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Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Write Stuff: Amy K. Bell on Getting a Good Scare and Contributing to Society

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

bio_portrait_akb_seattle.jpg

Amy K. Bell lives in Oakland. She is working on a speculative fiction novel, Bald Mountain, and is a co-editor of Drop Leaf Press, a woman-run publishing concern. She also writes web and marketing copy for local businesses. More at amykbell.com.


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Write Stuff: Raina J. León on Inviting Poetry into Your Life in All Ways

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

BRIAN SCHWENK
  • Brian Schwenk

Raina J. León, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006), CantoMundo fellow, and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, has been published in numerous journals as a writer of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Her first collection of poetry, Canticle of Idols, was a finalist for both the Cave Canem First Book Poetry Prize (2005) and the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize (2006). Her second book, Boogeyman Dawn (2013, Salmon Poetry), was a finalist for the Naomi Long Madgett Prize (2010). Her third book, sombra : (dis)locate will be published by Salmon Poetry, 2016. She has received fellowships and residencies with Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Montana Artists Refuge, the Macdowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Center in Annamaghkerrig, Ireland and Ragdale. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of LatinX arts. She is an associate professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California. She recently married (twice!) the love of her life, Matteo Monchiero, on a crisp October day in Philadelphia, her hometown. Check out her website and blogs (rainaleon.blogspot.com and teachtechworkshop.blogspot.com). She's also at Twitter @rainaleon and @profesoraleon. These days she's writing about ancestral and genetically transferred memory, trauma, joy, blackness, drought, and staying human in dehumanizing times. Sometimes, she keeps it light with skipping, running around the house with an imaginary cape, and singing made up songs.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

I tell them that I am an associate professor of education and a poet, which means I have the great joy of teaching future teachers and witnessing/speaking/hoping to make better the world in which they will teach and children will learn through poetry. I listen and tell a lot of stories, some based on research, on connection with the contemporary, and on imaginary and spiritual work.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

My biggest struggle is rest. I am too eager to know and do and learn, so I generally engage in at least 5 things at any one time. In a meeting, it is not unusual for me to be knitting, monitoring the temperature, tracking conversation, answering email, writing in my journal, brainstorming a new poem, completing a task for the meeting and another task for work, crafting a to-do list, and texting my partner about dinner. My idea of rest is playing my cello (badly) or spending some time in the garden or binge-watching B zombie, vampire, Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies. I often don’t recognize that my body needs rest until I am literally unable to walk. I am always very angry that my body has failed my mind and spirit again … which makes me think that I should add exercise to my meeting habits … Rest is very difficult for me.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

If someone says that they want to be a teacher, I happily sit with them to tell my story, learn theirs, and then help them strategize how to gain the credentials to be of service to children, families, and communities. If someone says to me that they want to be a poet, then I first ask, “Who are you reading?” I advise immersion in reading: the dead, white men of the Western canon and those writers of color from across the world that cannons cannot kill, those living and dead (though their work lives on). I also advise finding a group of like-minded folk who will set aside their own egos to workshop and focus on collective study, growth, and nurturing. I have had the benefit of working with longtime friends and organizations like Cave Canem, CantoMundo, and the Carolina African American Writers Collective. These are organizations filled with people who become family, who fully believe in all that we individually and together can do. I would advise the person to read, connect, write/re-write, and submit. I would also advise this person to support the work of others by buying books, reading and offering feedback to other writers, arranging readings, attending readings, starting journals, editing journals and anthologies, starting presses, going to conferences and getting rooms with two beds (just in case a writer needs a place to crash and can’t afford their own space), etc. If you want to be a poet, you need to invite poetry into your life in all ways. If you want to be a teacher, you have to learn and recognize that those you seek to teach are your best teachers.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Write Stuff: Alison Luterman on Owning up to Your Mistakes and Moving On

