Staff Spotlight: A Self-Interview with Aidan Forster

The Adroit Blog is thrilled to welcome Aidan Forster, our new assistant blog editor. He is a fifteen-year old sophomore in high school from Greenville, South Carolina. Get to know him further in this delectable self interview.


What do you do all day?

I study creative writing at the Fine Arts Center with a whole bunch of really talented young artists. And I take regular classes, too—but those are ~somewhat icky~.

Oh yeah? What do you write?

I study poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but I primarily write poetry.

What’s your type?

Of poetry?

No, of men. 

Tall, handsome, stable. Artistic guys get bonus points.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, what’s your type of poetry?

I write mostly lyric poetry, but sometimes prose poems happen. I generally bother with narrative continuity as I write based off experience, but I wouldn’t say the poetry itself is narrative.

What do you explore in your poetry?

Some common images/ideas in my poems are men/boys, nature, birds, the ocean, transformation and transition (what is left/what is created), birth, coral (for some reason), and I often find myself chronicling sexual experience in poetry.

What’s your favorite poem you’ve ever written?

That’s a hard one! I can narrow it down to three. The first one is called “Logy.” It’s about a date I went on with a guy to a poetry reading, and it uses the word “study” thirty five times (because logy means study). The second is a poem about my friend Lindsey Hudson’s performance art piece, and it’s titled “Blood Moon.” She painted a portrait of herself putting on lipstick, then took 8-10 tubes of lipstick and arranged them on a table. Whatever she did to her face, she did to the painting’s face, until they were both just covered in lipstick. It was so incredible to watch. The last one is called “When Told Not to Chronicle Eroticism,” and was written in response to a magazine saying they did not accept erotic poetry. It was incredibly fun to write, as I explored nontraditional ideas of eroticism in nature, mythology, and my own life.

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing a series of poems based off symbolism/imagery/ideas common in my poetry. I’m trying to connect images that have never been connected in my poetry before, and to explore an idea through an image it hasn’t coexisted with in the past. I assume it will end up being very gay stuff.

Don’t you worry about writing “another gay poem”?

Kind of? I feel like a lot of LGBTQ+ poetry is dismissed as “another gay poem” because it is so strongly defined by its beholders as “gay” and nothing else. I like to think that writing about my experiences as a gay person without trying to make a political or social statement ends up doing more work than such a statement would, because it attempts to normalize what is seen today as “not normal.” I think it’s the responsibility of poets (and all artists) to discuss/explore the world around them, including its problems. For some people, they are called to write more political poetry, but I don’t think that’s my thing.

In six words, what would you say is “your thing”?

Anxious little gay writes hella poetry.

Who would you say have been your biggest literary influences?

Anne Carson, Mark Doty, Michael and Matthew Dickman, Terrance Hayes, Louise Glück, and Mary Szybist.

Who are you reading now?

The August issue of Poetry, The Hour of The Star by Clarice Lispector, Ruin by Cynthia Cruz, and Mayakovsky’s Revolver by Matthew Dickman.

Who is on your “To-Read” list?

How do you know I have one of those?

I’m you. Keep up.

Ah, right! Julie Carr, Richie Hofmann, anything I can find by Ocean Vuong, Christian Bok, and Peter LaBerge’s chapbook.

Speaking of Peter, what are you even doing here anyways?

I’m the new assistant blog editor!

How’d that happen?

Twelve trials, like Hercules.

Oh, right. I remember now.

Those were the days.

What are you listening to right now?

Why don’t you answer that one? We are literally the same person, as you so kindly pointed out.

“Dead Girl Walking” from the Heathers musical soundtrack.

You know your stuff! What do I have in my pockets right now?

A yellow plastic comb and your high school ID.

Right again!

What a surprise! What’s the most startling thing anyone has ever said to you?

One time, a boy tried to convince me that my dream of being a poet was invalid because “we don’t need poets anymore now that we have Google.”

Wow. Men these days.

Tell me about it!

How’s that dream going?

Not too badly! I have work in Polyphony HS, Verse, The Best Teen Writing of 2015, and forthcoming in The Adroit Journal. My work will also appear in ART.WRITE.NOW.DC later in September, and I’m a 2015 recipient of the Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship.

Go us! Is any of that prose?

Nope. Prose is hard. You should know this.

What about that one story?

We don’t talk about that!

Whatever you say.

Don’t you have somewhere to be?

Don’t you?

That’s a good point.

Good talk, little gay poet. Good talk.

Aidan Forster

Aidan Forster is a queer poet from South Carolina. A 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, his work has been honored by the National YoungArts Foundation, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the Poetry Society of America, and the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom, among others. His work appears in or is forthcoming from The Adroit Journal, Best New Poets 2017, BOAAT, Columbia Poetry Review, The Journal, and Tin House, among others. He is a 2017 Tin House Summer Scholar in Poetry and reads poetry for Muzzle. His debut chapbook of poems, 'Exit Pastoral,' is forthcoming from YesYes Books in November of 2018. He attends Brown University and plans to study Literary Arts and Gender & Sexuality Studies.

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