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Combs & Underland Down The Rabbit Hole With...

kp 💜

By Proud ViM ProductionsPublished 3 months ago 9 min read
Dallee and Canva Cobbled

kp is a super talented writer, penning across communities their work is both delicately crafted and hard hitting. No matter the angle kp is always a captivating, thought provoking read. A passionate, dedicated teacher and advocate against social inequity, kp uses Vocal to shine a light on systemic injustice.

(All the expected chitter chatter ad stuff)

Underland: I guess the best place to start would be writing as that's the thing that's connected us- How did you get into it?

KP: I suppose my answer is similar to other writers. I started in early childhood. Some teacher or another recognized a short story I wrote for some "scholarship" opportunity. I won it but I don't remember cashing in any scholarship some decade or so later. who knows. It was a long time ago, but the thrill of writing my imaginings down and getting recognized for them persists. That was maybe 3rd grade. I've been writing in some capacity since.

MC: What writers inspire you?

KP: That's a BIG question! I find myself inspired by reading most writers, whether I like them or not. The act of reading wakes me up, so to speak. The writers I love to read the most though are pretty varied in terms of genre. I love Marge Piercy, Bell Hooks, Christine Hume, and and and. I should list some AMAB writers, ha. James Baldwin, Ocean Vuong, Haruki Murakami. I even find myself enjoying and responding (at least in my head) to some of David Foster Wallace's short stories and essays!

Underland: Is there a writer that you see yourself as similar to in terms of style?

KP: hmm I'm not sure I can answer that. I TRY to embody the raw truth-seeking of bell hooks, for example, but I don't think my style is much like theirs. similar to Christine or Marge or James, etc., there is an element of rawness in the delivery that I try to capture. I suppose my style can emulate the authors I read the most in college, though. I am still shaking off some of the habits of non-fiction academic style ends up being a sort of short of poetic prose (hopefully) delivering simple truths

Underland: Definitely poetic prose- Scandi Love is so beautifully written

KP: Thanks so much

Underland: It is the piece that springs to mind first for me I think. If someone hadn't encountered your style/writing, what would you suggest they go to get a feel for your writing style?

KP: Aw, that's great! I like that piece, too. I think it captures my style very well. a piece on Vocal that didn't get much engagement and also captures it well would have to be anomie. It's a bit winding, but I may have to face the fact that my writing can be a bit long-winded.

MC: Not mine, it's short lo

Underland: Oh my goodness- yes it is a beautiful piece and made me sob buckets! To be fair, mine, too! I’m like…bbbut there's 'All the words!' An’ not afraid to use ‘em!

KP: Haha, sometimes I get really stuck at a page or two, sometimes I just go on and on, never getting to a point!

Underland: Same! Just realised...again that I read and commented on anomie but forgot to heart! Again…I truly suck!

KP: Nooo, haha. I am looking now and see some comments I failed to respond to! my bad. Sometimes I suck at the social aspect of social medias.

MC: If there was a piece by another writer that you'd want someone to read, what would it be?

KP: On or off Vocal? Or both, haha

MC: Both

KP: I would recommend Incarnations of Burned Children by David Foster Wallace. it's short and not so sweet but oh so good. On Vocal, I find myself quite drawn to a couple of different writers. Anna Michelle posts every now and again, and I get excited. Grapefruit is wonderful.

Underland: You mention in your profile that you feel strongly about social injustice- where do you think that awareness and desire to confront it came from?

KP: I'm not sure where it came from. probably just knowing i was queer as a child. knowing i was different and that some people feel very strongly about such differences.I remember being that kid on the playground, sitting on the monkey bars, lamenting the injustices i spent my time researching in the library or our encyclopedia set at home. I knew it wasn't just queer people getting killed for being different. I didn't have the language to articulate it yet, but I knew it was systemic.

Underland: But to use talent to call out injustice, I think that speaks volumes of who you are, and I have so much respect for that. An Abecderian I think, was the first piece of yours I read, and it really hit hard

KP: Ah, thanks again, that one just kinda came out easily. I was thinking so much about Gaza and the relationship between the police in our country and the IOF

Underland: What advice would you give young people going through similar experiences to yours as a child?

KP: Fortunately, I teach at a school and get to tell kids going through similar experiences my advice all the time. stay soft. stay open. act with love in your heart. Whether it's calling someone in, protesting in the streets, reconciling with yourself, dealing with shitty family, or trying to "fit in," a little grace for yourself or others can go a long way. oh, and I know it's so cliche, but I always remind them that their time with their immediate family is temporary. so "it gets better" because soon you will be building your own world and family

Underland: Not cliche! Wish someone had told me that as a kid! What do you teach/who?

KP: I teach at a school called Ann Arbor Academy. It's a place for neurodiverse kids who weren't thriving in public schools. I teach some electives and am social-emotional support in the "lower school." My philosophy in film and college prep classes is 16+ and the lower school is 13 and younger.

MC: What do you do in your spare time? Hobbies?

KP: Well I love reading and writing haha I spend most of my time hanging out with my pets. I have two cats and a dog. I love to hike, swim, and explore in nature. my idea of relaxing or vacation is camping

Underland: Do you have a favourite spot to visit for camping?

MC: What I was going to ask

Underland: Snooze ya lose MC

KP: Either Cumberland Island, Georgia or anywhere in the upper peninsula of my home state, Michigan

Underland: So you're writing and teaching and juggling, do you have plans for the future? Either with writing or in your ed. career?