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

LEE BATES
  • Lee Bates

Alison Luterman's books of poems include The Largest Possible Life (Cleveland State University press), See How We Almost Fly (Pearl Editions), and Desire Zoo (Tia Chucha Press). She has published poems in The Sun Magazine, Prairie Schooner, Nimrod, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, and many other journals and anthologies. Two of her poems are included in Billy Collins Poetry 180 project at the Library of Congress. Her personal essays have appeared in Salon, The Sun Magazine, The L.A. Review, The New York Times’ Modern Love, and elsewhere. Five of her essays have been collected in the e-book Feral City, published at www.shebooks.net. She has also written half a dozen plays, including a musical about kidney transplantation. She has taught and/or been poet-in-residence at New College in San Francisco, Holy Names College in Oakland, The Writing Salon in Berkeley, at Esalen and Omega Institutes, at the Great Mother Conference, and at various writing retreats all over the country. Check out her website www.alisonluterman.net for more information.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?


I usually say, “I teach creative writing” because saying “I’m a poet” sounds pretentious.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

Being in the goodness of the present moment, rather than in all my stories about it.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Um...get a BFA in poetry, then go into VISTA and work with Haitian refugees for five years, write a zillion poems and some journalism, hitch-hike across Canada with a crazy French Communist who has a small drug problem, fall in love with a guy you meet at the Ashby Flea Market in Berkeley, years later marry him and move to California with him, then get divorced, work as an HIV test counselor, find a good friend who is also an accomplished poet and can mentor you, write a zillion more poems, plus a lot of personal essays, send out a ton of work and have the vast majority of it be rejected, start publishing in The Sun, write more poems, learn how to revise, write from your guts and heart and brain, grieve, dance, travel, heal, fall in love again, learn a few things the hard way, pass them on.

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Write Stuff: Trisha Low on Being Okay with Being Okay and Making Pure Gestures of Refusal

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

MARALIE ARMSTRONG (VALISE)
  • Maralie Armstrong (VALISE)

Trisha Low is a poet and performer. She is the author of The Compleat Purge (Kenning Editions, 2013). She lives in Oakland and is currently working on a book entitled Socialist Realism.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

Someone once told me that in Germany it’s culturally unacceptable to not have a hobby. Like, you have to have a capital H hobby that you do after work, or else everyone will think you’re a real weirdo. When they meet strangers, people really ask each other ‘What’s your hobby?’ as though it’s a real question that you can get a real answer to, like I don’t know, bricolage or quilting or tennis? I get confused about which thing is my hobby, sometimes it feels like the thing I do from 9 in the morning to 5 but that part pays the bills; plus, then also how weird would it be to be a person who really cared about their job and stayed there past time and came home to do… what? What do people do when they come home from work if they’re not reading or writing? I mean I do other stuff too, like go to the gym, or watch TV but that doesn’t take up that much of a day.

Fuck it. I don’t know. Either I have a lot of hobbies or I have a lot of jobs, depending on how I’m feeling. I write soundbites and listicles, most often to sell small press books that people should read at the only non-profit distributor of literary books, Small Press Distribution, sometimes also for women’s blogs or magazines. Sometimes I write things, or make things or traverse some tortured emotional landscape that I’ve unnecessarily created for myself. Sometimes I make cakes. Like many other women I admire, I also recreationally cry.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

I really like placing myself in proximity to situations, persons and objects that are cruel to me, aesthetically, interpersonally, imaginary or not. ‘Struggle’ is a weird word because that suggests this is negative, which it definitely isn’t, it’s often productive. Things that come along with it like, guilt, balance, intensity, those are the things that get really difficult. As time goes on though, it seems like that struggle is changing. Ironically it’s becoming something more like, I don’t know, being okay with being okay, which is much harder than it sounds.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Kill your boyfriend.

