image: original cover of the magazine
Free Verse Revolution Issue II (hermes) is out. Congratulations to the contributors, and thank you to Kristiana Reed, its wonderful editor, for featuring an interview with me and two pieces of my poetic prose.
Below please find the interview. I will feature my published pieces in future posts.
Free Verse Revolution Issue II Interview with Gabriela Marie Milton
KRISTIANA: We would love for you to introduce yourself and share
when you began writing and why you decided to share your work with
GABRIELA: I may have scribbled some poetry in high school, but
basically, I started writing in the period between my undergraduate
studies and my graduate ones. Now, I write poetry and short prose under
the name Gabriela Marie Milton. Three or four years ago, I published my
first poems under Gabriela M. Today, my standard introduction is: Hello
My Dear Readers, I am Gabriela Marie Milton, 2019 Author of the Year at
Spillwords Press NYC, author of Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings,
editor of MasticadoresUSA, and author of the forthcoming collection of
poems and poetic prose entitled Woman: Splendor and Sorrow to be
published by Vita Brevis Press this summer. My favorite poet is Arthur
Rimbaud. My all-time favorite novelist is Lawrence Durrell. My heart
trembles at Salvador Dali’s surrealism, and it is stolen by Chopin every
other week. To enchant some readers who may find such an introduction
boring, here is a little more about me: I love Italian food, narrow cobbled
streets, cats, and oceans. My favorite color is mauve. I was born in
Europe, and I live in the USA.
Honestly, initially it was not my decision to share my work, as intriguing
as it may sound. Yet, things happened. I will leave it at that.
KRISTIANA: How would you describe your collection, Passions: Love
Poems and Other Writings, to those new to your work?
GABRIELA: To me the collective unconscious– as conceptualized by Jung
– represents another level of existence that we, as humans, share. In
Passions I tried to penetrate that level and bring out perhaps its most
important element: memories. Passions is a book of vivid and lush images
brought to light using symbolist, surrealist, and romantic techniques. It is
a book for everyone. It is a call to immortality. It is a journey through the
corridors of our collective unconscious. I wrote Passions – like all my
other writings – almost in a trance. Passions is that which I feel, not
necessarily that which I know.
Some pieces included in Passions are influenced by Gnosticism with
which I first became acquainted by reading Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis
Borges, Lawrence Durrell, and others.
To wrap it up, Passions is what Christina Schwarz, the author of the New
York Times Bestseller “Drowning Ruth,” described as “a fantastic world
ripe with emotion.” I am deeply grateful to her for that description.
KRISTIANA: Your prose pieces often have dominant themes of love and
heartache, what draws you to romantic storytelling?
GABRIELA: Mama used to say that I am a romantic story. I, the subject,
am the same with the object (i.e. my story). The object does not exist
independent from me. Something similar to the concept of endopathy
anticipated by Dante: “he who would paint a figure, if he cannot become
that figure, cannot portray it.” Yet, when mama said what she said she
was not thinking of Dante. She was thinking of Kant’s transcendental
idealism. She made me read Kant when I was in high school. I did it with
packs of ice on my head. On every page there were about 10 to15 words
that I did not understand. It was an interesting experience to say the
KRISTIANA: What are your inspirations? Are they musical, literary,
ekphrastic, or all three?
GABRIELA: Something more than all three together: the plan of the
unconscious. From there my inspiration flows like a river. In there, I find
light and darkness, the whole and its parts, sonorous images with their
unmistakable language, memories of the future and of the past, the sound
of germinating wheat, the entire world.
KRISTIANA: You recently announced your next collection is coming
soon, can you give us a synopsis and explain the impact you hope this
collection will have on your readers?
GABRIELA: Woman: Splendor and Sorrow, is a collection of love poems
and poetic prose. I hope my readers will be interested in this collection. It
will be published by Vita Brevis Press at the end of July. Here is part of
what I wrote in the dedication in an attempt to describe my own book:
My Dear Readers,
My favorite novelist, Lawrence Durrell, once asked:
“Who invented the human heart, I wonder? Tell me, and then show me the
place where he was hanged.”
If you read this book, you will find that place. Yet make no mistake. It is
not a sad place. In the pages you are about to read, I resurrect the one who
invented the human heart. The splendors of candlelight and roses and the
taste of gingerbread dwell in this book. Partake in them.
The core of this book is love. Yet you will also find in it philosophical thoughts
on literature, on winning and losing, on hate, on feminism, and on life in
My dear reader, from wherever you are in this world, walk with me on the
beautiful path of the human heart. I promise you will not regret doing so. On
this road you will find love and the symbols that define us as humans.
KRISTIANA: Issue II draws upon Hermes from the Olympic pantheon,
why do you think we continue to reinvent and rejuvenate myths and
stories of old? Do you have a particular myth/story you remember
GABRIELA: Oh, myths, none of our civilizations have ever survived
without them. We all have a mythical part so to speak. Myths express
ontological and moral ideas. Their splendid supernaturality reflects our
desire to transcend the materiality of the world, to find our beginnings,
and to anticipate the future. Codes, symbols. Their faces may change in
time, but they never become old.
I have many stories I remember fondly. However, in myths, as well as in
most major religions, there is one thing that fascinates me the most: the
fall. Something goes wrong with our world because somebody errs. In
most cases that somebody is a woman. Certain Gnostics believe that our
material world is not the creation of the real God. The world is the
creation of the demiurge (a lesser God) who came into being because of
I remember when I first visited Santorini. One early morning, caught
between its breathtaking views and the blue of the Mediterranean, I
realized that nobody could have ever lived in Greece without concocting
myths. The beauty of that place refuses itself to rationality. One needs an
entire mythology to absorb it.
KRISTIANA: Would you describe yourself as multifaceted like Hermes?
Could you use three words to describe yourself?
GABRIELA: Hermes is a fascinating figure. He is the messenger of Gods.
Some see him as the Logos itself. However, Hermes is also the god of
thieves and liars. The Greeks did not leave one single human trait without
a God. You must hand it to them.
To answer your question, I do not think of myself as multifaceted. Three
words to describe myself: I am mystery. Why? Because I am like anyone
else. We all have a sight that we do not understand. Perhaps we are not
KRISTIANA: You are a long time, and very appreciated, supporter of FVR
and other online platforms, what do you feel the online community has
brought to the traditional world of writing and publishing?
GABRIELA: The online community allows people to express their talents
without having to go through more cumbersome conventional processes.
It gives voice to the poor, and to the misunderstood. It gives voice to
those who are unconventional. It allows us to dwell in a multiplicity of
talents. It forces us to rediscover ourselves.
Thank you for reading. Please download the entire issue here.
There are two beautiful poems up at MasticadoresUSA.
Ghost in The Machine by Swarn Gill (read here)
May Your Wings Soar by Andrew McDowell (read here)
Do not forget to follow MasticadoresUSA.
@Gabriela Marie Milton