KC Trommer: “People in Queens Show Up for Each Other”
This Week from The Common Podcast
KC Trommer speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about her poem “The Couple,” which appears in The Common’s fall issue. In this conversation, Trommer discusses writing about artwork she finds compelling and sometimes disturbing, like the Louise Bourgeois sculpture explored in this poem. She also discusses her Queens-centered poetry project Queensbound, her work as a visual artist, and her experience living a block and a half from Elmhurst Hospital in Jackson Heights, the epicenter of the early pandemic.
From the episode:
KC Trommer: One of the things that was very obviously revealed during the pandemic is that this is an immigrant space, and that people in Queens show up for each other. That was really wonderful to see and to benefit from in terms of connection and looking out for each other. I live on the first floor of an apartment building, and my window became a pass-through for pies and dal and meals and company and conversation. It also became the window we opened up to do the 7 p.m. clap. I feel like one thing that’s interesting is that we’ve all had to have this really deep reckoning with who we are, where we are, and who we choose to be with. And no matter what, that is a helpful audit to have in your life: why am I here, who am I with, where am I, why have I chosen this? And if it isn’t how I want it to be, how can I change it for myself or for everyone around me?
Poet and essayist KC Trommer is the author of We Call Them Beautiful (Diode Editions, 2019) as well as the chapbook The Hasp Tongue (dancing girl press, 2014). She is the founder of the online audio project QUEENSBOUND. She is 2021 poet in residence at Works on Water on Governors Island. With Spencer Reece, she co-curates the weekly Red Door Series at St. Mark’s Church in Jackson Heights. Read KC’s poems in The Common here, and learn more about her work and art at kctrommer.com.
Emily Everett is managing editor of The Common magazine and host of the magazine’s podcast. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.