LAURA MINOR won the 2020 John Ciardi Poetry Prize. Her debut book of poems, Flowers As Mind Control, is on BkMk Press/University of Arkansas Press. She was also a finalist for the 2019 National Poetry Series and the winner of the 2019 ILA’s Rita Dove Poetry Award. She’s currently hoping for the best.
My current favorite thing to read is: …I read poetry all day every day, so I’m enjoying reading outside the genre for pleasure right now: International recipes and the language of cooking (minus the terrible blogging), lyrics, scripts, prose, etc. It’s all architecture, scaffolding, blueprints, the construction of a phrase or a sentence. But, what I really miss from my youth is the page-turner. All my experimental fiction friends are so talented, but I love story. Language is godhead, but story is love. Right now I’m enjoying David Hollander’s humor in his new novel, Anthropica.
My current favorite thing to watch is: …this is hard because I go through phases when I am hyper-focused on music and I can’t watch anything much. Right now, I’m hyper-focused on a steady reel of films, always in the background as I’m writing. It’s comforting, and it offers a broadcast of images around the room at all times if I need to pull something from the ether. Vice versa. I’ll be back in listening as static soon. Melody, image. I don’t know.
My current favorite thing to listen to is: women.
My current state of mind is: …people have told me that I’m enthusiastic among other things maximalist. I think it’s always a wrecking ball between a yawp and the dude abides. I can’t think of the women’s equivalent references right now, because either I wasn’t raised with them and/or they are buried in history. A room of one’s own? It proved to be deficient in the great formula. But, even at my darkest, I’m a cheerleader because I believe in the fight. The monastic warrior, the peace-making lover, the witness, the Wreck. How can I write? After all this work, I still don’t even have bodily autonomy.
My current chemical romance involves: whatever you need to do to survive and be kind, keep your humanity. You never know what someone is going through, so don’t make sport of someone’s trauma-inducing spiral or habit. That’s not cool.
My current words of wisdom are: probably something between the realms of “Separate the art from the artist as long as you’re not supporting an abuser” and the “Maybe you’re just surrounded by assholes” OR “You see trouble coming down the road, go the other way” and “Get into some good trouble.” We’re not here for very long; make art. And, buy art from your friends. Not many people are ever going to make you as happy. Art Above All. #AAA
My current mode of transportation involves: my dead grandpa’s truck. He was recently taken out by a combination of hurricane, negligence, greedy doctors, and complacency. I don’t want to drive. I’d rather bike, but it’s an act of defiance and geography in his name right now.
My current favorite fast food item is: Egg McMuffin. Or good times willing, a real breakfast burrito/sweet tea combo—it’s rare.
My current workout routine consists of: walking, thinking, running at times. Weather permitting. Right now, mostly worrying and cleaning. Nothing will ever beat swimming. Swimming is freedom.
My current regrettable decision involves: not walking away sooner from those that would wish you harm. I think we smell it and we don’t want to believe people can go that way. But they can. And they do. It’s compulsive and toxic. It has nothing to do with you, except whatever you’re trying to do/be might be hard for them. Unfortunately, the predators among us come with smiles. You have to learn them and avoid them.
My current hopes and dreams are: …nothing makes me happier than when my friends and family go after what they want and get at it. That goes for community as well. I like to see people go after what they want, authentically want, in this very cruel and limited world—it’s a thing, courage. I’m also writing a creative nonfiction thing and a biopic script because my head has been in poetry for years now, and I want to see where it goes. It’s like design. You may be trained to work in one area of design, but you still have a fundamental craft and vision that reaches beyond that specificity.
My current hobbies/projects include: …I’m always going to be that annoying person with a lot of cerebral, intellectual, and creative dreams and projects, so I’ll just say that the pandemic has humbled me in my secrets. I hope to learn more about spices… and surfing.
Laura Minor is online at lauraminor.com.
Brian Alan Ellis runs House of Vlad Press, and is the author of several books, including Sad Laughter (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2018) and Hobbies You Enjoy (serialized daily on Instagram: @hobbiesyouenjoy). 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.