What is the working title of your book (or story)?
To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
From living in Edna St. Vincent Millay’s barn for a month, which is just to say that that’s where I started writing it. I tend not to begin books with ideas, as the vast majority of my ideas are terrible.
What genre does your book fall under?
“The poem begins and ends in silence. Why not call it nothing?” (Allen Grossman)
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Any resemblance of my characters to actors—living or dead—is purely coincidental.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
“There’s not even room enough to be anywhere.” (from Bob Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet”)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Flood Editions—bless them—will publish the book this spring.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I started writing it in July of 2009. I can’t remember when I actually sent the draft to Flood. Maybe fall of 2011?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Saying it compares to nothing else would be arrogant, as would saying it compares to any of my favorite books. I feel comfortable saying that I think a lot of the book’s spirit comes from William Gaddis’s Agapē Agape, which is neither in my genre nor anything like my book. But I went to Gaddis’s book a lot while I was writing mine, and I think it helped me. I’d also say that roughly 66% of the poetry I read while I was writing the book was written by Emily Dickinson. But that may be just as true of my other books.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The book makes no use of enjambment and some of the poems are quite long. I used to be a “short-line, short-poem guy,” so this is a chance for people who really like that sort of thing to accuse me of changing for the worse and a chance for people who really don’t like that sort of thing to give me another chance. Also, the book’s cover is a piece by John Stezaker, and he’s a genius.
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