Saturday, November 22, 2008

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda Shaughnessy is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and the Poetry Editor of Tin House magazine and Tin House Books. Her poems have been published in Bomb, Boston Review, Colorado Review, Conjunctions, McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review and elsewhere. Her publications include: Interior with Sudden Joy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999, finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award, PEN/Joyce C. Osterweil Award and Lambda Literary Award (2000)) and Human Dark with Sugar (Copper Canyon Press, 2008).

Recently, I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
My scattered but obsessive reading habits have me reading six or seven books simultaneously. Currently, I am lingering happily in the middle of the marvelous novels: The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt, Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead, The Way Through Doors by Jesse Ball, and the fantastic "webnovel" The Unbinding by Walter Kirn.

Books of prose I recently finished that I keep thinking about are Ed Park's hilariously-and-sadly-perfect-for-our-times Personal Days. I also loved Kelly Link's Magic For Beginners. And on the serious side, Simone Weil's essays Waiting for God.

In poetry, I'm crazy about Jennifer Michael Hecht's Funny. I love how she explores the constructions and methods of humor, while remaining humorous! Claudia Keelan's The Devotion Field and Utopic blew my mind, in ways I can't explain in prose. When I'm feeling Po-Mo I have the irresistible urge to pick up, again, Monica de la Torre's Talk Shows.
Poems by Brenda Shaughnessy available online include:
"I'm Over the Moon"
"Me in Paradise"
"Why is the Color of Snow?"
Read more about Human Dark with Sugar at the publishers' website.

--Marshal Zeringue