Here’s my self-interview for the ongoing Next Big Thing project connecting us all and reflecting each of us and our work, gem-to-gem, around the net. Each writer/artist gets the same set of questions to answer about his/her current work.
I was tagged to join the project by Pansy Mauer-Alvarez, who was tagged by Dylan Harris (whose corrupt press has also published two of my books). Thanks to both.
The people who accepted my invitation are Bonny Finberg and Peter Cunningham; their interviews will appear on March 23-24.
What is/was the working title of the book?
For the moment, the working title is Here We Are. But actually that could be the title of any of my books, so it may well change as the work goes on. It’s like what Joyce said about his writing, that it was all one ongoing work that could in fact be called Work in Progress. Lucky for us, he agreed to break it up into a few books with different titles.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’m not sure how to answer that question. Mostly I stumble on things and eventually realize that’s what I’ve been looking for all along. More directly, these poems arise from what I stumble upon in my daily reading of three or four or more newspapers, in English and in French and in print and on the Web, from listening to all-news radio in French, and in my part-time day job as a journalist, and from what I stumble upon more generally in my life as a human being at this particular moment, in this particular place, in this particular world with all its strange and beautiful manifestations, its fatuous foibles and sometimes devastating, distracting delirium.
What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry, in a sub-genre that could be called Gurlesque Love-Reporting from the Trenches of Now.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Great question. First I have to figure out who the characters are! Anouk Aimée could star as her character in Fellini’s 8½. And Mastroianni as his character, and Fellini, too, for that matter, but playing himself, as would Obama, Bin Laden, Sarkozy, Bush, Cheney, Lance Armstrong, Usain Bolt, Alex Ferguson, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Colin Kapernick, Karl Lagerfeld, Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Merkel, Patti Smith, Gertrude Stein, Basquiat, Roberto Bolaño, Janis Joplin, the Dalai Lama, DSK, Hillary Clinton, Laurie Anderson, Louise Bourgeois, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet, Depardieu, Polanski, Godard, Jodi Foster, Terence Malick, Agnès Varda… There would be the crowds in revolt in Cairo, Tunis, Athens, Lisbon, Madrid, a chorus of international clerks from Starbucks, joined by Springsteen, Dylan, Jagger and Richards, Amadou and Mariam, Putin and Pussy Riot and the pope (but which one?) under the direction of Ariane Mnouchkine… In any case there would have to be a cast of thousands, equipped with smart phones and free high-speed Internet. And Nathaniel Dorsky would film it.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
All the news that’s not fit to print.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’m still working on it. I started about a year or so ago, with a break in summer and fall to shepherd through the publication of Giacomettrics in November. On the other hand, like I said above, it’s all one ongoing work without beginning or end.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Maybe I addressed that a bit in the answer to the second question? The Arab Spring was definitely a catalyst, and the ‘‘indigné’’ upheavals in Europe, as is the continuing demise of the news media as we know it and the saturation of our lives with ‘‘information technology,’’ ‘‘social media,’’ franchises, conglomerates, blockbuster ‘‘art,’’ rampant consumerism, the culture of materialism and the materialism of culture, outsourcing… I feel like telling it like it is: we’re all connected, but not the way we think we are.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
‘‘It’s all about you.’’
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
No and no. But as there is no publisher in sight yet, all comers are welcome.
Hi Jen! Thanks for comment. I also read yours, and like you have been wandering around like hopscotch from link to link. Great feeling of community. And I found doing it myself inspiring. Wish there was some central site where links could be gathered…
Congratulations on your new book, BTW. Have been crazy busy and not made it to your launches. Sorry.
Loved seeing this! I also participated in this project a month or so back and have been enjoying trying to just read across the spidering cyberwebbing all of these NEXT BIG THINGs. It was great to learn more about your project and how you think of it too. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Pansy, and thank you for tagging me.
Your answers, too, are just like your poetry; I particularly loved your answer to No. 8: “heads flung back, their voices float”
Brilliant answers, each one. Intelligent, witty, humorous and oh so true, just like your poetry itself. I particularly enjoyed your answers to questions 4 and 8, question I found rather difficult. Of course I want to read that book!!!