“The Next Big Thing” book interview project asks writers to answer a series of questions about their recent or forthcoming book, post it on their blog/web-space, and tag others for the next week.
Here is poet Gretchen Primack’s Next Big Thing interview about hew new poetry collection Kind. You might remember her recent post here about collaborating to write The Lucky Ones.
What is the working title of the book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I’m interested in how humans think about and interact with (other) animals. Kind looks hard at that dynamic. It also considers what it feels like to be the kind of person who cares about how we treat other living beings.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Molly Shannon would play me, and my beloved would be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. He has very little in common with Gus, but I’d love to meet him—and he’s such a great actor he can pull it off. Most of the rest of the cast would be various mammals and birds and such. None would be harmed in the making of the film. If that happened, I would spontaneously combust from irony overload.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
I wonder why we can’t be kinder to each other (and I include other species in “each other”)?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Oh, about three years or so.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A few years ago, I went to an artist colony in Vermont, ready to have joyous communion with others. I assumed a bunch of thoughtful, artsy folks who wanted to collect for a month in Vermont would have plenty of value-system overlap, but the way we approached sentient beings was radically different. I was moved to start writing poems about the subject for the first time. The poets I brought with me, Neruda and Millay and Whitman and Clifton and Kunitz, all had ideas to contribute and ended up in epigraphs; Lucille Clifton, in fact, starts the book off with two quotes.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I’m lucky—well, for a lot of reasons—but in this case to know the brilliant, animal-loving visual artist Susan Siegel. I asked her if I could use one of her breathtaking paintings as cover art, and not only did she say yes, she also made original drawings for the inside of the book. What a dreamy collaboration. I think the poems and drawings enhance each other. To see the cover, and to be alerted about book parties in NYC, Woodstock, and DC, go here: www.gretchenprimack.com.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Post Traumatic Press in March 2013. PTP is run by the lovely human being Dayl Wise. He’s a Vietnam vet and very active in Veterans for Peace, and he and his wife, the beautiful Alison Koffler, are serious animal and poetry lovers.
For more "Next Big Thing Interviews," check out Rachel M. Simon's post and my recent post.