Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 61: Dennis Cooper)

Dennis Cooper

DENNIS COOPER is an American novelist, poet, critic, editor, filmmaker and performance artist who currently spends his time between Los Angeles and Paris. He is known for the George Miles Cycle, a series of five semi-autobiographical novels (Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period) published between 1989 and 2000, and is the director (with Zac Farley) of Permanent Green Light and Like Cattle Towards Glow. I Wished (Soho Press, 2021) is his first novel in ten years.

My current favorite thing to read is: …currently poring over Joy Williams’ HARROW, Eugene  Lim’s SEARCH HISTORY, Lucy K Shaw’s TROISEME VAGUE, and the new issue of The Wire (with Faust on the cover).

My current favorite things to watch are: Halloween Home Haunt walkthrough videos on YouTube, both out of love and for a project I’m working on.

My current favorite thing to listen to is: Yasunao Tone.

My current state of mind is: mostly nervous because my new novel I WISHED was just released.

My current chemical romance involves: double espressos and Gunpowder green tea but I sometimes miss cocaine.

My current words of wisdom are: “How do the cows keep coming, just to run through the grinder. Please excuse me I’ve lost my girl, and I need to go find her.”—Robert Pollard 

My current mode of transportation involves: Metro and feet. 

My current favorite fast food item is: …I’m vegan so the closest I get to fast food is falafel, usually from the justifiably famous L’As du Fallafel in the Marais, although I do occasionally break the spell and get a vegetarian burrito at Paris’s only Chipotle. When I’m in my other hometown Los Angeles, Poquito Mas is my bread and butter.

My current workout routine consists of: just walking, as far as I can tell.  

My current regrettable decision involves: …I don’t really do regret. I’m pretty good at thinking ahead.

My current hopes and dreams are: that the funding for a film project—(1), listed below—is raised by November. That Japan will open up enough that I can go to Nintendo World in Osaka by early next year. That Trump dies of natural causes as soon as humanly possible.

My current hobbies/projects include: (1) the third feature film I’ll be co-directing with Zac Farley called ROOM TEMPERATURE that I hope we’ll shoot in SoCal around February. (2) A virtual, video game-like “walkthrough” Home Haunt I’m making with Zac, the writer Sabrina Tarasoff, the composer Puce Mary, and a couple of 3D designers in the UK that’ll premiere at The Pinault Collection in Paris around Halloween. (3) A short, weird novella called THE HAS-BEEN.


Dennis Cooper 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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