At 22 years old, Blythe Baird is one of the most recognizable names in spoken word and slam poetry. The viral and award-winning writer has garnered international recognition for her poems that speak out on sexual assault, mental illness, eating disorder recovery, sexuality, and healing. Her work has been featured in, or showcased by, Glamour, ELLE India, TedxMinneapolis, The National Eating Disorder Association, Mic, The Huffington Post, EverydayFeminism, The Body Is Not An Apology, among others. Baird graduated from Hamline University in 2019 with a dual degree in Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Blythe’s highly anticipated full-length collection, IF MY BODY COULD SPEAK, is out now with Button Poetry.
Here, she talks about her parents’ signature dishes, pizza Lunchables before writing, and a final meal shared with Demi Lovato.
On her all-time favorite meal:
One is my mom’s signature dinner: pot roast cooked in the crock-pot with baby carrots and potatoes with a side of taffy apple salad. Taffy apple salad is not a real salad. It’s like… marshmallow fluff, canned pineapple chunks, peanuts, granny smith apples, and butter. It’s beautiful. My other favorite is my dad’s signature breakfast: French toast, scrambled eggs, and orange juice. He always plays the same song while he cooks: “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Every other weekend when he came home from traveling the world for his job, I’d wake up like clockwork to the sound of him bellowing the lyrics from the gutter of his throat.
On what the light looks like during her favorite meal of the day:
Breakfast is my favorite meal. I like it best in the summer, when the light trickles across the kitchen counter like spilled lemonade.
On snacking while writing:
Right now my favorite post or pre-poem snacks are Extra Cheesy Pizza Lunchables or Brie cheese with purple grapes. I also love peanut butter chocolate banana protein shakes. I used to subscribe to this thing called Crave which sent new posh snacks every month for you to try, which was a dream come true and the way I learned that I love pretzels with beer mustard. At first I was like, beer mustard, what the fuck? But it’s delicious.
On her go-to late-night snack:
I like kettle corn, Moose Tracks ice cream, and creamy Muesli with dried peaches. I also love these amazing little cubes of pink champagne gummy bears you can get at Paper Source.
On her food quirks:
I don’t eat anything that was once swimming. Like, I can eat a burger and not feel any type of way about it because it’s not like the patty is cow-shaped. But seafood freaks me out because it’s so often eaten in the same bodily format it was in when it was alive. One time I tried shrimp and almost threw up because I felt like I could taste their veins. Also, my old roommate thought it was weird that I would just dump shredded mozzarella cheese into a bowl and eat it like cereal.
On her final meal request:
I’ve thought about this a lot. The entree has to be Filet Mignon (medium rare, of course) with a side of Bernaise sauce, a side of asparagus, and a side of mashed potatoes. There’d be parsley. Dessert will be a giant custard fruit tart like the kind you get from Costco with the artsy kiwis and strawberries and blueberries. I’ll be toasting my tequila sunrise with my girl Demi Lovato on some private island. The whole event would be very posh and momentous and San Junipero-y.