collections such as SMITTEN, give the reader a hidden view of the woman in Sydney who cries herself to sleep every night because her heart aches for the woman that left because she couldn’t handle the pressure of keeping their love a secret. Anthologies like this one puts on full display love’s ability to conquer fear like those of the woman in Toronto who finally found the courage to introduce her life partner to her family for the first time. Yes, this anthology is important because somewhere in England, there’s a woman questioning her sexuality and she needs to know that the tingly feelings she gets whenever she sees the girl at the local coffee shop every morning are perfectly normal and that it’s okay to explore those feelings. SMITTEN is a much needed collection because there’s a woman in Paris whose mind constantly replays the chance encounter she had with a woman while catching a train at the metro and that chance encounter has reshaped her entire perspective on what love is and what it can be.
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