Kristy Lin Billuni Talks Trailer Trash with July Westhale at Sexy Grammar
“KLB: I love the idea of poetry as access, an open door or a platform for people who normally get left out.
JW: I’d argue that not only can poetry be the answer to erasure, but it indeed must be.
KLB: So Trailer Trash is for everyone who feels marginalized?
JW: I think that those who grew up in class margins, those who were othered, those who love California, those who are queer, those who are reverent, those who’ve lost parents, those who believe in climate change, have concerns about toxicity (in landscape & idealogy), who love poetry or psalms, or some combination therein or not at all might enjoy this book.”
For the full interview, go here Sexy Grammar
Westhale’s Poems are Absolute Dazzlers, by Diriye Osman for Buzzfeed
“This is the kind of poetry that drills down into bone and marrow. These are songs of hard-won experience, innocence be damned.
Tackling the death of her mother at a young age, the poverty of her childhood in the cotton country of Riverside County, Southern California, and the exploration of her sexuality as a young mixed-race woman, Westhale weaves a vivid, colour-drenched tapestry of her past and present lives with care. Every phrase, every line is so adroit that, by the time you finish this book, your mind will be swirling with a sense of fire and revolt.”
For the full article, go here Buzzfeed
The Ravages of American Poetry: Katy Tandy on Trailer Trash at The Establishment
July Westhale’s new book of poetry, ‘Trailer Trash,’ reminds us never to be ashamed of where we come from, even if it almost kills us.
The thing about poetry is that it’s kaleidoscopic, protean, malleable. It’s an art form often very open to projection; what one wants to see is often what one might see. Unlike prose — which, arguably, is exponentially more interested in conveying a clear idea or image — poetry is delightfully layered and fractured, inviting interpretation like a beautifully wanton stare.
Trailer Trash is distinctly July’s story—a harrowing tale of grief, childhood, and loss. But it’s also about America, God, and poverty; the collection nimbly toggles, with the grace of a feral cat, between the “I” and the Universal. “You want your readers to be asking questions,” July told me.”
And we are.
For the full review, go here The Establishment
Read more about July Westhale and order her book, Trailar Trash.