Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 32: Montgomery Maxton)

Montgomery Maxton

MONTGOMERY MAXTON is a poet, writer, photographer, and mixed-media artist. Born and raised in Cincinnati, his photography has appeared on NationalGeographic.com, among other outlets, and his poetry published on numerous websites and in various print anthologies. He is the author of the poetry collections This Beautiful Bizarre (2010), Champagne (2016), and New and Selected Poems: 1999-2018. He released a graphic novel, The Manhattan Man, in 2018. In 2021 he’ll release his short novel, Moonlight on the Sunshine Roses, which he wrote in 2009, as well as his fourth poetry collection, Shipwreck. He lives in New York City.

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Fiction and the Limits of the Self: A Review of Rachel Cusk’s “Second Place”

"Second Place"

The projection of self as god works far better as a mantra of living if the reality around you is believable. If the narrative and the plot holds true, and if dreams and assumptions come to fruition, then the little world around you can be one of your own creation. Unless of course, the narrative you have created disintegrates before your very eyes, washed away by every adverse or unexpected event, the true events of life playing out incorrectly according to the preconceived story. Rachel Cusk, star auto-fictional writer of the twenty-first century, wonders at this self-as-god idea, and wars against her loss of attaining it, returns to her dissection of the limits of the self in her new novel Second Place. The story is told by the narrator, referred to as M, to a Jeffers, a therapist-like presence, or maybe a pet. M recants the story of L, a famous artist, coming to stay at her and her husband Tony’s second place, a small artist’s studio near the main residence on the secluded marshland they live on (a Marfa-Marsh if you will.) 

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Currents, an Interview Series with Brian Alan Ellis (Episode 30: Henry Hoke)

Henry Hoke

HENRY HOKE is the author of The Groundhog Forever (WTAW Press, 2021), the story collection Genevieves (Subito Press, 2017), and The Book of Endless Sleepovers (Civil Coping Mechanisms/The Accomplices, 2016). Recent work appears in The Offing, Electric Literature, Hobart, Carve, and the Catapult anthology Tiny Crimes. He co-created the performance series Enter>text [enter-text.com] in Los Angeles, and has curated events at the &Now Festival, Machine Project, the Neutra VDL House, and the Poetic Research Bureau. His play, At Sundown, premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and his short film, Taking Shape, screened on HBO. Sticker, a memoir, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons. He lives in Brooklyn. 

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Where Time Loops and Film School Collide: Talking “The Groundhog Forever” With Henry Hoke

Henry Hoke

Henry Hoke’s new novel The Groundhog Forever tells the story of two film students who find themselves stuck in a time loop on a day when they attend a screening of Groundhog Day. Out of that high concept comes a thoughtful, unpredictable book about life in early-2000s NYC, identity, and art. Of personal interest is the fact that Hoke and I are both graduates of NYU’s film program, and reading this book brought back a host of memories. In advance of Hoke’s book launch at Community Bookstore this evening, we chatted about film school and all things literary.

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Original Titles, Field Hockey, and Witchcraft: An Interview With Quan Barry

Reading Quan Barry’s We Ride Upon Sticks, it’s easy to lose yourself in the novel’s genius concept: a group of high school field hockey players in 1980s Massachusetts become obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials and begin to explore witchcraft in their own way. But there’s a lot more going on here, including Barry’s impressive use of a collective voice and a structure that accentuates the novel’s themes even more. The result is a novel that encompasses a huge swath of life experiences, all the while telling a unique and multifaceted story. I spoke with Barry about the novel, its reception, and what’s next for her.

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