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with Eric Cadette

Interview by Anitah Diggs


Poet, illustrator, fashion designer and community organizer Eric Cadette approaches the release for his second poetry book “Inferno” set to release in December. Producing collections of poetry that expand on the artist's experiences with maneuvering relationships, navigating the emotional relationship with self, processing grief,  and an almanac of other emotions, Cadette’s second poetry book arrives following the 2022 release of “I Love Another, Thus I Hate Myself.” In addition to adding onto their published works, Cadette has invited more artists into his poetry world in collaboration with Thems Phx, for the monthly Downtown Phoenix event Fruity Poetry Night, an open mic poetry night for queer poets, writers and singers. We chatted with the artist about his writing and community work, and revisited a selection of work from “I Love Another Thus I Hate Myself,” in anticipation and for his new body of work set to debut this winter.

Anitah Diggs: What motivates your writing/ what themes do you commonly explore?

Eric Cadette: My experiences motivate me to write. Once I realized that therapy is expensive and any time I have a moment alone, I wrote down a thought that came to my head. Most of the time it seems to not mean anything until I continue through that process of recording my provoking thoughts and soon enough, it means something. I would say I only write poetry when I feel something first. The themes I explore are loathing inside of your truth, which swings between heartbreak and self-discovery in the purest of ways. The motivation comes from not having any other way or outlet to soothe my mind.

AD: How does community inform your work? Specifically the community space you’ve co- created with the Fruity Poetry Night at Afternoons Studios?

EC: My community encourages me to be more fearless. I created a space I’ve been yearning for since I was a kid. Fruity Poetry Night was a concept of bringing together all queer artists and allies in one space to share their stories and connect with each other. I feel more inclined to show up as I am because of the community that shows up to this event every month.

AD: What can the dolls expect from your new poetry book? What has the process been like creating it?

EC: I would say expect more anguish and self-loathing. This new collection of poetry is about the rawness of coming out of a situation that happened so abruptly. My poetry is always meant to tell a story, so just prepare for another journey. The writing process started in January 2023 when feelings of wanting to go through a transformation with my life, my career, and just overall health. I was filled with anger and despair thus the poetry became my source of therapy once again. This book was written in a manner of three months, along with the book cover design and promos. The process felt like I was slowly dragging myself out of hell or what felt like a personal inferno.
ENVY Magazine