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FREAK OUT! Nin Andrews

Tell us about your current series. 

I usually work on several series at once. This particular poem is part of a series of confessional poems, or as close as I can come to writing confessional poems—meaning they are poems that are more naked than others I have written. They are poems that wave their bare arms in the air and howl at the moon.

Do you remember the 1970s and if so what are 3 highlights of that time frame for you?

I remember one day my mother cleaned my college-aged brother’s room. She found a handful of seeds in an ashtray and threw them out the window, and pretty soon a clump of marijuana plants started growing by the house. The pot plants grew fast and tall until the day my mother asked Cecil, the farmhand, why anyone would plant tomato so close to the house. Them ain’t tomatoes, Cecil said with a wide grin.

I remember looking out the window in algebra class and watching six boys streak across the lawn. It was March, still chilly, the daffodils just blooming, and the boys looked so white and lean, leaping and running, like some kind of wild animal: half-man, half-albino deer.

I remember my first date, wearing hot pants, a halter top, no bra, unshaven legs and armpits, trying to be cool, my mind empty and blank as unlined paper. I felt over-exposed, like a photo that had been taken out of the camera in broad daylight.

Tell us about the poem you are submitting for the exhibition.

I wanted to enter that awkward adolescent world again, to slice it open, dissect it—that time of life when the whole world looked like a piece of fruit I could sink my teeth into. And yet, as it turns out, I was the fruit—so ripe and so stupid.

Nin Andrews’ poems have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies including Ploughshares, Agni, The Paris Review, and four editions of Best American Poetry.  The author of 6 chapbooks and 6 full-length poetry collections., she has won two Ohio individual artist grants, the Pearl Chapbook Contest, the Kent State University chapbook contest, and the Gerald Cable Poetry Award. She is also the editor of a book of translations of the Belgian poet, Henri Michaux, called Someone Wants to Steal My Name.  Her book, Why God Is a Woman, was published by BOA Editions in 2015. For more information on Nin Andrews visit www.ninandrews.com.