Lydia Armstrong is a prolific and deeply personal poet. She is fierce, but friendly. She is intense, but intimate. She is a writer.
The piece she chose to bring in (something which inspired her) was an excerpt from Seymour: An Introduction, a novella by the late J.D. Salinger. Initially published in The New Yorker in 1959, since 1963 it has been published together with another one of his novellas, Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenter. Like many of Salinger’s post-Catcher in the Rye stories, Seymour features members of the fictional Glass family. The Glass’ seven children are all as bright as they are precocious, and are the basis for the Tenenbaum children from Wes Anderson’s 2001 cult classic The Royal Tenenbaums. Seymour: An Introduction has been maligned by many literary critics for its lack of structure and its stream-of-consciousness narrative style, but others, like Lydia, have found a wonderful sense of sadness within Buddy Glass’s lament of his lost brother, Seymour.
Lydia read two poems for us. The first is The Highway is Just Concrete, published in the Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal. It’s a deep look into Lydia’s struggles with Intrusive Thoughts and O.C.D. by way connecting the concrete making up the highway, on which she has had unwelcome thoughts of intentionally causing an accident, with that of the walls we surround ourselves with for safety and security.
Yet another great episode with yet another great writer! We discuss memes as works of art, the lasting legacy of Marina Abramović‘s popularization of poignant performance art, and what it’s like to slog through the writing of a first novel.
You can catch Lydia at a number of open mics around Richmond, especially the Open Mic Poetry night at Café Zata in Forest Hill, 7pm – 9pm, fourth Fridays. You can also follow her on Instagram, and watch videos of her slam performances on her YouTube channel.
This is Prose & Cons, thanks for listening.