Literati Bookstore Reading: Thylias Moss

Author: Alasin Maynard

​In Ann Arbor, at the Literati Bookstore, there was a reading from Thylias Moss. This was one of the most interesting readings I have been to. Moss allowed the audience to choose which of her poems they would like for her read. The audience was free to ask questions and make comments throughout the reading, creating a dialogue between Moss and the audience. This dialogue created a personal connection between the speaker and the audience, and as audience member, that personal connection made the reading more powerful and enjoyable. It created an open atmosphere with a personal connection to the speaker and the poems.

When Moss was reading her poems, she was very expressive. Her voice changed when she read the poems as if she was taking a voice of a character, and she changed from soft to loud when she read certain parts. Instead of reading standing still, there was movement as she read them. This expression made it very interactive and visual, making it very powerful and creating a strong connection to it. It was also very interesting when she interrupted herself while she read the poem to explain something or to make a comment. These interruptions during the reading made it very interactive with the audience, and it gave the reading a unique and causal quality to it.
​In her poem, “Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realties’ Red Dress Code” the words red and dress were switched around in different sentences in different ways. It was a very interesting way to play the language with those two words, and it gave the poem a sounding quality that was unique. In another poem “The Warmth of Hot Chocolate,” she had some very good and strange imagery such as “pure thoughts were the original cowboys”, and “my wings actually grow from my scalp.” She also put a new spun with human relationships to God that was very interesting, and the images described spoke for themselves. There was a new of view of God that I never heard of, and it included a new image of Him with wings. It broke the conventional views of God that I heard of, which was interesting to hear in a poem. It was very creative, descriptive, and had strong imagery.

​In another poem, Moss took peaches expanding the description and played with the word using phrases such as “peachy keen” or “Peaches of me.” She was using a peach’s physical characteristics, associations, and the word itself to create beautiful and playful language. It was amazing taking to have something like a peach and have it spun in all those different ways defamiliarizing the word peach.

​This was a very entertaining, powerful, and interesting reading. Moss has a very unique style of writing and reading that can’t be put a category. Her poems introduced new ways to break conventions, and different ways a reading can be performed. This interactive reading introduces new forms of writing. It made you think about new ways and forms you could create.