December 2016: Margot Armbruster
Margot Armbruster is a high school junior from Wisconsin. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Glass Kite Anthology, Polyphony H.S., Canvas Literary Journal, and Best Teen Writing of 2016, among others. She received a national medal in the 2016 Scholastic Art and Writing Award, as well a commendation from the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, and she participated in The Adroit Journal's Summer Mentorship Program this past summer. Her writing deals with themes of femininity and adolescence, and it helps her to better understand her relationships and to learn how to express her viewpoint on the world.
/as if she could slough off her skin
with peroxide /his eyes dark as blood moons
bobbing through the night and /she,
an elephant on her knees
in the sand /tawny, flooding with crimson and
/weeping for ivory
/what is a body? everything /he touched
with fluttering hands while she fixed
her eyes on the dust motes /glowing
under the streetlight /before the release
/before he dashed into the street again,
more /a motion than a man
/and when she sat silent /in the gassy light,
when /she blinked and blinked and wanted
/to be a figment /of her own imagination,
when /she stood up and began /to lace
dandelions together /stem /to stem, just
/as she wanted to be resuscitated /she asked:
/what is a body? anything/ left behind,
anything /in her still walking home,
still curled under the afghan without
/crying, still standing at the window,
cold /and pointing /at the stars
/with wet hands, gasping:
what is a body?
what is a body?
Previously published in The Noisy Island.
Richa: What is the prime role poetry plays in your life?
Margot: For me, poetry serves as a method of closely examining the world, as well as a way to better understand my emotions. My poems tend to tackle serious issues I have personally faced or am concerned about. Often, I dissect my closest relationships in my writing as well, allowing me to create powerful work which can also serve as a form of catharsis.
Richa: What are the themes you explore in your poetry, and how do they relate to you as a person?
Margot: Recently, I have been exploring the wide expanse of my femininity in my work, grappling with the issues that confront me every day: body image, sexual harassment, real love, etcetera. My poetry has also turned increasingly political, especially in the wake of the election—but then again, poetry has always been a political act. The nature of my writing always jives closely with the issues I care most about, so I think these trends in my work track my increased awareness of my womanhood and a heightened political conscience.
Richa: Are you working on any projects related to your writing?
Margot: I’m not currently working on any long-form projects per se, but I am determined to commit myself to increased social activism through my writing. Whether this increased focus on justice pans out in the form of a chapbook or merely winds itself into my work, I need to do whatever I can as an artist to create positive societal change.
A Conversation with Margot Armbruster