|In the studio|
What made you want to be a writer?
At some point in my mid 20's I decided that painting houses sucked and Washington DC sucked and I wanted to move to New Orleans and go to grad school and study writing. That's what I did.
Which creative people have influenced you?
Mitch Cope, Graem Whyte, Maria McLeod, Scott Hocking, Denis Johnson, Jonathon Letham, Ernest Hemmingway, Cormac McCarthy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cormac_McCarthy, Raymond Carver, Gina Reichert, Faina Lerman, Teresa Peterson, my wife Anne Harrington Hughes, Tim Hailey, Mira Burack, Michael Jackman, Clinton Snider, Steve and Hillary Cherry, my partner in my building and renovation buisness Kevin Lynn, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Kamil Antos, Chris Riddell, Nina BianchiNote: links for Detroit artists are on the right and links for historical artists are below
How do you get ideas?
I'm inspired by creation and destruction and celebration and desire and the carnal act of drinking and eating and all things connected to the body and beer. I'm interested in stupidity and beauty and confusion and fucking and pain and idiotic self-destructive acts and bad ideas and accidents and beer again and forgetting but trying hard not to and delicious food, and truth and the discovery of truth and real tries and attempts at honesty and flat-out lies and multiple histories for the same event and what it means to find and express the real truth of a situation. And beer.
|Reading at the Public Pool|
How about your environment, does it influence you in any way?
Yesterday I got home from work and I saw the neighbor kids running on top of their garage roof. They jumped to the neighbor's garage and kept going. There were five of them. They were hitting each other with sticks. I was not dreaming this. This was really happening. It was surprising, stunning, idiotic, amazing, and yes, inspiring. Hamtramck is a vibrant and lively city. Many of the stories I write have taken place here.
I collect stories from people I meet at bars. I write them down. I publish them several times a year in my zine Stupor. I collaborate with different local artists on the layout and design. I've been publishing Stupor since 1995 when I first moved to Hamtramck. The zine has seen several different incarnations but now and since 2004, it's been about the crazy shit I hear people talking about. Then it becomes about their story, about who they are, and about what they might become.Why did you choose to be writer rather than some other form of self expression?
I like the reliability of self publishing. I like the physicality of it. I like having something you can put on the back of your toilet or fold up and stick into your pocket and read on the bus or in the back of a car. No doubt, print media is cooler than electronic media. It has more tangible value. You can loose it in your house and find it again a year later. You can burn it or treasure it. You can hold it in your hands. You can touch the words. It beats the hell out of looking at a computer screen (like you're doing now).
|Issues of Stupor|
What are you working on now? How did you get the idea?
I'm working on a new issue of Stupor, titled Making Plans to Ruin Your Life. It's a collaboration with local artist Graem Whyte. I'm wrapping that one up this weekend and then starting to work on a new issue with the artist Mira Burack. Three other artists are currently working on layouts for me: Elliott Earls from Cranbrook, Scott Hocking from Detroit, and Nina Bianchi from Hamtramck. I just released a new issue with artwork by Faina Lerman, this issue is available at Book Beat and Leopold's and will be soon at Printed Matter in NYC. I'll be doing a reading at Leopold's when my next issue comes out. And as always, I'm listening to people, drinking a beer and collecting stories for up-coming issues.http://www.thebookbeat.com/shop/index.php
If you want to haunt some HAMTRAMCK BARS visit the link below: