Anna VQ Ross: I’ve been writing a lot about the experience of motherhood, as both a sort of creative and a protective act. And a theme that I’ve been exploring is fear.
I feel like right now in particular we are living in a real climate of fear. And apprehension and disconnection. And so a lot of the themes in my work are kind of poking at that fear and where it comes from and how to pierce it and understand it.
My name is Anna VQ Ross, and I received an Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. And I’m going to read a poem titled Almost a Mothering.
Read Almost a Mothering at The Baffler
Anna VQ Ross: I was at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, which is a beautiful place in Appalachia, a place for writers and artists and composers to go and have a residency and focus on their work. And I was walking from my little studio bedroom area to the main residence for breakfast. And there was a field along the side of the little path where I was walking. And there were these enormous turkey vultures sort of swooping down really low over the field and swerving through the air and kind of making these intricate designs and patterns. I know the word vulture conjures kind of awful cartoon images, but they were incredibly beautiful and graceful. And so I just stopped in my tracks, and I just couldn’t stop watching them until they eventually flew off.
That’s where the initial image of the poem comes from. And I was really named after Anna Karinena. (Laughs) That’s a secret in the poem!