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Write Stuff: Kelly Egan on Staying Hydrated and Actually Doing This Thing

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Kelly Jean Egan lives in San Francisco and is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga. She also studies Spanish, generally obsesses about language, and likes to visit small towns. Her poetry has appeared in Paradigm Journal, Eunoia Review, and In Stereo Press, and is forthcoming in Poiesis Review. You can find her here: kellyjeanegan.com

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

I say, “I’m a writer,” and when they ask what I write, I say “poetry.” Only rarely do I say, “I’m a poet,” and when I do it feels very strange, as though I get a sense of how under-spoken that phrase is in the world.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

Staying hydrated.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Read. Write. And throw yourself into the community — go to readings, take a class. Basically, confirm to yourself that it’s real, that there are plenty of people out there who are actually doing this thing and that it can become your reality too.

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

I do. It’s mainly for subtle, personal reasons, though for me these are the things most at stake. Basically, I feel successful in that I am able to relate to other writers and people in their process and experience. When I speak, or write, from the depths of my own experience — which I often worry is far stranger than everyone else’s — and get grateful nods of recognition, or the proverbial ‘mmm,’ that spells success for me.

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Write Stuff: Daniel Curzon on Seeing Through the Advertising and Being Courageous

Posted By on Thu, Dec 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

JOHN W. GETTYS
  • John W. Gettys
Daniel Curzon, though retired from teaching, keeps busy with his writing. His recent books, from Wisehouse, a publisher based in Sweden, include the following: HALFWAY TO THE STARS: Cable Car Tales of a Grumpy Gripman, which is sort of the anti-Tales of the City. San Francisco has many problems, best handled with humor. Other titles out now are a new edition of The Big Book of In-Your-Face Gay Etiquette and Dropping Names: The Delicious Memoirs of Daniel Curzon. The memoirs are of Oates, Isherwood, the Angels of Light, Theater Rhinoceros, and some lesser known but important literary figures. 

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

I write fiction and plays. Or, as somebody once said to me years ago: You, a grown man, write stories?! It used to be called literature.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

Getting my Viagra prescription refilled.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

If you have a second income and feel you must tell the world off, then go for it.

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

I do consider myself successful, because I decided at eighteen to be a literary writer and got the advanced degrees necessary to make that happen. I have pretty much written what I wanted to ever since, come hell or high water. Never wanting Best Sellerdom, I am pleased that I have helped change the world through my gay literature work.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Write Stuff: Kate Robinson on What Happens If We Don’t Make Art with Our Excess Energy

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

TOM TRUDGEON
  • Tom Trudgeon

Kate Robinson is Collections Associate at Letterform Archive in San Francisco, a 30,000 piece collection of the history of the letter arts. A poet and intermedia book artist living in Oakland, CA, she co-founded both the Manifest Reading Series, a founding series of the East Bay Poetry Summit, and Material Print Machine, an artist-run printing and binding studio in Omni Commons, Oakland. Kate creates artists’ books as Manifest Press and performs regularly as one half of feminist poetics project The Third Thing, which has a chapbook forthcoming on the Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs. Her other recent work can be found in Macaroni Necklace, Open House Poetry, Tripwire: a journal of poetics, Evening Will Come, Eleven Eleven, and the Timeless Infinite Light anthology It’s Night in San Francisco but It’s Sunny in Oakland.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?


That really depends on the person and how they ask me, but the truest answer is “too much.” I might tell them that I work at a collection of the alphabet throughout history called Letterform Archive. I might tell them I help manage an artist run collective print studio and bindery at Omni Commons called Material Print Machine. I might tell them I am half of the feminist performance duo The Third Thing. I might tell them I’m an intermedia book artist and poet, although that’s the one that elicits the strangest looks and the most irritating responses. “What is book art?” is maybe my least favorite question ever, as I think only one person has ever wanted to actually listen to my answer. Everyone else wants me to say “illustration” and shut up.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Write Stuff: JH Phrydas on How Your Corporeal Presence Impacts Your Community

