He’s Israel’s top writer, a man whose work I adore—and I got to spend two hours with him for Guernica.
In America, where writers are preoccupied with the craft of writing, I always try to introduce this concept of the badly written good story. Turning the hierarchy around and putting passion on top and not craft, because when you just focus on craft, you can write something that is very sterile. It looks beautiful, but soulless.
I interviewed John Waters for Guernica.
Now at sixty-nine (“an embarrassing age,” he said at a recent appearance in New York City, “I don’t even like the sex position”), John Waters seems to have a career on the upswing: he’s in development for a TV series, and he has a bestselling memoir, Carsick, the story of how he hitchhiked across America in 2012. His traveling stand-up show, This Filthy World, packs the houses on a regular basis.
I wrote a flash fiction piece for the online journal, Joe + Gigs.
Joe + Gigs is an ekphrastic site: all stories are in some way about paintings. For no reason at all (other than I’d given myself about an hour or so to write the piece), “This Country” was inspired by that famous dogs playing poker painting series . . .
It’s going to be a lot like an AWP panel (but without your having to fly to Chicago, fight the crowds, and eat bad hotel food). Find out how to start a literary magazine of your own—and how to make it last—at this presentation/reading/Q&A.
Details from the Guernica site:
Guernica Inside & Out: A Talk at Fordham University-Lincoln Center
February 15th, 7 pm
Fordham University-Lincoln Center
113 W. 60th Street (at Columbus)
When writer William Saroyan told H.L. Mencken he wanted to be an editor, Mencken sent this letter to Saroyan:
“I note what you say about your aspiration to edit a magazine. I am sending you by this mail a six-chambered revolver. Load it and fire every one into your head. You will thank me after you get to hell and learn from other editors there how dreadful their job was on earth.”
But if you insist, we’ll help. Writer Matt Bell (also an editor at Dzanc and The Collagist) will read and participate. Guernica Daily Editor Rebecca Bates will read nonfiction selections from the magazine and talk about editing the stories.
Other editors—Fiction Editor Meakin Armstrong, and Founding Editors Michael Archer and Joel Whitney—will be in attendance.
If you happen to be in New York City, we hope to see you there!