July 25, 2013

Contributor's Notes–Kristen Gleason

Interviews and guest posts from the writers and artists of Versal 11.Kristen Gleason lives in Grass Valley, CA. Her work can be found online and in print. 

Tell us about your writing process. Make sure to lie about at least ((two)) things. 

To be able—one must—wrote August Strindberg—“be like a hunter, who in his need chops off his dog’s tail, and after eating the flesh himself, offers the dog the bones, his own bones.” He may have been lying a little as I am when I say that this is what it’s like. But it is.

Or—to be able—I must—be like a grandfather bursting over and over again into my own room, uninvited.

Or—hey—blackhole crutchsink and send it to my twin.

What's the longest you've ever gone without sleeping? Why (if you can share...)? 

Two months in the midnight sun, bees big as cotton balls.

What's one well-known and one little-known lit mag currently doing ((amazing)) work? 

Caren Beilin: http://www.dzancbooks.org/the-collagist/2011/9/14/two-short-fairy-tales-for-children-or-adults.html

Farnoosh Fathi: http://www.inknode.com/piece/1716-farnoosh-fathi-memory

What can you tell us about Holland other than ((tulips)), clogs, red lights, and drugs? 

Wim, I hope I’m not betraying you, but you asked me to believe that Holland is crowded and loud and that everyone living there dreams of a countryside that does not exist!

If your piece in Versal could be paired with any art work, what would it be? 

Britta Marakatt Labba’s 25-meter-long embroidered mythology of the Sami people, which used to hang on the wall of a wide passageway at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.

What dirty secret would you like to tell us? 

((There’s a spot in the mountains where a tube is swallowing a waterfall. The mouth of the tube is thrust against stone and bolted there. A pig lives in the shadow of the tube in a pen made of rebar and string.))

Most unbelievable place you've ever been to? ((Why?))

These photographs of Tromsø were taken by my friend Ryan Johnson.

Do you have a philosophy of writing? Can you condense it into 30 words? 

Dooitt for Deep Dent.

What's your playlist look like these days? 

Bernie Krause’s Distant Thunder (Nature Company)

What book is so unbelievably mind-blowing that it makes you want to stop writing?

I often want to stop writing, not because of books.

Adventures in the Skin Trade by Dylan Thomas; The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector; Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles; The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene, etc.

On The Newlywed Game, contestants were asked what vegetable they think they are. What's your totem vegetable? 

Not my spirit, but my spouse: cauliflower.

Why did you send work to Versal? Be honest. 

I don’t remember! But I can speak up about doughnuts. Nabil Kashyap had a poem in Versal 6, which Brandon read while eating doughnuts in Seattle. When I lived in Montana, Nabil and I lived in the same house. Early one morning while I was sleeping, he entered my room holding a bowl of mini-doughnuts, fresh and hot from their fat bath, and a little dunker-tub of maple, and I was not as happy as I should have been because I was asleep. Thank you, Nabil. And Versal.

Tell us what you're working on right now.

A novel, stories, and poems.