Street Talk

Braddock Avenue Books: Your book Teaching Queer: Radical Possibilities for Writing and Knowing came out this year. Was there a particular moment or set of moments that inspired you to write about queerness as pedagogy as opposed to your traditional platform of poetry?

Stacey Waite: My first love, even before poetry, was teaching. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a teacher. My mother and step-father are two of the most dedicated teachers I have ever known. And the connections between teaching and writing have always felt inevitable to me. So the new book, while I guess it's a book of scholarship, also at times feels like a poem, or many poems.

Braddock Avenue Books: The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water is your first book. How long did you work on this collection before it won the 2017 Rising Writer Prize at Autumn House Press?

Cameron Barnett: I worked on the poems in the book during the three years of my MFA at the University of Pittsburgh between 2013 and 2016, with a couple of exceptions: the oldest poem in the collection, “Nigger,” is a revision of a piece I first wrote in 2008; the newest three, “Redwoods in the Hood,” “Muriatic,” and “Fresh Prince” were all written after I graduated.

Catherine Zobal Dent

Homegrown: An interview with Catherine Zobal Dent

06/03/2015

Braddock Avenue Books: Let’s start at the end. The final story in your collection, “Unfinished Stories of Girls,” is also the title of the entire collection. Why did you decide to use this title for the book and why did you decide to put that story last?

Zobal Dent: That last story is drawn from a novel I’m working on in which a daughter of Italian-American immigrants struggles with various accounts she’s been given of her family’s movement through time and space.

Braddock Avenue Books: Although the pervading idea of Your Life Idyllic is the setting of Detroit, the collection depicts vastly different characters from many walks of life; yet each one has his or her own voice and personal idiosyncrasies. They feel authentic and are very accessible to us as readers. What was your goal in compiling these individual stories with Detroit as their common thread?

How do you write critically about a game that, for all intents and purposes, boils down to steering a spaceship on a flat, fixed line and shooting two-dimensional bugs that resemble undulating amoebas?

Robert Yune: As the title suggests, memory plays an important role in this novel. In general, what is the value of memory nowadays, especially in a society where seemingly everything is recorded, tracked, or documented?

Braddock Avenue Books: Your first novel, Borrowed Horses, clearly indicates that you have a very special relationship with horses, that you’ve spent a lot of time with them. It’s more than just a love; it’s like the horse is part of you. How does this kind of relationship develop?

Robert Yune: I first read Geni’s work in 2011. I was the fiction editor of The Fourth River, and our readers had passed on a story to me with enthusiastic notes: “Stuck w/ me long after I finished,” “DROP EVERYTHING, READ NOW.” And I did.

Michael Gerhard Martin

Writing Process Blog Tour

07/14/2014

What are you working on?

My friend and publisher Jeffrey Condran asked me if I’d like to write this post, and I was delighted. You can read his response here:

If you’re a writer and you don’t like attention, get out of the business.

Jeffrey Condran

Writing Process Blog Tour

07/07/2014

I was incredibly pleased to be asked by University of Pittsburgh writing instructor, Robert Yune, to participate in this Writing Process Blog Tour!

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