The Flapper Press Poetry Café: The Poetry of Beate Sigriddaughter
Updated: Sep 2, 2022
By Annie Newcomer:
The Flapper Press Poetry Café features the work of poets from around the world. This week, we highlight the work of Beate Sigriddaughter.
Beate Sigriddaughter grew up in Nürnberg, Germany. Her playgrounds were a nearby castle and World War II bomb ruins. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico (Land of Enchantment), USA, where she was poet laureate from 2017 to 2019. Her two latest collections are short stories Dona Nobis Pacem (Unsolicited Press, December 2021) and poetry Wild Flowers (FutureCycle Press, February 2022).
We reached out to Beate to ask her about her work and her passion for poetry.
Meet Beate Sigriddaughter!
AN: Welcome to the Flapper Press Poetry Café, Beate. I love the aura around you and am so grateful to you for publishing my work in your Writing in a Woman's Voice. So let's begin with my asking, "Why is women's writing so important to you?"
B: Because I believe our planet and our species are ailing from a competitive, combative masculine spirit that's been dominant for at least the last 5,000 years, and we are not doing well. Women are by no means perfect, but I do believe we have the feminine spirit of nurture and peace and cooperation that are so necessary to balance out the current destructiveness in our male-dominated world.
AN: Is your blog, Writing in a Woman's Voice, a lot of work to run? What do you look for when selecting pieces for it?
B: The blog is, indeed, a lot of work—takes me an hour each day, sometimes more. I do it because I know how important it is to hear each other. My selection criteria are not easy to describe. I look for authenticity and a creative spark that shows a writer's uniqueness. After all, we're all creatures that have never been before and will never be again. I'm also looking for variety, in age, topic—sometimes I have to turn down something excellent because I've just posted several similar pieces. The main criterion is authenticity, though.
Submission Information for
Writing in a Woman's Voice :
Submissions are open year round. The guidelines are simple. Send me something to email@example.com, 2–6 poems or 1 prose piece as a word file or in the text of an email (no PDFs, please). Previously published work is fine so long as you own the rights. If you want me to post a short bio with your work, please include a third-person bio of 100 words or less with your submission. All rights remain with the author of any work posted here.
AN: What did you learn the most from your experience as poet laureate? How did your city grow as a place of poetry under your tenure?
B: Curiously enough, what I learned most of all was that, as in my poem "Imperfect Flute," our visions of what we want to do often far exceed what as limited physical beings we are capable of doing. I did what I could. I wanted to do more. My favorite contribution to my town was a regular monthly poetry reading at a local coffee house that featured one or two poets, followed by open mic. It was an inspiring gathering for many of us, and it was continued by other MCs until the pandemic nixed it. Perhaps it will be revived some day.
AN: Let's take a moment and look at "Imperfect Flute" right now:
She knows how it should sound, clean, jubilant, a jeweled riff of rapture. It doesn't sound like that. Not yet. Perhaps it never will. She plays anyway.
AN: I think that readers might be surprised to know that "Imperfect Flute" is a prose poem. Also a poem can be short but still say so much in just a few words. Might you share a little more on this poem?
B: This short poem goes to my realization that what we see with our souls is often (always?) far grander and more beautiful than what we then manifest in music or words or painting. But we do it anyway, and sometimes it touches another soul who can contribute the missing grandeur and beauty. It is from my prose poem collection Kaleidoscope, published by Cholla Needles Arts & Literary Library, May 2021.
AN: In the world of poetry, poets often feel that we know one another while not actually ever having met in person. So we "see" each other without ever having "seen" one another. In our case, why do you think this is true?
B: Annie, I think we are both creative spirits in this world who not only want to be heard but who also want to hear other voices wanting to be heard.
AN: With that said, I'd love to share some of your poems that you chose for our readers, with a brief backstory on each poem. Thank you, Beate, for taking time to visit us in the Flapper Press Poetry Café. And all the best with Writing in a Woman's Voice, as well as all your future writing endeavors.
"Wildflowers" (first published in Desert Exposure as a grand-prize winner of their annual writing contest in 2017 and now part of my collection Wild Flowers, published by FutureCycle Press, February 7, 2022)
Wildflowers is a poem written in praise of the beauty of the natural world that I visit almost daily on nearby mountain trails (and by the ocean when I get lucky to spend some time there) in contrast to and also as solace for the disturbing world of politics I cannot avoid witnessing daily.
Hello again, sweet morning
primrose at the parking lot, dew drops
in rice grass, I am in love, I am
with you, day
flower, deep blue morning
glory, goldenrod, globe mallow, mullein.