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The Blow Received Before the Stroke: Adam Soldofsky’s Blind Swordsman Poetry

Poet Adam Soldofsky is the mind behind The Blind Swordsman Poems, his inspired series of poems composed of screenshots from Japan’s cultic Zatoichi films. Via word and image, Soldofsky craft poems that are part charming, quizzical, Zen koan, part pop culture haiku. Each finds the song in the film’s subtitles and the slant connections between [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

The Faltering Defense of Self: An Interview with Leslie Jamison

The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison’s debut essay collection, is a remarkable book. Although it deals with heavy issues—pain, suffering, the limits of understanding—it does so with a suppleness and grace that brings to mind one of Calvino’s lectures in Six Memos for the Next Millennium,where he posits a “lightness of thoughtfulness.” This lightness, which serves [...]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 2

Let It Fly: An Interview with Ted Thompson

In the well-to-do, Connecticut commuter town where Ted Thompson’s debut novel takes place, things tend to happen like clockwork: from the trains pulling into and out of their stations, to the holiday party invitations that appear in mailboxes each year. The place is nicknamed “The Land of Steady Habits,” after all. But what happens when [...]

Posted in Fiction, General, Interviews

Comments: 2

Like A Beggar: A Conversation with Ellen Bass

Over the past two years, I have followed Ellen Bass through her publications in Tin House to the pages of the New Yorker and countless other journals. I was thrilled to have the chance to speak with her over the phone recently, as we discussed a wide range of topics: repetition, heart, invisibility, the god of [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

Life is a Combo Platter: an Interview with Craig Lucas

  It was one of those unexpected 65˚ days in mid-March and I was sitting outside the Cherry Lane Theater in Manhattan, considering the many great playwrights whose work has graced the stage inside, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O’Neil, Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, and Sam Shepard. How appropriate, I thought, for Craig Lucas to [...]

Posted in Interviews

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Fables and The Pedestrians: An Interview with Rachel Zucker

While it is not a big secret that I admire female poets, it was geometry, not gender, that first drew me to Rachel Zucker’s work. Along with a deliciously catchy title, Zucker’s third book, The Bad Wife Handbook (Wesleyan Poetry), was published long and horizontally, the distinct shape of the book a perfect match for [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 2

Whatever Happens, I’m Having a Good Time: An Interview with David James Poissant

David James Poissant’s debut collection (Ed. note-Out Today!!!), The Heaven of Animals, promises us a book teeming with wildlife, with metaphysical questions, with people yearning for answers, and the stories deliver. A key strength of Jamie’s fiction is that in one breath he can both make us laugh and raise what Faulkner called “the old [...]

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Memory: Diane Cook

Diane Cook tells us about “Moving On,” her writing habits, and what we should read next.

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Winter Reading: Elisa Albert

You can now read Elisa Albert’s contribution to our Winter issue online. We spoke with the author about the claustrophobic world that is “I am Happy For You That You Are So Happy.” Tin House: What was the biggest obstacle in writing “I am Happy For You That You Are So Happy”? Elisa Albert: It’s [...]

Posted in Fiction, Interviews

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A Correction of the Untruths I Was Told as a Child about How the World Works: An Interview with Kyle Minor

The genius of Kyle Minor’s fiction—and there’s no other word for it—finds its clearest expression after we’ve put his story down and are left alone with our own spiraling thoughts. His new collection, Praying Drunk (Sarabande Books), raises any number of enormous questions about human nature and the possibility, however remote, of understanding the divine. [...]

Posted in Fiction, Interviews

Comments: 6

Morbid Festivity: An Interview with Jerry Stahl

Early on in Happy Mutant Baby Pills, author Jerry Stahl invokes Naked Lunch—a nervy move, I thought, since what book, what writer, could weather the comparison? Jerry Stahl can.