KP: Yes, juggling, accurate. I sorta hope to get myself in a position of self-sufficiency. I don't want to teach to support myself, because it doesn't. I work odd jobs on the side to supplement my income. I want to teach because of the opportunity to impact children like me who need to see an older, trans-masculine queer person thriving. I also want them to see a person living their values, so that's my goal for the distant and not-so-distant future. homestead with my partner and our lil polycule family and be able to pursue my passions more fervently. not to survive, but to world-build and improve lives.

Underland: I think that it is so important for children to see positive, happy role models. Truly an admirable goal.

KP: Absolutely! it's one of the best things we can offer

Underland: How do you see writing and its place in your life in the future?

KP: I think it will always be the outlet that it has served most of my life. As much as I may want to be known for my craft, I'd much rather be known for my actions. if/when people read my words and/or meet me, they'll get the same person. I occasionally see myself publishing something more significant to me but for now, I think writing is a processing tool I like to use

MC: Favorite food?

KP: Oooo I just baked it last night! some homemade three-cheese mac with the meat of the day .- last night, it was beef. Simple.

MC: Yum!

Underland: Is there a food you just can't stand?

KP: Aha olives

Underland: Nooooo. I love olives

KP: have them all!!

Underland: What about music?

KP: I listen to mostly R&B, hip hop, and some rap. My partner gets so sick of my playlists. I tend to get stuck in song loops haha

"Isn't this song so good?"

"it was the first time"

Underland: I do exactly the same and then end up bored...yeah coz you listened to it on a loop 100 times

KP: Exactly!

MC: Favorite movie?

KP: tough!!! I think maybe right now it's everything everywhere all at once. but also maybe melancholia. oof MC: this one is really hard for me haha

Underland: Thoughts on Vocal as a platform? What do you like and what do you think they could do better?

KP: I love the community of Vocal. I think the platform does a great job fostering that aspect and also listening to the community when it asks for changes. in regards to what those changes may be...i think i use the platform to practice and expose myself. so i'm pretty happy with most of what they offer. I still want feedback for the vocal awards this past year haha! No, but seriously, I think if they just keep going in the direction they are and listening to the creators, they're gonna be fine. I don't really have any complaints! I say the comment about feedback because I genuinely am hoping to improve a story I was pleasantly surprised to see in the finals. People use vocal for all sorts of reasons though and just about any of them require more active readership/engagement etc. I often see creators sounding off in the vocal creator chat or posting their own pieces, justifiably complaining or seeking answers. Vocal is usually quite good about responding to these requests. so, to echo the sentiments of several other creators out there, I'd like to see vocal facilitation of more outside readership of its creators. More engaged eyes means more growth. .

Underland: That's good to hear!

MC: Fave color?

KP: I'm partial to various hues of blue and red

MC: Fave go to snack food?

KP: Cheeeeetttttoooooossss

MC: LOL Love it…Fave date night?

KP: Aw I love a special night out at a favorite restaurant. or ordering it in and watching our fave bad tv atm. My partner and I love low-impact date nights haha

MC: That's so special, I love that. How long have you and your partner been together?

KP: Three years now

Underland: How did you meet? Sorry, I always love that story! Don't know why! Like the meet cute thing I guess

KP: The classic millennial story. a very wholesome and spectacular Tinder date. I remember thinking "This is the best date I've ever had, tinder or otherwise" and we've been sticking together since Natalie is an artist and sensitive soul who embodies so much love and softness! it was apparent the first time we met

Underland: Awwww I love that! Yous gonna break me again!

MC: That's so sweet!! Who had the animals, you or her?

KP: I had the kitties, we got the dog together and we're looking to meet another one soon! our lil fam

MC: It's been a joy talking to you, KP: I've really enjoyed it.

KP: Absolutely Thanks for a great conversation! I appreciate the thoughtful, fun, and honest questions!

Underland: It's been so lovely to get to know you a little bit and thank you so much for agreeing to the ‘interrogation’!

KP: Ah thanks so much!! it has been a pleasure

MC: It's been ours

Underland: THANK YOU!


We had an absolute blast getting to know kp we hope you did too!

Join us on Facebook ViM for fun and wordy shenanigans:

Or Queer Vocal Voices, here:

Note: Queer Vocal Voices is only accepting members of the LGBTQ+ community at the moment, we will open up to allies in time!

You can also catch up with Mother Combs and Celia Underland on their respective profiles on Vocal.

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About the Creator

Proud ViM Productions

Alone, we are letters floating in the wind. Combined, we are an Opus. We hold community in our core, "We all rise when we lift each other up"

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Comments (9)

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  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarran3 months ago

    "Snooze ya lose MC"! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 This was such a fun interview and I loved KP's Tinder love story!

  • Oneg In The Arctic3 months ago

    Enjoyed reading this for sure :)

  • Lindsay Sfara3 months ago

    This is such a fun read. I loved this interview! And I hate olives too. Celia, you can have as much as you want 😂

  • Excellent to get to know more about kp, thank you for this

  • Cathy holmes3 months ago

    Great interview, and yeah Celia, you can have all the olives.

  • kp3 months ago

    thanks so much for this interview and the feature. it has been so fun and wonderful working with y'all!!

  • Caroline Craven3 months ago

    Great interview. Was just starting to warm to KP and then there was the olives shocker! How can anyone dislike olives?! 😉 KP’s article about Aaron Bushnell was excellent. Look forward to reading more.

  • Kelsey Clarey3 months ago

    This was a great interview!

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