Pandemic Performances: Elisabeth Horan

Elisabeth Horan is an imperfect creature from Vermont advocating for animals, children and those suffering alone and in pain – especially those ostracized by disability and mental illness. 

She is Editor in Chief at Animal Heart Press, and Co-Editor at Ice Floe Press. She has several chaps and collections out at Bone & Ink Press, Fly on the Wall Press, Twist It Press, Rhythm and Bones Press, Cephalo Press, and Animal Heart Press. Her newest collection, Alcoholic Betty, is available now at Fly on the Wall Poetry Press. 

She is a poetry mentor to many up and coming brilliant poets, and proud momma to Peter and Thomas.

She recently earned her MA from SNHU, and her MFA from Lindenwood University. She is a 2018 Pushcart Nominee and a 2018 and 2019 Best of Net Nominee. 

Follow her @ehoranpoet  & ehoranpoet.com

A Little About Elisabeth:

What medium do you usually create in and why?
Well, I am a poet through and through, I don’t really foray into other mediums because, well I stink at them in my opinion, compared to poetry. With poems, I finally found a way to hear my own voice – to say the things I have been wanting to shout all my life, but never know how. I think poetry has a really incredible way of allowing a human to express difficult or upsetting things in a way which takes away the stigma of an issue. For example, I would never in my real world talk about my addiction or mental illness casually with those I don’t know intimately, but with poetry, I do that every day, and has become what I am known for, my rawness and visceral detail and intimacy in sharing my true self with my readers. 

What are you currently working on? OR Tell us about your last project and what you love about it! 
I just finished a really cool project with Vanessa Maki, where we did a collaboration based on the music of Fiona Apple. Vanessa is an incredible visual artist and heavily influenced by Apple’s music. So, she came to me with this idea that she would do art pieces based on a a song and then I would take her art and the song and create a poem. The result was amazing and is coming out next year at Rhythm and Bones. Super rewarding and challenging project that we just both entered into fully together, emotionally, spiritually and craft wise. Very cool indeed!


What kinds of things do you find yourself returning to routinely as influences in your work?
My influences yeah. I come back to Plath a lot. I have a book I’ve done coming out this year called “Just to the right of the stove”, which is a full collection of a conversation between me and Sylvia in her kitchen in the moments leading up to her death. I suffered deeply with postpartum depression (and mental illness my whole adult life) and so I feel like I can understand what Sylvia might have been feeling in her head, in the pain and anguish and mental illness she endured. Pressing questions I return to often through the collection and in the majority of my work involve being a mother and an artist, and can one truly be both? Can one be severely depressed and still mother? still create? I for example, have written some of my best poetry while severely depressed, as I know Sylvia did too. It often followed my menstrual cycle, with genius work occurring at my lowest, most manic state, and then waiting again for the next month for the surge to come again. I believe deeply that Sylvia’s genius may have followed a pattern like mine. Mothering, which severely ill, however is not conducive to good parenting and I know this all too well. Maybe of my poems question if my kids would be better off without me… and as we know, Sylvia succumbed to the demons which convinced her perhaps, that her babies perhaps were better off without her… of course I am looking into a past I cannot know as it is not mine, but I do like to think, that I can understand some of her pain. 

Wanna Tip Elisabeth or Buy Her Books?

PayPal: paypal.me/LizHoran

“Self-Portrait / Auto-Retrado”Cephalo Press

“Bad Mommy / Stay Mommy”Fly on the Wall Poetry Press
“Odd list Odd House Odd me”Twist it Press
“Was It R*ape”Rhythm & Bones Press

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