Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 15: Mallory Smart)

Mallory Smart

Mallory Smart is a Chicago-based writer who works as Editor-in-Chief for Maudlin House. She also talks about music and literature on the Textual Healing podcast, and drinks a lot of coffee. 

My current favorite book is: Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach.

My current favorite film is: Scream. At this point, I think I’ve watched it at least forty times. I counted. 

My current favorite television show is: Mindhunter by day, old Grey’s Anatomy episodes by night. 

My current favorite musician is: …it’s an odd tie between Mitsky, Beabadoobee, Stevie Nicks, and My Chemical Romance. I’ve thought about this a lot and this tie just can’t be broken. Blame TikTok and the pandemic…

My current state of mind is: David Lynch’s weather reports.

My current chemical romance involves: coffee. It forces me out of bed and keeps me going even though there’s not much to do right now. Also, ever since I had COVID-19, alcohol just tastes off to me. Ironically, when I was sick, my siblings were cool enough to send me a care package but it was almost exclusively filled with cough drops and beer. 

My current favorite quote is: …there’s a debate on whether this is a misquote or a paraphrase of what John Steinbeck said, but I think it really fits with what we’re going through now so I’m going to just stick with it: “Socialism will never take root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

My current mode of transportation is: usually just walking, but everything is closed in Chicago, so I’m actually going nowhere which is so typical of me.

My current favorite fast food item is: a blueberry muffin and a mocha latte from Starbucks almost every time because I’m basic. 

My current workout routine consists of: dancing it out for an hour to songs that Spotify says are my favorite.

My current regrettable decision involves: going to college. In hindsight, it feels like it was such a waste of time. Like I learned cool things that were related to my history degree but I just can’t rationalize spending that much time doing something that I knew I never was going to commit to. 

My current hopes and dreams involve: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez somehow becoming president and other fun impossible things that take too long to list.

My current hobbies/projects include: making podcasts. I have one where I only talk about literature and music with other authors but I’m also working on one about history so I guess college wasn’t a total bust. Hobbies are strange for me because I know I need one, but I don’t want it to be playing sports or something. Creating something new is the only hobby that makes sense to me. 


Mallory Smart is online at

Brian Alan Ellis runs House of Vlad Press, and is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018). His writing has appeared at Juked, Hobart, Fanzine, Monkeybicycle, Electric Literature, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Funhouse, Heavy Feather Review, and Yes Poetry, among other places. He lives in Florida.

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