Alright, I've been tagged by the incomparable JeFF Stumpo to participate in The Next Big Thing. I'm going to interview myself about my most recent and/or ongoing project(s). Here goes!
What is the working title of the book?
I’m not sure. I’m having trouble with titles in general for this project. I may end up choosing a title poem from the series. I think I’ll have a better sense of it the more it comes together.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The best way to describe the project is a queer coming of age set in conservative West Texas. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how the idea came together. I think certain things I read contributed to it -- Richard Siken’s Crush and Lauren Berry’s The Lifting Dress.
I think I’ve been carrying some of the poems in this series with me for a long time. I resist poems sometimes, and I think being afraid is probably an indication it’s the right thing to do. Some of the pieces I’ve written so far feel necessary, if that makes sense. I want to have a cohesive manuscript long enough to be a chapbook or full length collection. All that together resulted in this project.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
That’s sort of impossible for me to imagine. Forced to answer, I guess this is more of a documentary? It would have to be real West Texans.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
How do you learn to be yourself?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
It’s in progress. My last project took about 3 years and I can see this manuscript taking me that long. I have a little less than half the pieces I need at this point.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
You know, I think my work has been headed this way for a while. The thing I took away from being a performance poet is that for better or worse, your voice is the most powerful thing you have. I want this project to be empowering, to give a voice to a situation where silence seems like the only safe option.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, I guess it's worth noting that this is my first project since my 2-year post-MFA burnout. I'm excited to be writing again and these poems are different from my past work.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I guess we'll see.