Despite all the ‘it’s not what you write, it’s how you write it’ clichés flying around, sometimes I still have a teenage belief that I need to be living some kind of physical extreme to be a good writer. I should be doing more drugs, having dramatic love affairs, traveling to the ends of the world, and generally making every day such an aggressive pursuit of experiences that I am always close to death. Then I read Lucy K. Shaw’s writing and feel very silly. She can make a story about a simple trip to the park or museum completely compelling to read. In her debut book The Motion (421 Atlanta), it is moments of solitude, disappointing social interactions, or simply living as a woman with fierce artistic ambition, that truly makes a—to borrow a phrase of Shaw’s—sensational lifestyle.
The book ends with a list called “Incomplete List of People I Would Want to Blurb My Chapbook.” The people range from the very famous (Beyoncé, Fiona Apple), to the dead (Louise Bourgeois, Amy Winehouse), to great writers who actually did end up blurbing The Motion (Chloe Caldwell, Wendy C. Ortiz). In lieu of a traditional interview, I thought it would be fun to ask Lucy questions about the people on that list, essentially having her blurb the people she wanted to blurb her book. The list is almost completely all women, so we get to be two feminist creatives talking about (as well as exchanging links/images/quotes of) other female artists, which is pretty much one of my favorite things to do. It happened through a shared Google doc. Continue reading