Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 54: Kristen Arnett)

Kristen Arnett

KRISTEN ARNETT is the author of With Teeth: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2021) and the NYT bestselling debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction. She is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter‘s Literary Award in Fiction, has been a columnist for Literary Hub and is a current columnist for Catapult, and was a Spring 2020 Shearing Fellow at Black Mountain Institute. Her work has appeared at The New York Times, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, Guernica, Buzzfeed, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. Her next book (an untitled collection of short stories) will be published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House). She has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and currently lives in Miami, Florida. You can find her on Twitter here.

My current favorite thing to read is: Wikipedia entries for shows that I’ll never watch—I do this instead of writing, and it is extremely gratifying, even though I am getting nothing done. I’ve also been reading a ton of short fiction collections. So many great queer ones out right now! 

My current favorite thing to watch is: old episodes of The Real Housewives (there is more plot development on these shows than in most novels) and also ASMR videos where people rub weird makeup brushes on microphones. Oddly soothing!

 My current favorite thing to listen to is: Bitch Sesh Podcast, the new Lucy Dacus, and anything Sad13, especially Haunted Painting. So! Good!

My current state of mind is: much like myself, forever sliding back and forth on a scale from everything is amazing to everything is the worst. I have been trying to be kinder to myself about my work and my art. Trying to be a little nicer to my brain. Some days are easier than others!

My current chemical romance (drug/bad habit/toxic infatuation) involves: …Dad loves beer and beer loves Dad.

My current words of wisdom are: most stuff is just going to be hard and you’re not going to understand things most of the time, and that is actually okay! 

My current mode of transportation is: walking my Dad-self and my dog around Florida, enjoying the outdoors and the water and the plants and the bugs and the lizards.

My current favorite fast food item is: …Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell is a perfect food item. 10/10, amazing, no notes. 

My current workout routine consists of: raising a beer to my face.

My current regrettable decision involves: …there are so many that it’s hard to choose! Probably the last time I was hungover, which included my girlfriend and I developing a drinking game for the movie Twilight that included shots for every time someone mentioned Vampires. I do not remember the end of the night. 

My current hopes and dreams are: to be happy with my work, happy with my partner, happy with my friendships. Also to own 43267428 more dogs. 

My current projects/hobbies include: working on short fiction for my upcoming collection with Riverhead, trying to write three different novels at once, and attempting to eat my weight in Cheez-It Snack Mix.


Kirsten Arnett 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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