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  • Writer's pictureBelle Kenyon

Congratulations to Elisabeth Horan and Broken Spine Arts on publication day!

On publication day, we wanted to say a big congratulations to poet Elisabeth Horan (author of Bad Mommy Stay Mommy and Alcoholic Betty) who has just released 'The Mask' with Broken Spine Arts.

The Mask is the second collection of ekphrastic poetry written by poet Elisabeth Horan in response to the artwork of Frida Kahlo. It follows the earlier publication Self-Portrait, published by Cephalo. This dual language collection interweaves the life story of Kahlo, her art, and the personal response of Horan to it. The Mask is passionate, intense, and demanding and nothing is safe.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Elisabeth Horan about the book for Parhelion Literary magazine, which will be out later this month. Here is an exclusive...


At its heart, this strikes me as a deeply personal collection, exploring the ties between yourself as an artist and a mother, and the work and life of Frida Kahlo as an artist and someone who desired to be a mother. When did you first come across Kahlo’s artworks, and when did you start looking into her personal life?


I have been aware of and appreciative of Kahlo’s art since college days… (circa 1997)~!. But it was really in my MFA in poetry I took an ekphrastic class and of course I knew I wanted to explore her art deeper. You see, I connect with her in parallel ways which one would not expect of a gringa and a Mexicana, separated by language, culture, time, country and history - and yet we do… We have experienced similar pain, similar loss - pressure, artistic perfection and total commitment - the men in our lives - the losses… And yet we go on. She went on, and I go on… In summary, I started writing for her in the spring of 2018 after I broke my back falling off my horse… and I haven’t stopped.

Want to know more?

Have burning questions about craft or Kahlo?

This Saturday at 7pm UK time, go to and #AskEli

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