Chicago's Sappho

« Cirque de Femme at Circuit Night Meow ~ A Comic Series »

Chicago Feature Focus: Tristan Silverman

DeDe Deylnn

Queer Lesbian Writer and Overall Fantastic Person

Chicago Feature Focus Smaller Yet2.gif

The Chicago Feature Focus is a bi-weekly focus on queer women in Chicago in all fields who are engaged in a variety of projects within their lives and within the queer community.

This week I have the pleasure of introducing an amazing poet, suave business guru and titillating teacher you should definitely know:

Tristan Silverman


Tell us a little about yourself.

I'm a poet, art activist, teaching artist and business-owner. I tour roughly six months out of the year as a visiting artist for colleges and organizations around the country. I started a small boutique firm (SSE) which helps connect top-tier poets with colleges, especially poets who celebrate the intersection of performance and education with the craft a poetry. I've created 3-4 programs which help colleges/departments/organizations design an event that can both entertain and/or educate their students or faculty.

I started the company to help create a more codified industry where poetry is not only exciting but honest. Slam poetry is great in SO MANY ways, but it's also a little impulsive and not always well thought out/written. On the flip side, academic poetry can be excruciating to listen to, extremely self-absorbed and inaccessible. The poets I work with have mastered the in-between: dynamic performance styles and authentic voices while being well-crafted.

There's rarely a dull moment.

Who or what is your inspiration?

In terms of poetry, I would say Sharon Olds, Marty McConnell, Daphne Gottlieb, AI, Terrance Hayes, Ross Gay, Rachel McKibbens and Tara Hardy.

In life, I learn a lot from the dexterity of my grandfather, the insight of David Foster Wallace, the malice of World War II, the discipline of my dad and the sheer sense of motherhood I gain from my sister.

Tell us a little about your most recent piece?

Hm. I've been working on a collection of poems called "The Traitor March: A Beginner's Guide" for the last six months. One of the earlier pieces in it is called "A Judgmental Poem About Boys, Or Maybe Myself". I've been working on its sibling piece, "A Judgmental Poem About Girls, Or Maybe Myself."

Both use irony and humor to examine the stereotypes of gender, gender roles, etc. For me, gender is so arbitrary and yet so many of its stereotypes have truth -- just not pertain to "gender" as much as they pertain to "human nature".

I'm fascinated with the interactions between masculinity and femininity. I believe everyone, from the frat guy to the ballerina, has a masculine and feminine side.

 *A Judgmental Poem About Boys; Or Maybe Myself, Worthy, How to Be a Sex Worker and Cutter Body

What celebrity are you currently stalking? (not literally I hope!)

Well, that's tough. I've been a little too busy to stalk anyone, but when time permits, I think Meryl Streep is next on the list.

What's currently playing on your music player?

Emily Haines and Rodrigo Y Gabriela

What's your favorite place to go in Chicago?

Green Mill Cocktail Lounge and  Intelligentsia 

Got any links?

My Website
Raucous Ink Facebook Group
Silver Spooky Website



Recent Posts


1 Comment

blackestsecrets said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

it also helps that she's easy on the eyes

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:


what will you say?

Related Topics

Most Active Pages Right Now on Facebook

Chicago's Sappho on Facebook