Sneak Peek at Author Interviews Issue #9

“Language feels very physical, we try to pretend like we trap it on the page with text, so we try to pretend it’s only text. It’s not like there’s the word of text that’s in some ink, that’s not what language is. We’re sitting here talking, and so many muscles of my body are working— and there’s air, and I’m pushing, I’m building, and I’m pressurizing and I’m pushing it. And you can’t even see it. I fling it out into the air, and then you take it into your ear, and it’s this kind of vibration like I’m actually moving atoms. I’m moving particles and then they start moving particles…” —Natalie Diaz

“When I got to prison, the first thing my cellie said to me was, “How long you got?” And I was like, “A year and a day.” And he’s like, “Damn, I’ve done more time in the joint on the toilet than you got time.” And right then, I was like, man, I should write some of this stuff down because people are going to have these clever witticisms. So I just started [writing] on napkins and on toilet paper and whatever scraps I could.” —Jeff Smith

“I don’t know how it is for you when you’re writing, but for me the beginning is always so exciting and things are fresh and new, and it’s all potential and that’s really great. That’s always a good feeling—then the trick somehow is how to keep recreating that feeling for yourself.” —Matt Bell