When Audrey isn't baking bread or herding cats. Audrey is also a writer who writes at audreykuo.wordpress.com. Audrey is also a community organizer who can help you raise money if your organization needs money. Besides baking bread and writing, Audrey also has a talent for holding animals, both baby animals and adult animals. That is a super awesome talent as well. Enjoy this Oblivious Interview!
Oblivious meets Audrey Kuo
Audrey Kuo (they/them)
Affiliations (arts org, fun things you do, etc):
I'm a community organizer who also performs poetry, writes fiction, and bakes bread.
What's the one word you are guilty of using too much?
I've noticed that I use the word "anchor" very often in my poetry (in relation to writing about oceans, love, diaspora, finding roots). I'm also hesitant to draw attention to it, but anchor anchor anchor.
How did you end up doing what you are doing now?
I write because I need to. Baking bread was a long-time aspiration, dough I really got started after my friend Narinda shared sourdough starter with me. Community organizing came out of always wanting to build connections between people and finding ways for us to share our resources and wisdom and pain and healing and growth.
Which member of the Wu-Tang Clan best describes your personality?
I've always been fond of Method Man, but I don't know if he describes my personality, per se.
In, like, a fight? I think cats are more likely to fight dirty and might edge out dogs. In a cuddling competition? I'd say dogs in general win. Personally, I'm a big fan of both, so I'd say with dogs and cats, everyone wins.
What is the best part of any given day for you?
I grumble and whine about it a lot, but any day when I make time to write, that's the best part of the day. Writing gives me space to process and keeps me grounded, whether it's poetry, fiction, or journaling. (I feel the same about preparing food and eating with folks I love, but I definitely need the balance of making personal time for myself with a journal or my laptop.)
In a zombie apocalypse who would you want on your survival team?
I have been community asset mapping my apocalypse survival team for the past year or so. It's not zombie-specific, but it involves figuring out who is able to live off the land and who is willing to use weapons to defend a community. I'd say it's a very Octavia Butler-influenced vision. I won't name names (in case the zombies are tech savvy and want to start picking people off), but I am making a mental Rolodex of healers, street medics, teachers, and community gardeners.
My ideal apocalypse survival community would bring together a lot of QTPOC artist/organizers who are cognizant of each other's access needs, invested in creating and eating good food, and committed to personal and community accountability.
What is the last thing you searched for on google?
"miss major fundraiser" -- I was going to make a list of donation links for folks who are boycotting that ciswashed, white-washed "Stonewall" movie, but there's already a good list at the bottom of this Autostraddle interview.
"Hahaha, you're so queer!" And then after laughing some more, probably, "Don't worry, everything will make more sense once you figure that out. Also, you need to start decolonizing your reading and learning, here's a list of books."
What is the best thing or meal you ever ate?
I went to a six-course Co+Lab dinner hosted by Melissa King, fundraising for La Cocina. Other than Kristen Kish, the dinner featured basically all of my favorite Top Chefs (Melissa, Nyehsa Arrington, Shirley Chung, and Mei Lin). It was like my Disneyland! Every dish was pretty much incredible and OMG, Nyesha made this kimchi sea salt that I wish I could put on everything.
Plus, I could see into the kitchen from where I was sitting, and it was all these badass Asian women chefs working together. They stuck around to talk to all the diners, and they were clearly so supportive of each other. And Melissa's mom was there telling everyone she was proud of them!
What is a memorable project that you are working on or have worked on?
I put together first draft, second chances, a chapbook of love poems in 2011. Currently, I should be but am not editing a chapbook of flash fiction called unmarked boxes. My goal is to get that out by the end of the year.
I'm also really excited to be working on Hey, Can I Hold That? a coffee table book I'm making for myself featuring me holding baby animals. So far, I've held a lot of human babies and cats, plus three baby goats, so if anyone out there has some puppies or access to other baby animals, please let me know!