Rowan Lynam is a journalist and poet living in Charleston, SC.
Rowan wrote “Gender(less)” and “Wicca Gospel,” both of which were featured in issue 3 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their poetry.
“Gender(less)” is such a great poem. I love the course it charts, starting on one end of the binary, moving to the other, moving to neutral, and then diving beneath pronouns altogether. Like, yes, they are important and real and have their use—and they are limited and constricting and placeholders for actual people, and people are messy, complicated creatures. Walk me through how this poem came to be.
I’ve spent a lot of time recently grappling with gender identity – the way we are seen and how we see ourselves and the gaps between those two things. Inevitably, I confronted this wall of pronoun and what it really meant. What parts of me sang when they heard “he” or “she” or “they.” What parts of me felt undiscovered, still.
“Wicca Gospel” is a lovely fragment. I felt like I’d overheard someone’s thoughts, liked I’d slipped into someone’s kitchen while she was talking to herself. Tell me who she is and why, in this specific moment, she’s thinking so much about her momma.
There’s a secret I know about Charleston, South Carolina. It’s hiding quite a few witches, wicca practitioners, and magical women. I had the privilege to know them growing up, and this piece is really a devotional to those women, who taught me so much about how to live in step with a personified Earth.
This poem is what happens to me when I smell salt on the wind or remember suddenly that between gospel music and rich soil, some people see magic.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
My website www.rowanlynam.com tracks my publications, and you can also check out the interview I just published with Natasha Trethewey in Palette Poetry.
Looking forward, I’m working on several journalistic projects, ranging from prison reform to queer identity.