Lynn Xu | December 28, 2012
1. Where are you now?
2. What are you working on and what have you got coming out?
I am working on a few things, but these things have yet to find their form.
My first book (Debts & Lessons) will be published by Omnidawn this spring. I also have some poems forthcoming in Critical Inquiry, though I’m not sure which issue.
3. Where do you write?
I prefer to write on large tables, the larger the better.
4. What’s the last best thing you’ve read?
Cao xueqin’s Shitou ji (Story of the Stone), better known as: Hong loumeng (Dream of the Red Chamber). I do not hesitate to say it is the best thing I have read in years. A total of 120 chapters, it stretches across five volumes (the last 40 chapters we do not attribute to the author, but to the editors: Gao E and Cheng weiyuan). John Hawks’ translation takes liberties, but it is the best; there is no way to repair the verse parts in translation, nor reproduce the extraordinary range of punning and play.
5. What journals, poets, presses have you discovered lately?
Presses: Atticus/Finch, Wakefield Press and Private Line. Poets: Charlotte Smith, Erasmus Darwin and H.D.
6. Care to share any distractions / diversions?
Ping-Pong matches against Josh, long walks in the surrounding woods, exploring the woods, biking to the lake, drinking in the beer garden overlooking the lake, looking for mushrooms and writing long letters.
7. What are you looking forward to?
I look forward to being able to keep time differently, released from the supervision of “deadlines” and the well-worn illusion of “efficiency.”
8. What is the effect of weather on your mood and on your ability to write?
I like bright almost-blinding days filled with sun, or the black of nighttime. When a cloud rolls in and the day dims my first instinct is certainly to protest it. In the arc of half-light (pacific northwest winter) I feel seasick and nauseous, and cannot think. I like abrasive weather, with seasons that show marked change. To add to the last question, I look forward to spending a proper German winter with equal parts snow and darkness.