Heather Christle’s book, The Difficult Farm, is a beautiful space that inhabits a transliminal world inhabited by goats and bunnies, dragons and little owls, and maybe a few camels. Well, maybe not all of those animals, but some. Heather’s poetry floats and whispers soft curses. Whips the reader around. Juxtaposes and poses right in your face. In fact, when I received her book in the mail, I decided to read the book backwards, so I curled up in a small corner where no one would find me, not even mom. You should do the same. In this interview, Heather and I discuss trust, Miss Manners, and the famous pizzeria Pizzeria Unos.
Almost Dorothy: Just a warning: I’m not real, so everything I say is real. First of all, I’ve never been to a farm, so I want to know what a difficult farm is like?
Heather Christle: A difficult farm is also not real, but I think it is probably common, tough, and rewarding.
AD: In your book of poems, The Difficult Farm, I laughed and cried buckets of milk. Well, I didn’t cry, but I felt like a bunny missing an ear. What informs or reforms your aesthetics?
HC: For a while in my first year at grad school, “your aesthetic” was a phrase that got tossed around kind of in place of “your mother.” Carson Cistulli was doing most of the tossing. I think my aesthetics are informed by Miss Manners, a belief in Enthusiasm, some Serbians, some Russians, a love of animals, and a pursuit of being deeply, deeply wrong.