Poetry, chapbook, 32 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
Can you imagine what it’s like to live under an authoritarian regime?
Vignettes Under Authoritarianism is a collection of diverse poetic forms, each offering an intimate perspective of life under an autocratic regime. A dying grandfather tells the story of his country’s chaotic progression and an artist feels the tightening grip of the state. A mother is distraught as she realizes her daughter has become political. A protester finally decides to take to the streets. A queer woman hides herself and a farmer toils. We hear from the autocrat himself and get to know his steely general and his political rival.
Complex motivations and fears undergirding this stifling political system emerge and entangle, providing a tapestry of lived experiences. An apathetic tourist visits the country on a trip, while a foreign diplomat starts to consider the ways in which what she saw abroad begin to echo once she is back home. Vignettes Under Authoritarianism invites the reader not only to consider what life is like in a different place, but also how their own could change.
Kayla Howe is a poet mostly focusing on political and social themes with the errant bug poem thrown in for good measure. After a small town upbringing in the Midwest, Kayla spent nearly a decade living abroad in China, India, and Brazil as a U.S. Diplomat. Now she lives in San Francisco, CA with her husband, three children, three dogs, and two cats. You can find her on Instagram at khowe.poetry.