“Art is a conversation,” says award-winning Lexington poet Bianca Spriggs. Her new book, The Galaxy is a Dance Floor, will launch with “Bianca’s Big Geek Book Release Party” at 21C on September 22.
Spriggs recently hosted a video shoot based on a poem and called for extras to come flaring their greek flags. She understands the benefit of collaborating through different media to influence and surprise her audiences. “I like starting conversations and finding out how it affects people,” she says. “Sometimes you have to add music or film since people have such narrow views of what a poem is supposed to be.”
When she’s not writing poems or creating multimedia work, you’ll find her planning a book release party. The Galaxy is a Dance Floor won’t officially release until mid-October, so locals who want it before anyone else have to come to the party.
“My only goal for the night is for people to have a great time. I thought of all the things I would want at a party: music, cupcakes, fun.”
During a recent Affrilachian Poets reading on UK’s campus, Spriggs offered extra credit to students who attended and then wrote about what they heard. One student who had been hesitant to participating all semester showed up. When it was Spriggs turn, she read “Separation Anxiety,” a poem about her disgust with Pluto no longer being a planet.
As soon as she finished, the student made a beeline to Spriggs and demanded to know what the poem was really about. Spriggs was confused. She had literally written the poem about Pluto, but the student was sure there was greater meaning behind it. What he took from the experience was even more than anything she’d intended.
That’s what Spriggs hopes to share through her writing. She writes realism, but she’s an abstract poet. She is sneaky with her alternate timelines and phenomenal worlds.
“You thought you were listening to a poem about a dragon in the bathroom and come to find what you really heard was about what happens to people when they spend too much time obsessing over what they cannot change.” Spriggs continues, “It was supposed to be strictly entertainment, you thought it was about dragons. It’s fantasy, but the best fantasy is rooted in the real.”
In her new book, she contemplates the universe from the planets, moons, and stars to the mating of insects and bodies at the cellular level. The content revolves around matters of the heart through the lens of the cosmos and natural world. There will be a mixture of Kentucky proud and geek poems, as well as personal ones that are more narrative and lyric. The book will include eight original drawings and sweeping concepts like the Fibonacci sequence and recycling breath on the planet.
Earlier this year, Spriggs celebrated the release of Call Her By Her Name, a more traditional collection of poems, at the Wild Fig. She describes her upcoming book as an experiment. Since The Galaxy is a Dance Floor is wilder, she wanted to throw a fitting party to celebrate its release.
Spriggs will be signing books and reading poems at the launch party at 21C. Comedian Josh Filipowski will host, with music by DeBraun Thomas trio and food provided by Dutch’s Bakery. The contemporary dance company, movement continuum, which is featured in her short film based on work from the book, will be performing.
The book release is at the 21C Museum Hotel on Thursday, September 22 at 6 pm.