Elizabeth Hazen Describes the “Girls Like Us” Menu with Lesley Wheeler
As part of Lesley Wheeler's "Virtual Salon" Series, Elizabeth Hazen describes an accompanying menu for her poetry collection "Girls Like Us" and gives advice on getting through the quarantine.
"If one wanted to emulate the women in many of the poems, straight liquor – any kind – would be a fitting refreshment; another version of the party’s menu could be the austere black coffee and stale donuts or off-brand cookies so often associated with recovery. A wild array of mocktails would be better suited to a celebration, though..."
THIS WEEK, for her ongoing "Virtual Salon" series, Lesley Wheeler interviews poet Elizabeth Hazen whose new collection Girls Like Us is stirring up quite a bit of attention for its no-holds-barred look at addiction and self-destruction.
Lesley Wheeler, a writer and poet herself, starts her interview by asking Hazen to build a menu to accompany her collection. Hazen's menu includes "straight liquor" for emulation, or "austere black coffee and stale donuts" such as are associated with recovery meetings. She also suggests "mocktails would be better suited to a celebration."
Wheeler's follow-up concerns the Coronavirus cancelations. Girls Like Us came out officially on March 1st, only a week removed from the life-altering effects of Covid-19. As such, she has felt the pain of the closures most acutely, losing at least five upcoming readings and her appearences at three different festivals.
Hazen responds to Wheeler's question with the methods she's using to cope during the virus instead of "bemoaning all the canceled events and missed opportunities." She also expresses her desire to be back at school teaching again, saying "I am getting used to my own face staring at me as I record videos for my students. I realize that I miss them, and this is bittersweet; I will be very happy to be back in my classroom again."
For a limited time only, purchase Girls Like Us from the Alan Squire Publishing store and recieve a copy of Elizabeth Hazen's first collection, Chaos Theories.
Fully embracing what the lyric mode does best, Hazen provides the readers with brief, intense poems that preserve a suspended moment in time, attempting to record the thought processes and emotions of the speaker much like tree rings reveal drought, heat, and age. With astonishing clarity and concision, Hazen explores the mysteries of our realities—which are ultimately beholden to entropy. —Charlotte Pence, Kenyon Review
In Girls Like Us, Elizabeth Hazen fearlessly explores self and psyche, her own and those of other women, focusing on “this inward-turning darkness” as she grapples with addiction and recovery, psychological and sexual assault, and a culture of misogyny. Wrenching in its declarations and revelations, this is a book for this particular moment, and Hazen a poet of admirable courage, unflinching honesty, and deep accomplishment.
— Elizabeth Spires, author of A Memory of the Future and The Wave-Maker