I’ll Follow You: A Chat with Francesca Kritikos about Poetry

Today I’m in conversation with the brilliant poet and editor Francesca Kritikos. 

(You can stream our chat via the embed here, on Anchor, or pretty much anywhere else you source your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, and Google Podcasts.)

She is the author of the chapbooks It Felt Like Worship (published by Sad Spell Press in 2017) and Animals Don’t Go to Hell (published by Bottlecap Press in 2021) as well as the forthcoming full-length collection Exercise in Desire (which will be published by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in early 2022). Her poetry has also appeared in the Des Pair Quarterly, Ghost City Review, and Witch Craft Mag. She completed the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of East Anglia in the UK in 2017. 

On a recent cool and rainy October morning we got to go deep on resisting the compulsive productivity of capitalism by writing in bed; how when you’re a girl, you can get away with saying less; how the linguistic conventions of medical editing have informed the evolution of her style as a poet; and making sure poetry is accessible to everyone, especially outside of an academic context.


Find Francesca on Instagram at @fmkrit.

Links to lots of Francesca’s work are available on her Linktree: https://linktr.ee/fmkrit

It Felt Like Worship

Animals Don’t Go to Hell

Exercise in Desire is soon to come from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press.

Read more about Sappho here.

The epigraph from Animals Don’t Go to Hell

He told me the story of Paolo & Francesca. For all eternity, said Franz, they are condemned to fly through hell chased & pushed by violent gusts of wind. But they don’t let go of each other. Despite the torments of hell, they never cease loving each other.

Animals don’t go to hell, said I.

Monika Maron, Animal Triste (translated by Brigitte Goldstein)

Read more about Else Lasker-Schüler here. “Lasker-Schüler was described at various periods of her life as a mixture of archangel and market peddler or witch, as a strayed bird of paradise, a giggling elf or fortune-telling herbwoman, an inextricable chaos of genius and craziness, of megalomania and intentional eccentricity. Of her own changeable nature Lasker-Schüler said: ‘I’m not a human being, I’m weather.’” From Your Diamond Dreams Cut Open My Arteries: Poems by Else Lasker-Schüler, translated and with an introduction by Robert P. Newton.

Ben Fama

Read more about the Cool Memories poetry workshop here.

rebel/blonde by Meghann Boltz

More about Bottlecap Press: “Bottlecap Press is a millennial publishing outfit dedicated to authors’ rights and fair pay, on a constant journey to explore the infinite possibilities of literary multimedia. Founded in Skagway, Alaska in 2014 and currently located in Joshua Tree, California, we are here to showcase the best in artistic talent through the works of visionary authors whose wonderful books speak for themselves. We are publishers of poetry and fiction, chapbooks and full lengths, and all of our books are lovingly handcrafted on demand.”

Witch Craft Mag

Read more about Anne Sexton here

Read more about Sandra Cisneros here. Her poetry collections include Loose Woman and My Wicked Wicked Ways.

For more talk about poetry, please be sure to check out my conversation with Tony Trigilio.