LAURA THEOBALD is the author of three books of poetry—Salad Days (Maudlin House, 2021), Kokomo (Disorder Press, 2019), and What My Hair Says About You (Metatron, 2017)—plus three chapbooks. She’s an English PhD candidate at UGA in Athens and received an MFA from LSU, where she was the editor of New Delta Review. In her spare time she designs books for small press publishers. She’s on Twitter and Instagram as @lidleida.
RAX KING is the James Beard Award-nominated author of Tacky (Vintage, 2021) and host of the podcast Low Culture Boil. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her toothless Pekingese.
After I finished Graham Irvin’s new book, Liver Mush, I biked to the grocery store to buy some liver mush. In the frozen meat section, there was one solitary block of liver mush left—almost like it was waiting for me. I ate the liver mush on a pillsbury biscuit with American cheese, like Graham suggests in Liver Mush. The liver mush was phenomenal, an unexpected and great discovery. Liver Mush is also phenomenal, also an unexpected and great discovery. Two brand new delights in the course of an afternoon. It made for a good day. And you can discover them, too. They’re waiting for you, too. I had the pleasure of talking with Graham about liver mush and Liver Mush.
Duncan Birmingham writes fiction about people at their wit’s end. Some of them have seen relationships implode; others have begun to glean the true shape of the world around them. Birmingham’s characters make terrible decisions and are prone to excess; the stories in which they appear blend humor and dread in unexpected proportions. Birmingham’s collection The Cult In My Garage is an excellent distillation of his skills as a writer, offering a window into a simultaneously beguiling and terrifying vision of California. I spoke with him about the book’s origins, the role of the pandemic in its genesis, and its celebrity cameo.
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.
In the Summer of 2020, I was hospitalized for almost a month and reached out via text to a limited number of writer-friends to let them know what was going on with me. Of that small number, Josh Russell has stayed in touch with me daily, in a manner that has improved my health, deepened our friendship, and, I hope, aided each other during a period in which there have been many days where both of us wondered if there was any reason to write fiction, particularly the kind of fiction each of us have chosen to pursue.
During that time, we’ve seen too how both of us, survivors of the eighties, midwesterners who’ve lived most of our adult lives in the south, married to southerners, who’ve navigated through a number of different universities—nine have seen fit to employ the two of us—have more in common than not. And I will say it unhesitatingly: I have no other correspondent whom I look forward to hearing from more.
TOBIAS CARROLL is the author of Political Sign (Bloomsbury, 2020), Transitory (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), and Reel (Rare Bird, 2016). He is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn, and writes Words Without Borders’ Watchlist column. His writing has been published by Tin House, Rolling Stone, Hazlitt, The Scofield, Bookforum, and more. He has taught writing courses for LitReactor and Catapult.
The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.