Posted in Fiction, Interviews

Comments: 0

Underdog Narratives: An Interview with Davy Rothbart

Davy Rothbart is a true multimedia man. The creator of Found magazine, which displays items like lists, letters, drawings, and other ephemera sent in by readers who have found these lost items all over the world, Rothbart has also published a collection of essays (My Heart Is an Idiot), a book of short stories (The [...]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 7

The Dismal Science: A Conversation with Peter Mountford and David Shields

David Shields: All of your work seems to me mature, complex, layered, bittersweet, but this book feels almost unspeakably sad. How do you write or read about such sadness without succumbing? This is a bit of a rhetorical question on my part. I can’t read work that isn’t unspeakably sad, but I want to hear [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 2

What the Brain Knows: An Interview with Laura van den Berg

In “The Isle of Youth”—the title story in Laura van den Berg’s thrilling, punch-in-the-gut new story collection—a character makes reference to the concept of inborn knowledge: “how we hold inside ourselves ideas and experiences that exist on a plane far above our conscious minds.” It’s a beautiful concept, and especially useful when attempting to explain [...]

Posted in General, Interviews

Comments: 3

This City Could Be Your Poet: Richmond

As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for introductions to the cities in which they write, [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

This City Could Be Your Poet: Greenville

As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for introductions to the cities in which they write, [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 0

Subtle Bodies: An Interview with Norman Rush

If memory serves, it was sometime in the early 90s that I attended a reading at the now-deceased Endicott Bookstore on New York’s Upper West Side, featuring Toby Olsen and some other guy. That other guy turned out to be Norman Rush, and he read from Mating, which quickly became my favorite novel. I found [...]

Posted in Interviews

Comments: 3

November 22, 1963: A Conversation with Adam Braver

Tin House Books: What prompts you to begin a work of fiction—an image, a character, a line of dialogue? What prompted November 22, 1963? Adam Braver: Actually, it can be all of the above. A story can start from some characteristic trait, an odd sentence I’ve heard somebody mutter, or sometimes the incongruence of a setting and a [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

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Kind of Kin: An Interview with Rilla Askew

I first got to know Rilla Askew at Woodstock. Well, sort of. We didn’t meet at the famous music festival, but rather almost exactly 36 years later on the very spot at which it took place: a large field in Bethel, New York. Every September, that property is given over to a Harvest Festival, which includes [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

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This City Could Be Your Poet: Minneapolis

As Xenophobic as we Portlanders can be, we know our city is not alone when it comes to having a vibrant and eclectic and wild poetry community. In an effort to discover these territories, we have reached out to some of our favorite poets, asking them for an introduction to the city in which they [...]

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 1

This is Between Us: An Interview with Kevin Sampsell

Arthur Bradford: Hey Kevin, I like your new book (This is Between Us)! It’s a very sincere and raw look at a relationship, and love. Did you have any kind of statement in mind when you set out to write this, like were you trying to show some aspect of love and relationships that might [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 1

Story About the Story: An Interview with Dagoberto Gilb

Next in J.C. Hallman’s series of Q&A’s with Story About the Story contributors is writer Dagoberto Gilb. Dagoberto Gilb is the author of a number of books, including The Magic of Blood, Woodcuts of Women, and The Flowers.  Gilb’s contribution to The Story About the Story I, “The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy,” first appeared in The Nation and was [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Story About the Story: An Interview with Walter Kirn

Walter Kirn’s books include Up in the Air, Thumbsucker, and, most recently, Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of an Overachiever.  His essay included in The Story About the Story I, “Good-Bye Holden Caulfield.  I mean it.  Go!  Good-bye!” first appeared in With Love and Squalor: 14 Writers Respond to the Work of J.D. Salinger. [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 7

What We Write Will Last Longer Than Our Skins: An Interview with Rachel McKibbens

My mother was a more fantastic and unobtainable creature than any mermaid to me; my father more terrifying than a minotaur.

Posted in Interviews, Poetry

Comments: 2

Story About the Story: An Interview with Nicholson Baker

Nicholson Baker is the author of more than a dozen books.  His third book, U and I: A True Story, about John Updike, is a common frame of reference for many who write creative criticism today.  “Defoe, Truthteller,” reprinted in The Story About the Story II, was first published in Columbia Journalism Review, and appears [...]

Posted in Interviews, Tin House Books

Comments: 2