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15 Questions: An interview with Nava Fader


15 Questions | An Interview with Nava Fader


Author: Nava Fader


Bio: Nava Fader received her master's in Poetics from SUNY Buffalo, writing her thesis on Adrienne Rich.   She is the author of two chapbooks: Stonesoup (Slack Buddha, 2009), and The Plath Poems (Dancing Girl, 2009). Most of her poems begin with a line by somebody else.   She is a school librarian in Buffalo


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15 Questions


Tell me about your book. 

It is runny and juicy. It is messy. It is like my personal whoop: exuberance contained, energy out, with the reader continuing that impulse.


What influenced this book?

I am always taking from other writers (and talkers). In this book, I think there is a feminism and a commentary and sometimes rewrite of old mythologies. I studied Adrienne Rich and Robert Duncan, and when you read them you become "converts" and are entranced. So, I might have written these poems under the influence.


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

This is the articulation of a position I had been coming around to (subject, probably, to change at any moment!) of a kind of patchwork style of poetry: picking out pieces of talking and writing and pulling them together into what they emerge as.  


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

That you don't need to "understand" poetry. It is more (in writing AND reading) than an intellectual endeavor. And, if you are lucky, there are moments of impact and feeling--really physical in nature.


Tell me about the last literary reading you attended.

I was a reader in an art show/poetry reading. I didn't know many of the people there, and they were "art people." But it was neat to see this contemporary art and then read, thinking about the visual and the written, and how things look and how they look in the mind, and how they sound, out loud and in an inner kind of resonance.


When did you realize you we're a writer?

When I was about 8, in school in NYC, it was something easy. And then it became something I was good at. But I didn't really care about it and use it for personal tinkering until I was older. By high school, I was calling myself a poet.


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

Always on the computer! I don't like the look of handwriting because you don't believe in it sufficiently to continue in thrall, and I don't want to write in a half-assed manner. I look at somebody else's poetry. Sometimes I pull up Wikipedia for the awesome, specific vocabulary and metaphor. Write some, check back in to the source. Repeat. Read out loud. Tap foot. Shake it, baby. 


How do you handle a bad review of your work?

Negative attention is still attention.


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

J.H. Prynne, poet, is totally beyond me. I would like to hear his process. Also the novelist, Laurie Colwin, whose books I have been rereading for twenty years, who talks about frying eggs and flying kites--a homey, important (to me) kind of writing.


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

Sometimes I become a parody of myself. Laziness or habit, and then I am writing about juicy berries, mouth...overused words and ideas. 


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

Most authors I know are so humble! They are always shocked that they get to BE writers, I haven't heard almost any advice at all.


What scares you the most?

Maybe one day I won't BE a poet. There is a line by, maybe, Linda Pastan, where she talks about touching the same trees, bruising your hands on the bark, without that organic response.


Where do you buy your books?


I don't usually buy books. They find me. The staff lounge is my current "dealer." 


Who are you reading now? 

Federico Garcia Lorca. Mike Basinski.


What is your favorite TV show at the moment? 

The Walking Dead. 


 Bonus Round:

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

My identity is: poet, aspiring domestic goddess, fitness queen.