Camille Dungy, author of Trophic Cascade, interviewed by Ishah Houston and Taylor Mel, in Punctuate:


“I think the job of the writer is to write the best work that they possibly can as frequently as they are able to do so. Some writers write just one great book. But that one great book takes us further.”




Dan Beachy-Quick, author of Of Silence and Song, interviewed by Rick Barot in New England Review:


“I’ve long been of the awful suspicion that each of us has to create our own epistemology—that we must in the end explain to ourselves how we built our own minds, how we constructed our own hearts, and in this way, each of us is a philosopher.”




Peter Moysaenko, in BOMB, writing about Alyson Hagy’s Ghosts of Wyoming (Graywolf, 2010):


“Subject to nature, to opportunism, we fail by degrees. But if we are to blame for the missteps of blind enthusiasm—not in the name of survival but for the sake of mounting success—then at least the artists among us should seem to court redemption….”




Toi Derricotte, interviewed by Leslie Anne Mcilroy, in HEArt, about Derricotte’s book The Undertaker’s Daughter (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, 2011):


“There’s no proof, but you make the path, and I believe there is this connection between those who come before and us, and it’s only by making that true in my own self that it becomes real.”



Andrew David King, in Sugar House Review(s), on Aby Kaupang’s Absence Is Such a Transparent House (Tebot Bach, 2011):


“In the face of mortality, is there any possibility of self-preservation via linguistic embodiment? And what about clarity—can we attain it, or are we doomed to the sarcophagus of what we almost successfully said?”




Tyler Sheldon, in Entropy, on Matthew Cooperman’s Spool (Parlor Press, 2016):


“Perhaps we deal with uncertainty in similar ways because eventually we all become one and the same….”




Inez Tan, in Singapore Unbound, reviewing Jeremy Tiang’s State of Emergency (Epigram Books, 2017):


“For a novel to carry off its persuasive and affective work, it must firstly function as a novel: an immersive experience of storytelling from which intellectual meaning arises organically.”


Wild Ride

William Heyen, author of The Candle, interviewed by Phil Brady and Daniel Bourne, in Artful Dodge:


“Subject matter … is almost incidental, is along for the wild ride of the saying-and it is always fearful, it may be, that it will lose its life, its factuality and empirical veracity. But we come to any subject matter naturally, or should. Passion won’t be forced.”



Narrative Arc

Jan Beatty, interviewed by Bill O’Driscoll, in the Pittsburgh City Paper, about Beatty’s book Jackknife (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press,


“The narrative arc makes me want to die. It makes me feel like I’m limited, like it’s all set in motion.”




Tim Seibles, interviewed by Alan W. King, at BOMB, about Seibles’ book Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012):


“At any given moment of our lives, if we’re really listening, we’ll go from rage to tenderness pretty quickly.”