The Next Big Thing

February 24, 2013 § 2 Comments

The lovely and talented Andrea Cohen has tagged me for The Next Big Thing

And here is what I have to say:

What is your title of your book?

“The Talking Day”

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Well, the title came from an expression I heard on a news report after the shootings at Virginia Tech.  The day after something atrocious happens which involves many people is called “the talking day” — or it was that day, anyway — because that’s all anybody can really do to make what seems unreal a bit more real, real enough to think that you actually could deal with it.  I think of it as a speechful mediation:  the day people talk, but don’t really know what they’re saying; maybe it’s a way to keep grief at bay another day, or a day to fall into the comfort of the collective and not have to face being alone with so much terror that comes with violent unpredictability.  So, I wrote a prose poem around that idea and then other poems around that poem or in answer to questions the other poems were asking.  I really liked — originally, anyway — the idea of a book of poems where each one literally came out of the previous one (maybe not in a strict literal sense, but in some sort of order of allusion).

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry, prose poetry.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Laura Dern as all the women and Mike White as all the men.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The first line of the book is the one-sentence synopsis:  “I’m dumb about the world.  To me it always looks haunted.”  Okay, two sentences.

Was your book self-published or represented by an agency? 

It’s published by a new, great small press called Sibling Rivalry Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Three years.

What are you reading?

My Poets by Maureen McLane; See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid; My Brother’s Book by Maurice Sendak.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Eve Ensler, Adrienne Rich, Matthew Dickman, Jean Valentine, Mary Ruefle, Andrew Hood, Shane Manieri, Tony Leuzzi, Maureen Seaton, Marie Howe, Mark Bibbins, Tony Valenzuela, Kate Colleran, Gaby Calvocoressi, Martha Rhodes, Ricky Ian Gordon — people I love, people I read, people I think about.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It has a beautiful man with no clothes on in Bikram yoga’s awkward pose on the cover.


The other writers and poets I am tagging are: Amy Newman, Stephen Kuusisto, Angelo Nikolopoulos, Douglas A. Martin, Jan Richman Patricia Clark and Maggie Cleveland

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