We are really excited to bring you an interview with Brittany Cagle, the winner of the 2014 Pangaea Prize with a series of poems titled My Family Sleeps in New Beds. This interview addresses how to navigate personal tragedy within the tragedies of others and how to translate the experience of people close to you while not exploiting them. We also discuss some formal elements of Cagle’s poetry and her amazing art.
“In the case of [writing on] tragedy, we completely expose the people we know and often have to negotiate between our desire to be truthful and our fears of exploiting someone. We have the ability—even more so as writers—to hurt each other in perseverant and permanent ways, especially once our words are printed and public…. But often I think— don’t I somewhat own the things that happened to me in my own life? Aren’t these, too, stories for me to tell? This is where lines can become blurred and downright confusing. This became a source of personal frustration—how I could approach writing on others.” Read the entire interview here.