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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Books: Shane McCrae

If you have recently published your first book, or if your working on the manuscript to what you hope will be your first book, you are probably familiar with the interview series by Keith Montesano (who took over for the amazing Kate Greenstreet) called First Book Interviews.  It's largely a nuts-and-bolts discussion series about getting published rather than a literary endeavor, but for those writers in the throes of finding a publisher or preparing a manuscript, it's endlessly fascinating.

The current interview is with poet Shane McCrae, whose book Mule came out recently from Cleveland State Poetry. McCrae's writing makes me feel naked as the reader; I can only imagine what it does to him as the poet.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

If you struck up a conversation next to someone seated on an airplane, and after a few minutes you eventually told them that you were an author who had a book of poetry published, how would you answer their next question: “What’s the book about?”

Ha! I can’t image ever doing that! But if somehow it got out that I had written a book, I would probably say, lamely, that it was about stuff that had happened in my life, because I would feel presumptuous saying that the poems were actually about what I tried to write them about. Like, I wrote a bunch of poems about God, for example, but how could I say such a thing? And if I said instead that those poems were about me trying to write poems about God, well, then that would just be me being a jerk. I would be very bad at this conversation.

And here are some links to McCrae's work online (sorry, I can't get this stupid bold type to turn off):

And if you enjoyed the interview with McCrae, check out other first book author's at the First Book Interviews website.

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