Emily Blair is a queer Appalachian blue-collar scholar, poet, and community college professor currently living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally from Fort Chiswell, Virginia, she lived in Blacksburg, VA, and Louisville, KY, before settling into Charlotte (for now). Her writing often engages with the intersections of Appalachian and queer identities, toying with an audience’s stereotypes and misconceptions of those oft-marginalized groups. Additionally, her poetry plays with the bizarre and unexpected, body horror, and refracted relationship dynamics. A workshop moderator once called her poem exploring erotic cannibalism “disturbingly obsessive,” which she took as a compliment.
Emily teaches six courses of first-year composition a semester, is in two local book clubs, and spends her free time searching for the best lox bagel in the South. She’s currently working on a collection of poems about mothers, daughters, isolation, and myth, in addition to a series of love poems to Mrs. Pac-Man, j-brakes, wormed apples, and other odd and lovable objects. She serves as an editor for Screen Door Review, a literary magazine devoted to queer Southern writing and art.
Emily is reading and re-reading the poetry of Diane Seuss, Hieu Minh Nguyen, TC Tolbert, and Tracy Brimhall this year, as well as continuously returning to Kate Zambreno’s Heroines and Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey. All these works feel related to one another, with non-normative experiences and myth/world building encompassing the reader in new and unexpected realities.
Her first chapbook of poetry, WE ARE BIRDS, was published in September 2018 from Dancing Girl Press. The book circles the exploration, heartbreak, and complication of same-sex relationships and the body as a fluid conduit for expression; in a shameless plug for you to buy it, the chapbook is only nine dollars, including shipping.
You can find more information and links to her publications, including a link to buy her chapbook, on her website, emilyblairpoet.com.