Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Publication and Thoughts on True Blood

Yesterday I got a poem accepted in a new GLBT sci-fi/fantasy magazine called Collective Fallout. It's a newish magazine and I'm excited to be a part of it. They are publishing my poem entitled "'War of the World' as Fact, 1938," which is probably my only "sci-fi-ish" poem, but I'm thinking of exploring the idea of sci-fi and fantasy more in poetry. I'll be in the July issue. 

In other news I finished watching True Blood, which is related since it is a fantasy show. It really got me thinking. I've always loved the idea of the vampire and have yet to find a great way to include it in my work. After watching True Blood my eyes have been opened to all the possibilities. The world the show creates is fresh and interesting. The show is very much playing off the gay rights movement happening right now in our country but using vampires as the discriminated group. It works really well and gets at all the layers of that struggle for equality.

But one of the things that struck me the most about the show is the portrayal of the young black woman named Tara. She is angry yet doesn't know where to place her anger because she's in a world that no longer seems to care about the color of her skin. This got me thinking about a society that has moved beyond race as a discriminator (which probably won't ever happen, but it's great to consider). In the context of the show Tara has created her identity around the idea of being a black person in the prejudice south, but now vampires have taken over the major concerns of the town and race no longer seems important. Tara often makes comments based on race but no one around her actually seems to be doing anything of the kind. This is extremely interesting and something we haven't seen on TV before. What do you do when everything flips around? What would I do if suddenly gay people weren't the demons of society? It would be hard to redefine yourself and accept this new found acceptance. 

The show is so layered and complicated, yet so fun to watch. I can't wait to see season two and what develops with all of these characters. I'm also hoping to use the show as inspiration for my own work. I plan to challenge myself to play with fantasy and vampire in my poetry. We will see what happens.



  1. Hi Stephen! There's actually a lot of scholarship documenting the connections between queers and vampires. (Dracula's just LOADED with homo-desire.) Let me know if you're interested; I can send you some titles of things to read. Took a class on vampire lit a year ago. I'm not into Sci-fi so was resistant at first but if it's done right -- as Trueblood is -- vamps can be really interesting because they almost always function as queer agents in society. :) Congrats on the publication!

  2. I've never been that into sci-fi either but I think it was because I had misconceptions about it. Vampires, though, have always captured my imagination and I do love all the connections between queers and vampires. I'd love some recommendations on titles. Thanks!

  3. Forgot to tell you -- this is Amy! My two fave vamp authors are Octavia Butler and Jewelle Gomez. I actually don't like the quality of writing in their books that much, but theoretically what they do with vamps has activist intentions. I also love the film _Blacula_. Cracks me up. There's another lesbian vamp film...with Susan Saradon but I can't recall the name of it right now. And then there's lots of scholarship out there on queers/vamps: _Blood Read_ comes to mind and also _Monster Theory_, which isn't specifically about vamps but does apply to the term queer as a agent that instigates societal change. Have fun reading about vamps!

  4. Thanks Amy! I will check these out. I thought this was you, but I wasn't sure :)