In an interview with Stephanie C. Trott at The Adroit Journal, Diannely Antigua shares with us some of the experiences, ideas, and beliefs that shaped the writing of Ugly Music. As the book moves from verse to verse and chorus to chorus, Diannely uses the rhythm of her writing to reimagine what ugliness and beauty are: where trauma, healing, and even herself move in and out of these shifting definitions.
Thank you, Diannely, for your brilliance and for your voice!
From the interview:
"Depending on the period of my life, different things were desirable. If we’re talking about when I was eleven years old and still going to church, what was desirable was plainness. No makeup, no piercings, skirt basically to the floor and shirt past the elbows. That was beauty, that was what was revered. And then the opposite of that is everything that I’ve become. So, right now I am ugly in comparison to what I learned. And I love this ugliness that I have. It is something I’ve worked so hard for, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I feel that I’ve worked hard for the nose ring I wear or the MAC makeup I put on. I’ve worked hard for wearing ripped jeans and a dirty T-shirt. It’s such an ugly beauty, both of them so convoluted in their definitions and appearances in my brain. Everything is so braided into itself. And it truly always comes back to praise, what I want to revere in my life, and what I want to revere in these poems. And the things that I find in these poems to be the most beautiful are in fact gritty and ugly, unexpectedly beautiful. That’s my definition of ugly: unexpectedly beautiful."