Who Are You: An Interview with Zoé Besmond de Senneville

The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker contributor Zoé Besmond de Senneville chats with Aimee Herman. 

Zoé Besmond de Senneville is a young Parisian author and actress. She likes to write as an actress is present onstage: without control, with her body, and with her blood. Discover more at http://xyzoeoh.tumblr.com/.



I have turned
My whole self
To one body
That even doesn’t exist at all

Aimee: How does your acting/performance background play a role in your life as a poet? In what ways do you take on other roles when you write?

Zoé: My acting training actually brought me to writing. I was writing my inner thought, expressing the sensations I discovered as I worked deeper and deeper on my actress's body. I like to say that I write as I act, as I run, with my body, my skin, my muscles, my heart, feeling my blood running through my veins. I don't think I take any role when I write. I want to be as pure as I can be, true and honest, and write with a real need, my own urge to express and create (and live, and love, and cry, and be present, and shout, and observe, etc). Nonetheless, in  my acting work, I often write my character's inner thought to build their imagination and a closer relation to them.

I am here I am here I am hereI am in this very space with you

If you could spend the day with any writer, who would it be and how would you spend your hours with them?

I would love to spend a day at the ocean with Allen Ginsberg. I see Allen Ginsberg as the grandfather I didn't have. I would like to start the day in Paris, prepare an beautiful picnic and then take the road to the ocean in an old convertible car. We would listen to music and laugh and dream and arrive somewhere very empty. A huge beach, just the two of us. Look and listen at the sea, peaceful and wise, fall asleep, dive into water, and collect beautiful stones and shells.

It is never the end of the story That’s the best of the best


What is a poem or book which stirs you? Wakes you up in the night or imprints your skin like the most exquisite tattoo? 

I had a shock when I discovered TS Eliot’s "Lovesong of Alfred Prufrock." His dreams and challenges to the universe definitely echoed with my own dreams and imaginary lives.

Who are you who are you who are you who are you who are you who are you who are you who are you

Gertrude Stein would repeat a line and invert it in a way that suddenly it meant something completely different than how it began. In your poem included in the anthology, "Extract from Diary of My Body", you leave readers with the haunt of "who are you". As a writer, how are you evolving or challenging these words for your reader?

I discovered recently the complexity of my approach to knowledge. Knowing, what is it exactly? Do we know with our minds or our bodies? I have heard very wise men saying the more they learn the less they know. Applying to a person, I believe the question is even more complex. Do we know who we are? Do I know myself? Do we know each other? Those are my reflections of the moment.

who are youwho are youwho are youwho are youwho are youwho are youwho are youwho are youwho are you

* Top photo by Faustine Levin 

Second photo by Lisa Lesourd


The Careless Embrace of the Boneshaker is a fearless and dynamic collection of contemporary poetry and short fiction by established and emerging writers. This is essential reading for everyone looking for the innovative, the reflective, and the fearless. The anthology also contains an interview with musician Thurston Moore.

The Careless Embrace of the Boneshakeris easily available through amazon.fr and online stores across the world.

Submissions for great weather for MEDIA's anthologies are open October 15  to January 15.