Writer of the Month: T.C. Anderson for June 2021
Writer of the Month for June is the multi-talented TC Anderson, whose haunting poem "The Ferryman" got stuck in both my head and my throat for days after reading it!
T.C. Anderson is a writer and artist based in Houston, Texas, with work published in Capsule Stories, Pages Penned in Pandemic: A Collective, The Westsider, and more. She is the editorial assistant for Emotional Alchemy and a reader for The Young Writers’ Initiative’s literary journal Juven. Her debut poetry collection, The Forest, is forthcoming from Riza Press in 2021 and serves as the inspiration for an art installation of the same name being developed with artist Mari Omori. Additionally, T.C. is an award-winning graphic designer currently pursuing her B.A. in Graphic Design & Media Arts from Southern New Hampshire University. More of her work can be found on Instagram @thetcanderson, or her website, thetcanderson.com.
In the hour of needing,
I lay at your feet,
meeting hunger and woe
with pleasure and sleet.
These fingers, they pray
as tools for your wake,
a promise unlocked
at this graveyard’s gate.
Send coins to the heavens
and a barter to hell
and pray they shake hands
over the dry wishing well.
Find peace in the promise
and rapture in the sleet,
and when God and Luci call,
pray the two never meet.
The Inspiration behind the Poem
I would love to say this recent piece of mine originated initially from a deeper idea or a more intentional plan, but it actually was the result of a free-flow writing I did on a waterproof notepad in the shower one day. In several of the pieces I've written previously, I've loved exploring the juxtaposition of heaven and hell, God and the Devil, and the first verse cascaded into this kind of exploration after I paired "hunger and woe" with "pleasure and sleet," the latter of which made me think of the two opposing forces of fire and ice. I've always been a fan of tales that explore that line between good and evil, such as the comic book stories (and media adaptations) of the character Constantine, who essentially existed in this purgatory between God and the Devil, and this same kind of fate, and the "peace" and "rapture" that is found there, came to mind as I continuing pouring out lines while washing my hair. (My creative process is a bit strange, but it works for me!) I hope that gives you a little insight into the piece!
The Forest, the debut poetry collection from Houston author and artist T.C. Anderson, is the first part of an exploratory journey through the collective experience of literature and art. Assimilated with a poetic method using handwritten phrases on paper slips, the collection is a three-act journey that invites the reader to explore what it means to be human and how we live and exist. The book is the inspirational basis of a visual and literary art installation of the same name currently being developed with Houston artist Mari Omori. The first iteration of the work, named after the book’s first act, “The Branches,” has been exhibited at Houston Community College and Lone Star College-Kingwood Fine Art Gallery in their virtual 2020 Faculty Art Show.
The Forest is available for purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can connect with TC Anderson on instagram or on her website.
Disclaimer: EMC's Writer of the Month series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.