When I sit down for a call with Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky, better known as Twitter’s Astro Poets, I’ve come prepared with a detailed list of questions. Unfortunately, none of them focus on the Astro Poets’s brand-new book, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac, and all of them concern my own sign (Cancer) and what I can expect to get out of dating a Pisces.
This is the effect that the Astro Poets have on their readers; ever since they launched their eponymous Twitter account in 2016, at arguably the forefront of the current astrology craze, people have been reading their brief, often beautiful horoscope forecasts with the distinct sense that they were written especially for them and them alone.
This, of course, is how astrology works—it’s supposed to make you feel like it’s been composed just for you—but it’s also due to Dimitrov and Lasky’s extensive knowledge of their subject and gift for making the ethereal world of astrology seem concrete and relatable.
The book, which models itself after genre classic Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, is organized by sign, with a breakdown of astrological terms (what is a rising sign, anyway?), followed by a detailed explanation of what it’s like to date, befriend, and text with, say, a Taurus. Below, find a conversation with Dimitrov and Lasky about the process of writing their book, their favorite tweets, the popularity of astrology in queer communities, and more.
Just to get this out of the way, what are your signs?
Alex Dimitrov: I’m an Aries.
Dorothea Lasky: I’m a Sagittarius.
Do people ask you about their romantic compatibility with other signs constantly?
AD: Actually, people tend to ask us what to do about major life decisions, which is terrifying to me, but, ultimately, it’s good to have those conversations.
DL: We’re sometimes more like Astro Therapists than Astro Poets! I actually wanted to be a therapist, and it energizes me to have these deep discussions.
How has the process of putting the book out into the world been for you?
AD: This is really different from when a poetry book comes out. It’s been a total whirlwind; we’re poets, so we don’t really expect to get attention for anything. [Laughs] We’re so grateful that people find us funny.
DL: We love the idea of poetry being mainstream and accessible, so we hope that if people buy our book, they’ll hopefully buy poetry books. Like, if we mention Bernadette Mayer’s poem “You Jerk, You Didn’t Call Me Up,” maybe people will look her up.
How did you two meet?
DL: We met at an after-party for a poetry reading in a Brooklyn loft, and astrology and Twitter were part of our conversation right away. We decided that night to start a private Twitter for and about fire signs, but we got bored of that really fast. We needed the rest of the zodiac!
How long did you spend working on the book?
DL: We started in earnest in 2018. We had done some drafts before that, but that’s when we really started to work on it; we each wrote six chapters.
Queer communities in particular seem to really get into astrology, and Astro Poets in particular. Why do you think that is?
AD: I think queer people are always interested in looking at a variety of practices that are out of the mainstream and have always understood that there’s an inner world they don’t share right away. To be queer is to live in a space that’s in flux, and poetry and astrology also live in that space. I also think witchiness appeals to people outside of the dominant culture.
DL: One of the best things about poetry is that you get to make your own meaning, which is especially important when you don’t have a place within dogmatic religious institutions.
AD: I don’t know if it’s necessarily spiritual, but astrology is definitely a broad system allowing for different interpretive meanings; there are infinite ways to interpret who you have been and who you have the potential to be.
DL: The idea of the myths of the vast universe can be a little scary, but also comforting, because it suggests that all the ways that we hurt each other and love each other on Earth are part of a larger system. I think that’s the appeal of astrology; it’s not unilateral.
Do you have favorite Astro Poets tweets?
AD: I don’t really have a favorite, but I like statements. I remember in my first month tweeting random stuff, I was at my desk job listening to Britney, and I thought, “Why don’t I do all the signs as Britney Spears songs?” I tweeted it and it was huge, even though I did it out of my own boredom.
So you started the “the signs as” genre, in a way.
AD: Maybe? We don’t know what to take credit for!
Originally Appeared on Vogue