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A Peek at Perpetua

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

*Perpetua responded to a request for an interview by a student for a school project about "artistic influence," in exchange Perpetua All Mother has permission to publish both the art and Interview on their website*

Media created by Perpetua All Mother Collective intended for this post/ publication ONLY

PERPETUA ALL MOTHER Talks About the Creative Process and How They Handle Criticism

"My critics waste time-"

By Edith Merrin

May 12, 2023

Trying to understand Perpetua All Mother & their named Collective is like putting together a thousand-piece puzzle with no reference image. All that to say, this artist has completely shattered the mold bringing us refreshingly raw content in compositions and media that we have yet to see as poetry consumers. Shunning personal publicity, Perpetua grants interviews only rarely, and much remains to be discovered about this mysterious author.

After Perpetua released their first zine, "Tired," in 2016, it won 2 young creative awards. In 2018 "Tired" went on to have a featured art Installation at an Oklahoma gallery showcase benefiting several organizations helping to bring funding to creative art programs for teen girls in impoverished communities.

In the years to follow, Perpetua's work has been printed in numerous publications and journals worldwide. After winning contests, challenges, competitive readings, and more, Perpetua is finally sitting down and taking the time to answer some questions surrounding their work and public persona. However, many of the interview's personal questions remained unanswered by the author. Perhaps dubious of their ability to make the public understand the person behind such controversial content. The forgoing interview reveals a peek of the little-known interior human. The labyrinth of Perpetua's poetic prose remains a maze of mirrors to everyone who has attempted to explore it.

Media created by Perpetua All Mother Collective intended for this post/ publication ONLY

How would you describe your creative process?

Most of the time, when I sit down to write, it's because whatever emotion I feel has manifested into a physical sickness. Often my memories sink into my stomach like rocks. So I transfer the energy the only way I know how. Through poetry. If done right I've exhausted my creative options, and the sickening feeling in my stomach and chest is usually transformed into pride in my new poetic masterpiece.

I don't have a process or series of steps I work through. For me, writing is all about receptivity. I don't seek out opportunities or storylines; I remain open and ready to receive. My brain spins my lived experiences into art as a way of understanding & processing them. For me, Each poem is a chance at redemption.

Why do you write poetry?

Because I have to, it's my only way of making meaning out of the world.

What do you think of the public response to your work?

I try not to think about it. I've realized that As an artist, I won't ever be truly satisfied with the outcome of my work… in the sense of how the public responds to it. I want to be understood, but I refuse to beg for it. To be a poet is to be profoundly misinterpreted; I have made peace with that. I'm a human trying to express my experience. I wrote these pieces for people to hear, so seeing as the best they can do is read them. No, I don't think I can ever be satisfied.

What makes your work different than what we've already seen in the poetry space?

Many things. What separates me from others is my unfiltered approach. I have spent much time deconstructing my ego to express my thoughts and emotions freely. This and my extensive efforts to stay anonymous give me a safe space to tell my story. The Perpetua All Mother Media House has become a public diary for me.

Why have you chosen to remain anonymous even amid popularity & success?

I never want to be afraid to tell my truth. I can't be scared if no one knows who I am. I aim to approach my work and subjects without letting fear cloud my vision or censor my speech.

How do you know when a book or poem is finished?

Never; I'm constantly in a state of re-writing & revising. Even after publishing, I've been known to go back and tweak things. I'll know my work is finished when my death has made it so.

Do you have anything to say in response to your critics?

I've said it before, and I'll repeat it. My critics waste time trying to plead personal ignorance to universal emotion. Everything I've ever written was crafted out of pure authenticity. How can they criticize that? I challenge them to look In The mirror and examine what inside them is so bothered by my honesty.

What prompted you to write the book you're currently working on?

The book was strung together with memories. It was a spiritual experience. As I relived them, I released the parts of them that no longer serve me. It's My poetic justice.

How do you choose the poems that go in your books?

I don't they choose me.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

There is no end game here, no agenda even. My writing has been a way for me to release my emotions.

Do you have a favorite poem that you have written? If so, why?

A few golden pieces that remain in my notes app. Some of the most impressive work I keep to myself.

You've touched on sensitive topics such as abuse, sexual assault, drug use, and trauma bonds. How do you navigate through the complexity of these subjects when they can be so "controversial" for some readers

With authenticity. I would never speak on something I have no experience with. My work is an exploration of my own fears and failures.

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