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
  • courtesy of the author

JH Phrydas is an LA-based writer and researcher of prose. Raised by his birth family in Atlanta and queer family in the Bay Area, he was generously awarded grants to study writing and somatics under the guidance of Bhanu Kapil. He was the co-founding editor of Tract/Trace: an investigative journal and currently curates a long-term project called X21REQ, which calls for artists and writers to answer the question: “What does the 21st century require of you?” Phrydas’ recent work can be found in Aufgabe, Fact-Simile, and Tract/Trace, and his first book, Levitations, was published this autumn by Timeless, Infinite Light (Oakland, CA). He currently works as a gardener and landscaper in Echo Park and loves online correspondence. Feel free to get in touch with him anytime: Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

“I’m a writer” usually does the trick in the US. Of course, this must be followed by extrapolation. In Mexico, I say “I’m a poet.” Although I don’t consider myself one, it’s closer to the truth. I would hate to oppress anyone during small talk by saying “I’m an experimental prose writer who’s attempting to explore how the sentence viscerally extends the body in/as empire.” In general, I’ve found that folks outside of this country are more inclined to express interest in arts whose value is not tied to the market. This shows just how narrow US-American culture’s tunnel vision is — I mean, in the fight to monetize everything from free parking spaces to personal toilets, our psyches shift along an axis of disengagement: especially from time. And doesn’t writing and reading — the poetic within language — inherently foreground the temporal as the site of corporeal pleasure? I think Bifo said something along those lines, but his books make me sad. Commonplace whitewashing of political theory is just as detrimental to conscientious thought as anything on the side of capital. To work within language is to work within the inherited and complex psycho-history of the world. Every time we write words on a page, on our skin, on social media, we’re participating in that history.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

Depending on the kindness of strangers. Growing up as a sissy classically trained choirboy, I missed out on 80s pop culture and am perpetually horrible with conversational references. My boyfriend calls me a 90s baby even though I was 8 when that decade began. So I spent most of my time away from my peers. Entering SF queer nightlife in my early twenties changed all that: as ephemeral spaces were built and dismantled each night, we entered another plane of existence charged with affection. Between bodies ‘unfit’ in harsher environments: the street in daylight. Even if such grandeur was, from time to time, superficial. The feeling of artifice itself a type of connectivity. So much joy came from lips and eyes and bodies done up and flowing booze. It taught me to allow myself to be helped, and it chipped away at the guilt of relying on another for guidance, for support. Abandoning my stubborn self-reliance opened up routes unseen until then. Like finding a new apartment last month. Like having my first book published. Like being able to sleep at a friend’s house and not be cold.

But, now that I wrote that, I realize it’s kind of a sidestep.

Because it’s so easy to dodge a question with a pretty answer. I think my problem is with the word “struggle.” If you asked me again, I’d tell you my biggest concern has been not becoming a monster to which my skin gives me access. Not that I’m on the edge at every turn, but rather the subtleties of interaction with people around me I always strive to make sure are structured by feeling and not what I was taught in school. Growing up as a sissy classically trained choirboy north of Ponce de Leon Ave, I was shielded from the ethnic dynamism of urban Atlanta. I remember my friend’s parents not letting us leave the house during Freaknik. I remember reading Alice Walker and feeling the woods change shape as we drove through the fields, wondering what those oak branches had held. The way men flew Confederate flags at the laser light show at Stone Mountain on wet summer nights. I sang “Dixie” even though I didn’t like the tune because everyone joined in and because it came right after “Georgia on my Mind” and seemed appropriate. I was afraid of the mute clowns that sold neon glow sticks we’d wrap around our wrists. How those clowns should have not been the ones I feared most.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Write Stuff: Meg Pokrass on Something One Might Find Inside One's Bellybutton

