From Our Soundbooth | November 28, 2021

Hello and welcome to Aud-cast #35, the Missouri Review podcast where we listen and discuss the finalists for the 2021 Miller Audio Prize. How lucky for you to be here in this moment, where we can spend some time listening to the latest poetry finalist for the Miller Audio Prize, Gabriela Frank’s “Ode to Loki (or, An Absurd Glorification of Existential Loneliness).” You are in for a treat.

Gabriela Denise Frank is a Pacific Northwest writer, editor, and creative writing instructor. Her work has appeared in True Story, Pembroke, Hunger Mountain, Bayou, Baltimore Review, The Normal School, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She serves as the creative nonfiction editor for Crab Creek Review. Until February 2021, she had no idea who Tom Hiddleston was.

In her note on the piece, Frank has this to say:

This tumble of a poem began with a monthlong subscription to Disney+ in the dark days of February 2021. My husband and I binge-watched The Mandalorian and had twenty-eight days left on our subscription. We scoffed at the Marvel Cinematic Universe—we had only seen Iron Man at that point—because the whole thing seemed super commercial, and there were too many characters to keep straight. By March, we had watched every movie. The development arc of Loki was the most intriguing to me. Who is this Tom Hiddleston guy? Turns out he had been in a lot of movies, and one highly publicized romance with Taylor Swift, which I had completely missed. 

At some point, I realized it was the conflicted character that Hiddleston created rather than the movie star who captured my imagination. Definitely a bad choice for crush. We writers channel a little (or a lot) of ourselves into the characters we create–as do the best actors. Where was the line here between character and actor? Between appearance and truth? A love affair with Loki was bound to end badly, but what sort of person would be drawn to him? We were all stuck inside eating the same meals watching the same shows, and from that notion—the trapped obsessive with nothing but time, imagination, and an internet connection on her hands—an idea was born.

For more, follow Frank on Twitter and Instagram, where her handle is @CivitaVeritas.

Aud-cast 36 is on its way soon, so make sure your ears are on their toes. Thanks as always to the Missouri Review contest editor, Bailey Boyd, and to Patricia Miller, for her generous support for the Miller Audio Prize.

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