KT: Chocolate. Always. Everything chocolate. As a non dairy eater I'm always interested in trying new non-milk varieties. So far coconut milk based ice creams are my FAVORITE. So I guess coconut-milk-chocolate everything.
KLC: Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to and what was so cool about it?
KT: The first trip that popped in my head was Costa Rica in 2009 with my best friend. We did work-study on a botanical garden just off the coast of Golfito on the south end of the country. We had to travel 30min by speedboat to get there, and the garden was just 3 acres of landscaped property in the middle of the untouched jungle. There were monkeys, snakes, lizards, birds of all kinds, and more bugs than I have ever even wanted to know existed. The land and climate was so rich, everything grew so fast you'd see inches of foliage pop up over a few hours. It was one of the most magical places, and also one of the most “boring.” What I mean is there were no distractions, no connections with the outside world. No phones, computers, not even a radio. We really had to be present with the land and with ourselves. It was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
KLC: Name one movie you can quote and then quote it.
KT: Aliens 1986, “Game over man! Game over!” -Private Hudson, Bill Paxton. What's funny about this is that I CANNOT watch scary movies because I'm so sensitive. I get crazy nightmares. Even scary movie previews get to me! But the Alien series was on my uncle's “required viewing” list when I was a kid, so I dutifully complied. It probably destroyed my childhood innocence, but it's still one of my favorites.
KLC: Pick one: Eleanor Roosevelt, Angela Davis, or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
KT: Angela holds a very special place for me, not only in my political ideals, but also in my personal history. My grandfather, Benjamin Johnson (a somewhat mysterious and infamous street character in Berkeley, CA), and Angela crossed paths several times during the height and decline of the Black Power movement in the 1970's. When he ended up on the street in the late 70's, she was a part of the extended community that kept an eye out for my father who was a young child at the time. Our families have since lost touch, but I have had the honor of marching in the streets with her, and feel that she's a political aunt to me.
KLC: The United States electoral process is _______________________.
KT: A farce. A facade. A ruse... Did I mention I favor Angela Davis politically?
KLC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to get someone’s attention?
KT: I don't know about strange. I can actually be kind of shy when it comes to dating or making new friends (I know, I know. Hard to believe) and I don't always like to directly approach people. I guess a fair number of poems in my poeting days (spoken word and such) were put out there with the hope that certain someones would pay attention to me.
KLC: If you had the opportunity to patent a brand new product, what might that be?
KT: I long for a perfect tool to clean a bathtub. I feel like I have to be a contortionist to get all the angles, and surfaces really clean. I'll do anything to avoid cleaning it. There has to be a better way!
KLC: Which of the following is least likely to ever exist: bigfoot, elves, or government regulation on Wall Street?
KT: ::recovering from laugh attack:: Probably regulation. Both because I believe in the endless capacity for magic and mystery in the universe, and because I think our economic system is deeply flawed.
KLC: Wild card question! Have you ever won a medal, trophy, ribbon, etc. at something that had absolutely nothing to do with writing? What was it??
KT: Through my middle school and high school years I lived in a rural area and was a member (and two term president!) of my local 4-H Club chapter. It's similar to a boy/girl scout club, but co-ed and focused on rural activities like raising livestock and exploring your natural environment. I raised poultry and rabbits and showed them at the various county fairs. I had a Grand Champion water fowl, and rabbit, and placed in the top three in advance showmanship (that's when you display your animal for a judge). I loved it! I'm so proud of it, I actually have a tattoo of a hen with chicks and a duckling on my calf. It takes up the whole side of my calf :)
KLC: Can you share something about yourself that no one has ever asked you about in an interview before?
KT: I think I spilled all the beans already talking about 4-H and my aversion to bathtub scrubbing. But I guess not too many people know that I'm an aspiring amateur herbalist. A couple years ago I actually started a collective with some friends, but we got pulled away to other projects. I hope to one day be certified in traditional North American, and African herbalism and have a small healing practice.
Kirya Traber is a nationally awarded writer, performer, and cultural worker. She holds her MFA in Acting from the New School for Drama, and just completed a year long fellowship at Lincoln Center Education. Kirya is a recipient of the California Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, Robert Redford's Sundance foundation award for Activism in the Arts from, an Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund award for Poetry, and is a former judge for the LAMDA Literary awards. Kirya is an alumnus of the 2010 VONA/Voices retreat for writers of color, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange Space Grant program, and the 2012 EmergeNYC intensive at the Hemispheric Institute. She has worked as a teaching artist in school and community based settings, and within the juvenile justice system. @KiryaTraber on FB & Twitter