Posted By on Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

IMAGES COURTESY OF THE AUTHOR
  • images courtesy of the author

Meg Pokrass's literary agent, Peg Mokrass, would like you to believe that Meg Pokrass is a leading American writer of the flash fiction form. Regardless of this controversial idea, we can safely say that Meg Pokrass is the author of four flash fiction collections and one award winning prose poetry collection. These include: Bird Envy (Harvard Book Store, 2014); Damn Sure Right (Press 53, 2011); Cellulose Pajamas (Blue Light Poetry Award, 2015) and My Very End of the Universe, Five Mini-Novellas-in-Flash and a Study of the Form (Rose Metal Press, 2014). Her new collection of flash fiction, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down, is forthcoming with Etruscan Press in Spring in 2016. Meg's stories have appeared in more than 200 literary magazines, including McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Green Mountains Review, The Rumpus, storySouth and numerous anthologies, including Flash Fiction International (W.W. Norton, 2015). Along with BBC Culture's Jane Ciabattari and NaNoWriMo's Grant Faulkner, Meg is a co-founder and co-host of a popular, ongoing SF reading series, The Flash Fiction Collective.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

First off, I hope you don’t mind if my literary agent, Peg Mokrass, helps me answer some of these terrific questions? Peg Mokrass not only represents me in the lucrative profession of flash fiction writing, she is very good at explaining how I really feel. So, to answer your first question… and I’ll start…

MEG POKRASS: When people ask me what I do, I say I'm a writer. It's the only thing I don't really need to lie about. It is obvious anyway because I have no money and dress in stained clothing. Oh, and I have yellow teeth. Sure sign of an extreme caffeine addiction. Writer, but I hardly need to say it.

PEG MOKRASS: I tell them to mind their own business.

What's your biggest struggle — work or otherwise?

MP: I have a literary agent. She tends to want to take over…

PM: I suppose it is obvious… Meg is a flash fiction writer, and we all know what that means. Keeping her word count below a thousand. Deep down, the poor woman has a yearning to emulate Proust or Tolstoy, to the let words flow from the pen (well, metaphorically speaking) in waves as unending as the Seine lapping against its banks or the grass undulating across the steppe, as electromagnetic perturbations extending from the singularity to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. This would, of course, sit ill at ease with constraints of the literary form in which, for better or worse, she has made her reputation.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

MP: I'd ask them a key question: I'd ask them if they are independently wealthy. If they say no (truthfully) well… I'd tell them to learn to enjoy wearing used clothes, and working very strange jobs. There is a good chance for caffeine addiction. Yellow teeth…

PM: Take a long hard look in the mirror. Is that really the face of a flash fiction writer which you see staring back at you? Have you considered real estate? chartered accountancy? lion-taming?

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

MP: Gosh… I don’t know how to answer this one. Peg?

PM: Self-evidently, my client is successful — otherwise we would not be conducting this interview.

What is your fondest memory?

MP: Finding out that I had landed the world’s only flash fiction literary agent, Peg Mokrass. I remember yodeling, singing songs from The Sound of Music, dancing with my dog… At that time, my dog had not yet found a literary agent, so I tried not to rub it in.

PM: Fishing — with my father, the general. Getting up at 6 in the morning, putting the worm jars in the boat, rowing out in the middle of the lake as the sun came up, putting the little squirming creatures on the hooks while he cast off into the still waters, watching him struggle with some big bass or carp, extracting the hook from its lip…

Do you have a favorite ancestor? What is his/her story?

MP: Peg’s family history is a bit sketchy. So, I’ll answer this one myself. My great grandfather, Moses Mokrassovitch. He came from Malyenkograd, a  little village in western Ukraine. His father was the  undertaker and had a rabbit farm (I think it was a kosher one), and expected him to go into the family business. Moses did not see any future for himself in rabbit-farming. He ran off to Odessa, stowed away on a ship which he thought was bound for New York but which actually landed in Shanghai. He joined a travelling circus where he was employed as an elephant handler and bearded lady. After several years in the Far East he abandoned the circus in the course of an American tour, having fallen in love with my great grandmother, a sword-swallowing trapeze artist. His varied life included spells working as a welder in a shipyard, a coal-miner, an insurance salesman and a dog-catcher. He was most proud of this last job, having been voted into it by over 80% of the population of the share-cropping Mississippi township where he and his wife settled and raised their twelve children.

Who did you admire when you were 10 years old? What did you want to be?

MP & PM: Yuri Gagarin. An astronaut.

What’s wrong with society today?

MP: The novel is shrinking. As are attention spans. What was the question again?

PM: My client and I disagree. I’m appalled by the fact that not one flash fiction writer has yet to receive a Pulitzer Prize for a 6-word masterwork.

Would you ever perform a striptease?

MP & PM: Yes, of course we would!

Describe some of your moves. Feel free to set the mood.

MP: I’m too modest to talk about it, but Peg knows exactly how I feel.

PM: Yes. We feel that a good strip is frequently spoiled by the tawdriness of the musical accompaniment. Rather than the customary can-can, we generally prefer something a bit more rousing: The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Beethoven's Ninth, the Halleluha chorus from Handel's Messiah. Of course, nothing beats Wagner for a real thrill: dressed as Brunnhilde I charge around the room and Meg watches. And later, we reverse roles.

When you’re sad/grumpy/pissed off, what YouTube video makes you feel better?

MP: I'll watch and listen to an amazing, still unknown singer, Sarah Rocker, on YouTube.


PM: I like to watch rattlesnakes mating on YouTube because it is hard to find them mating in the real world. They are private.


Are you using any medications? If so, which ones?

MP: I use anti-fungal applications — I’d rather not go into the details.

PM: Xanax.
 
How many times do you fall in love each day?

MP: Twenty on a good day. Nineteen on a not-so-good-day.

PM: My client is a hussy.
 
What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?

MP & PM: Small-statured women with large hips (a bit like us) should take over the literary scene.

What is art? Is it necessary? Why?

MP: Yes. Art is what survives after we silly mortals die.

PM: Yes. A three letter word beginning with “a” — rhymes with tart.

When you have sex, what are some of the things you like to do?

MP: I've always felt that sex was an excellent time to catch up on those little things which one often overlooks in the course of a busy day: compiling shopping lists, dental flossing, plucking my partner's nasal hairs (depending on position, of course, the first being accomplished more readily when I am being taken from behind, while the latter easier in a missionary attitude)

PM: I like to direct.

What are you working on right now?

MP: We are working on this interview.

What kind of work would you like to do? Or: what kind of writing do you most admire?

MP: My master scheme is to reduce the epic novel to the size of something one might find inside one's bellybutton. It is a challenge. I'm experimenting by drying long, wet novels on regular dry — hot and hoping that they may shrink to fit a growth-impaired toddler. 

PM: I'm encouraging Meg, because she is on the cutting edge of small.

If there were one thing about the Bay Area that you would change, what would it be?
 
MP: I would like all of the wealthy, greedy, grubby-handed realtors here to become flash fiction writers. 

PM: I'm considering going into real estate. I'd like nothing to change. 



For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. This interview was conducted by Evan Karp. Follow Litseen at @Litseen


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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Write Stuff: Lewis Buzbee on Going for Something Huge but Still Realistic

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

MADELEINE BUZBEE
  • Madeleine Buzbee

Lewis Buzbee was a bookseller for ten years, worked in publishing for ten years, and now teaches writing variously around the Bay Area. He's published eight books, for both adults and younger readers, most recently Blackboard and Bridge of Time. You can learn more about his books at lewisbuzbee.com.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them…?

I tell them I'm a writer, and that I also teach a little.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Start reading broadly and deeply, and start writing every single day, then give it 10 years. If you don't have 10 years' worth of apprenticeship in you, you probably don't want to write.

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

I do, absolutely. Because I set out to be a writer when I was 15 and I haven't stopped, and that was over 40 years ago. I've been published and unpublished all along, but I'm still writing, still making stories, still thinking of new things to write, still excited by the power of words and the necessity of story.

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