Name: Hannah Neurotica
Day job: I work for the amazing feminist health organization Planned Parenthood! Right now is a really intense time for women’s health. It’s nuts to think in 2012 we have to fight for our right to affordable and assessible cervical cancer screenings, breast exams, and birth control. It feels good knowing I get to work with people every day fighting for something I believe in so strongly!
When I am not at work my life is very much consumed by art, writing, and media in all it’s various formats. I am the Founder/ Director of Operations for Women in Horror Month (WiHM). Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is a service offered through Viscera, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are working to expand opportunities for filmmakers, artists, and fans by raising awareness about the changing roles for women through horror filmmaking, writing, events, and networking. I began publicly exploring my love of horror and gender studies about 10 years ago via my cut n’ paste DIY zine: Ax Wound: Gender and the Horror Genre. I am pretty much always experimenting with different art forms- I spend my time doing anything from photography, spoken word, freelance writing, experimental collages, and most recently I am playing around with Claymation.
Favourite book of all time: It is my opinion that nobody should be able to have an overall ‘favorite’ anything. Or at least I can’t grasp the concept. I mean, we are all such complex layered beings that one book we love might meet one side of ourselves perfectly while another book might meet a different, but equally important need. With that being said the book that really got me to be more experimental, brave, and daring with my art/writing was PARADOXIA by Lydia Lunch. That book was so brave, naked, compelling. It made me feel safe in expressing even the most dark/true parts of myself. All for the purpose of self-healing and doing away with shame.
Literary pet peeves: I just hate when books like The DaVinci Code sell like crazy and people who are lacking critical thinking skills confuse this book with good writing. “Oh my god that book was so good!” No, the book was entertaining but it was not good writing! The writers who do write brilliant works will never see that success in life and it makes me sad. Our culture is training everyone to be as stupid as possible.
Guilty pleasure: No such thing! Why should I be made to feel guilty about what gives me pleasure? Re: Paradoxia by Lydia Lunch.
Three favourite authors: Katherine Dunn‘s Geek Love is one of my all time favorites books, Sylvia Plath has to be on the list because no matter how cliche it’s just a fact of nature. Last but certainly not least I was so lucky to grow up with a brilliant literary father, Michael H. Forman. Tragically he passed away two years ago. He taught me everything I know about writing and I miss him greatly. My family is working to publish the book he wrote before he died. So, hopefully I can bring his work to the world since he didn’t get the chance.
Favourite fictional character: Oh man. This is so tough!! How can I narrow it down? Ummm….I will see what comes to my head first…1…2..3….Homer Simpson.
Other recommended reading: I really really really think everyone should run to the bookstore and buy up everything by Keri Smith. You might have to look in the Children’s section but it should be recommended “reading” for all ages. Start by looking up the original Wreck This Journal! I carried her book around with me for a year! Now- this isn’t “reading” as much as an experience but it will alter the way you look at books as a physical object and in turn help break down barriers that may hold you back in your own art and writing.