Meet Sudden Denouement Collective Member Kristiana Reed

The editors of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective know that our strength is our writers. We hope that you enjoy getting to know them through our new Writer Interview Series.

What name do you write under?

Kristiana Reed

In what part of the world do you live? Tell us about it.

I live in England, in Colchester, the oldest recorded town in Britain. Its Roman name was Camulodunum and is known for being razed to the ground by Queen Boudicca in AD60.

Please tell us about yourself.

I’m 24 and an English teacher. I teach kids aged 11 – 16 and when I’m not doing that I’m either reading, writing, people watching or cooing at my cat. Mostly, I’m cooing at my cat.

If you have a blog or website, please provide the name and the link.

I write at My Screaming Twenties.

When did you begin your blog/website, and what motivated you start it?

I began my blog towards the end of 2016 after a sleepless night, tossing and turning, kicking myself for not writing enough, for thinking the world is beautiful and painful and not sharing my feelings with anyone. I had dabbled previously with blogging and always failed to discipline myself enough. My Screaming Twenties, however, was born out of a need to share. It wasn’t anything I had felt before and so it began. The name is a play on the Roaring Twenties, except I’m kicking and screaming through mine as I find my voice, struggle and survive with depression at different junctures and fall in and out love with people, landscapes and songs.

What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging on your site?

At first, it was the likes and the kind comments. Since joining Whisper and the Roar, Blood into Ink and Sudden Denouement and meeting people in person and online who inspire and support me, I write because I finally have the courage to call myself a writer. Writing has become less of a hobby and more a labour of love – a very therapeutic one.

When did you join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective?

April 2018.

Why/how did you join Sudden Denouement?

I was invited by the other collective members and of course, I said yes! I feel incredibly honoured and I am loving every second of being a part of such a warm, welcoming and phenomenally talented community.

What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?

Divergent Literature is the stuff I wish I taught in the classroom. It’s storytelling which isn’t bound by rules, meter and form; it’s literature which comes from our darkest and lightest places. It doesn’t ‘break rules’; it simply does not have them.

Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language.’ What is it?

As a reader and writer of Sudden Denouement material, the ‘secret language’ for me is the innate ability to speak from a personal experience yet still speak to the very core of many others.

What are your literary influences?

For when I’m angry or hopelessly in love – spoken word poetry. My favourites are Sarah Kay and Neil Hilborn (essentially most Button Poetry poets). When I’m feeling whimsical – story books. The ones I read when I was little, Fitzgerald, Waugh, Salinger, Fante, Haig and Ahern. When I’m feeling clever – the classics. Homer, Virgil and essays written by professors I’m loathe to let go of, despite graduating three years ago with my Classics degree. Then, as a teacher with a syllabus – I teach Shakespeare, Stevenson, Wilfred Owen, Tennyson, Dharker, Agard, Dickens, Doyle etc. An eclectic bunch.

Has any of your work been published in print? (books, literary magazines, etc.) How did that happen?

I’ve been published in Nicholas Gagnier’s Swear to Me and FVR: The Collection. It happened because he is wonderful and gave me (and continues to) opportunities I never imagined would come my way. He is a dear friend and I am eternally grateful.

Do you have writing goals? What are they?

To keep at it. To start approaching literary magazines. To publish something celebrating my 25th birthday next May – the halfway point for My Screaming Twenties?

Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites? Please share a few links.
Vigil
A Meadow
The Better Man

What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?

Thank you; for your warmth, kindness and support. You’re all wonderful.

Are You Fucking New Here?- A Weyward Sisters Collaboration

You dropped by today

dissected my verse

thoughtfully pointed out

all the ways I could

smooth out my edges

improve flow

to slide more gently past

your discerning eyes

you must be fucking new here

if you think

I was asking for it

not a fan of unsolicited advice

my “friend”

I like my truth

raw

bloody

with a hint of lemon for acidity

that stings going down

(Christine Ray)

Oh, hello,

I didn’t see you there

although I can already tell you like to stare,

as if it is your obligation

to females everywhere.

And everywhere you seem to be.

You’re the type who lingers in keyboards,

assaulting our letters

with ones you would never dare to speak.

You’re the type who visits galleries just to sigh,

point out the vulvas in the petals

and tut at a landscape you’ve never visited.

You’re the type who slumps way down in the theatre,

feigning sleep during her monologue

because it is ‘feminist and shit’, and yet

she’ll be the only one on your mind

when you reach down tonight.

Oh, how do I know this? 

Why, because you always come back for more.

For more of my letters, pretty letters,

your coeliac stomach cannot wait to reject.

(Kristiana Reed)

You stab me with a misplaced comma’s edge,

expect me to bleed ink, but I blossom gold

leaf, like pages of a holy tome, and your

lines of prose crackle in my burning gale.

I am more word than woman, you see

and I am truth, your haunting just ghost

of all those who said no, who pushed me

down stairs of paragraphs, but I got grit,

I grew wings of paper, from you I fly.

(Allie Nelson)

hey you there –

with the pursed lips

and furrowed brow

click-clacking

your studied

critical analysis

of these driblets

of my life’s blood.

you must be fucking new here

if you mistake

the penning

of my soul

upon the page

as a request

for literary critique.

this, here

is the juice of my carotid

scrawled with fingertips

as I apply

tourniquet and poultice.

your worded attempts

to package my agony

into neat and tidy

boxes

are ill-advised salt flakes

poured into my wounds.

(Aurora Phoenix)

Soft upon the scene

He entered

Mushy odorless rambling

Entailed:

“Darling, how are you faring?

Your words are dancing in my soul

Your star shines upon my dreams.”

Going after me

Feeling my every words’ step

With a presumptuous club

White and black penned music

That clawed silence to my ears:

“You are the brightest…

Fade away, you heartless beast!”

(Iulia Halatz)

i picked up my pen and out came all of me.
it poured and poured,
filling space with untrained words and anarchy,
sharpened love, feelings bent,
a keenness breathed without judgement,
ink balled with mercy
into something of me that might speak in truth.
but you sat and held your cup,
and watched it spill.
you put it in your cabinet
with a yellow note: ‘could do better.’
i would those curling lips
might taste the poison in the teacup
between your eyes;
that is where the horror really lies.

(Lois E. Linkens)

You must be new here, because tact and common decency seem lost on you. You see, it is not okay to call a woman by any other name than the one she has given — so don’t call me Baby and I won’t call you Tiny. It is not okay to insert yourself in my life and assume I need your sage advice — if I want to know, I will ask. Do not presume to know what I am thinking, or what my heart is trying to say — because you can be damn sure that if I wrote the words, I meant each and every one of them. I’m not perfect, and I never claimed to be, but I don’t need a lecture on semantics or grammar — I’ve had more than enough schooling and experience to know my own mind. But, if you really are new here, remember this one simple rule: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
(Sarah Doughty)

You enter my house and

manhandle my verse. You

wonder why my

heart spurts crimson with

every heavy beat—

pressure me for information.

Why so mocking?

Why so angry?

Why the foul language? Bitch,

you must be fucking new here

if you expect an

explanation.

Cos I don’t answer stupid

questions.

Grow a brain, and

get a clue.

(Kindra M. Austin)