Interviews With Red Beard Authors and artists All interviews are directly transcribed from the author and should be read as their words and sentiments, the views they express do not represent red beard press in any way
Interview with Carson Borbely, Author of Medication Interview questions by Clara Kaul
Question: could you start off by telling me a little bit about yourself and your piece?
My name is Carson Marie Borbely and I like a lot of things and people, especially musicology, leaf boats, and books by Miranda July. The piece I have in Pufferfish, Medication, is a poem I've been trying to write for a while. It came out more easily than I expected it to. I'd say the poem took about 20 minutes to write, but I've been tinkering with it for a while now. The ending is probably the part I have had the most pause and doubt about, and I find myself performing it slightly differently every time. Medication was also selected to win the One Pause Emerging Writers Contest, which surprised and excited me.
Question: as a writer a mentally ill writer myself, I often notice my illness affecting my writing in ways I didn't intend or expect, but when I try to write directly about it, it ends up being elusive or vague. Do you have this problem? How do you work around it? How do you approach writing w and about mental illness in general?
I do my best to say something straight out when something is difficult to say. It can be incredibly hard to be honest even in honest poetry. I think bringing authenticity to poems in a simple way can lay things bare and often be the most impactful way. It's easy to hide things in language, to stick them in metaphor. This is something I revise and counteract in myself. A certain amount of privacy is important in writing, but what I generally ask myself is, is the thing I want to say going to be helpful to someone else? One of the hardest things about struggling with mental illness is feeling invisible, feeling isolated. I think art, especially writing, can be a good way to shatter the illusion of isolation that chokes and silences many.
Question: do/how do you plan on continuing writing in the future?
This fall, I'll be attending Washington University in St. Louis. I'm excited to pursue writing there not only through taking poetry classes but also participating in WUSlam and the slam community of greater St. Louis. I also plan to minor in writing if I can manage it. WashU has creative writers study focuses outside of their preferred disciplines, for example, I'd probably have to take courses in creative nonfiction and fiction. I hope I can keep writing for a long time. I don't intend to make writing my livelihood, but I feel gifted and happy to be able to manipulate and interact with language in a satisfactory way, and I'd like to continue doing so.
To learn more about Carson, Medication, and their writing, check out the First Edition of Pufferfish at the Neutral Zone's Shopify (link here)