Sarah Marcus-Donnelly: This book is a beautiful meditation on gender expression as deception, threat, protection, absolution, violence, and condemnation. Please tell us about the process of researching and choosing these specific stories to tell. Why was it important for you to tell these stories?
Fox Frazier-Foley: Thank you so much for your kind words about my work, Sarah. I’m honored to be having a conversation with you—about my work, and about feminism, theology, and myth.
Sarah Marcus-Donnelly: Your gorgeous new book, How to Prove a Theory, was the 2017 Jean Feldman Poetry Prize Winner. It is a meditation on grief and memory and human resilience. I have had the pleasure of listening to you read some of these poems, which made them even more tender and devastating for me. Can you tell us about the process of writing about grief? How long did it take you to write the collection? Can you share some background for this book?
Sarah Marcus: I think readers can relate to the beautiful anxiety and obsessive self-reflection in so many of your poems. In the poem, "How To Piss in Public and Maintain Femininity," you write: "...I want what I want/ regardless of social etiquette and the way/ I am ashamed of my unconscious by which I mean/ I say everything out loud in other words/ I never fucking learn my lesson." Should we ever learn our fucking lesson? Is it worth it? Would we gain or lose our empathy?