BlazeVOX extra

Literary Prestidigitations on Display

15 Questions: An interview with Jared Schickling


Author:  Jared Schickling


BlazeVOX Books: The Pink, Aurora, submissions, O, Zero’s Blooming Excursion, and t&u& lash your nipples to a post history is gorgeous


Bio:  Jared Schickling’s most recent books of poetry are t&u& lash your nipples to a post history is gorgeous and The Pink (BlazeVOX [books], 2011 & 12). A nonfiction project, “The Paranoid Reader,” is forthcoming from Furniture Press (2013). His work has been published in journals and ephemera, online and in print. He is a founding editor of Delete Press, the proprietor of eccolinguistics, and he serves on the editorial board ofReconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics and Poetry / Literature and Culture. He lives in Lockport, NY. 


The Pink 

Book Preview here

Buy it from Amazon 

Kindle Edition available at the Amazon Kindle Store



15 Questions:


Tell me about your book.


It is a book about becoming something else.


What influenced this book?


The birth of our daughter.


Where does this book fit into your career as a writer?


It’s a much simpler book than my others. 


If you had to convince a friend or colleague to read this book, what might you tell them?


The dead are there.


Tell me about the last literary reading you attended.


The last reading I attended was Marc Pietrzykowski’s book release for his debut novel, Music Box Dancer, at Talking Leaves on Main St.  The reading was very short, and it got me to buy the book, a curious story of a damaged man who decides one day to confront the annoying ice cream truck parked in front of his house.  Marc’s question-and-answer demeanor with his big red barbarian beard in the midst of the small crowd made for excellent talk.  The poet Randy Rumley also read (and performed) some of his slippery poems.  I didn’t know Randy’s work until then. 


When did you realize you we're a writer?


At the moment I almost transcribed from memory Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row.”  It was very sudden and unforeseen, though I’d been reading T. S. Eliot.  I was just discovering Dylan at the time, in an 80-something Ford Escort, on dubbed Maxell XL-II tape.  I arrived at my telemarketing gig, sat down, let the phone ring, wrote it out, made up the blanks, and then wrote my first poem in two quatrains about a green hive.  It was called “The Green Hive.”    


Tell us about your process: Pen and Paper, computer, notebooks ... how do you write?


I used to write by hand.  I still do but not often.  When it does happen it tends to be an impulsive scribble in the back of a book I’m reading.  I get a lot of prose that way.  Otherwise, I’ve tried notebooks, but they’re quickly forgotten.  I will occasionally jot on scraps but, of the few that actually get used, they are mostly reminders and prompts.  I wrote by hand until switching briefly to a word processor in the late 90s before acquiring my first computer, a used brick of a laptop.  Now I’m a complete technophile.  Otherwise, I have to read to generate material, but I’m a heavy reviser and when that’s happening, which is where most of my productive writing takes place, I cannot read.  I work on a project until I’m spent physically and then I go dormant again, reading. 


How do you handle a bad review of your work?


I am grateful for it. 


Which writer would you most like to have a drink with, and why?


Of the living, maybe Allen Grossman, I have questions about The Sighted Singer.  Of the dead, Nietzsche, I’d be the only one drinking but it’d be a hell of a thing to provoke his brain.  I’d like to take a long winter walk with Dorothy Wordsworth through the craggy passes to meet Emily Dickinson by a fire because I find them profoundly intelligent and moving. 


What's the biggest mistake you've made as a writer?


A lack of patience. 


What's the worst advice you hear authors give writers?


Any advice would be bad advice, if you ask me.  There’s too much “advice.”  Advice about what?  How to be like me or anyone else?   


What scares you the most?


Waking up one day.  And probably death.  My daughter suffering. 


Where do you buy your books?


I buy from used bookstores I must drive to and also online from sellers of used books.  I pick up new small press titles direct from the publisher or Small Press Distribution.    


Who are you reading now?


The music critic Matthew Guerrieri and his book, The First Four Notes: Beethoven’s Fifth and the Human Imagination.


Bonus Round: 
What do you want the world to know about you? Make it juicy .... 


I spontaneously appeared.