AQ: Pastel Zine is happy to again host a fabulous playlist from the wonderful poet Kristin Garth - this one accompanies her powerful and important new book Puritan U - a project I am more than happy to get behind! Thanks again, Kristin for sharing this musical accompaniment to your book!
KG: It’s not everyday that you publish a poetic memoir. Puritan U is part one of mine, going to print today, in fact, published by Rhythm & Bones Press. (Part Two, Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir is coming soon from Hedgehog Poetry Press.) To say that I feel vulnerable about this book coming out would be quite an understatement. It is the story of my abuse within a family, an oppressive religious system and a sexual assault that happened at a Christian college. It’s a heavy book by a womanchild with a heavy life – but that’s not all it is.
It’s a book about Sundays, all the Sundays I was indoctrinated into a lot of bad behaviors, misogyny in so many forms, and yet here it is a Monday that I am writing this to you. I’m an adult. I MADE IT OUT! I made it to Monday in my own house where I write whatever the fuck I want, what I need to write in the moment, and I have the miracle of being read by some people.
In this way, Puritan U is about the curse of religion and childhood for me and the blessing of adulthood and writing. At first, I was hesitant to make a playlist for this book because I thought it would be too dark and heavy. That was Sunday. As I say in Puritan U and my poem “revirginized,” “Monday is coming & she will wait.”
It’s here so in the words of Prince in a song on this list, “Let’s Go Crazy” and celebrate my freedom that I wish for anyone living in abuse and oppression. Normally when I do a playlist I like to pick a poem for every sonnet in the book. However, I haven’t done that in Puritan U which is 65 pages long. The playlist songs do correspond to sonnets but a sampling from the book. Thank you for reading, listening and order your copy of Puritan U today at https://www.rhythmnbone.com/puritan-u
PURITAN U The Playlist
Y Not ? Missionary Man, Eurythmics
No Locked Temptation, New Order
Life’s R-Rated It’s A Sin, Pet Shop Boys
God Is Just Personal Jesus by Marilyn Manson
God Is Wrong Like a Prayer, Madonna
Degraded Ballerina God Is A Woman, Ariana Grande
Puritan U Losing My Religion, REM
Showgirls She Sells Sanctuary, The Cult
The Names Blank Space, Taylor Swift
Welch’s & Cheese Cult of Personality, Living Colour
revirginized Let’s Go Crazy, Prince
Austin Faith, George Michael
Succubus Closer, Nin