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Thursday, August 09, 2007

First Book Interview: Steve Fellner

I got an MFA and PhD in creative writing. During all this time, I was sending out various incarnations of the book. No one wanted it. It was (and still is) an uneven book, but there were a lot of worse books out there, and I liked sending things out in the mail.

"The world is nice that way: no one holds insignificance against you."

"So I sent 40 emails (all the same night) to 40 different poets I really admired, and told them how their work influenced me, and asked if they would consider looking at my book, and if they felt moved to do so, offer me a blurb. 15 out of the 40 poets responded. Most ignored me. Two told me to Fed Ex them the manuscript and then never contacted me again. One significant gay poet read the book and told me that he didn't like it. It hurt. I'm gay. He's gay. I thought he'd say yes simply because of those two facts. But that was cool. I admire people with discriminating tastes, and also, I'm a masochist. Because he rejected me, I'm even a bigger fan."

"I'm surprised when anyone mentions my book, and I mean anyone. I had a student ask me to sign a copy and I was shocked he would have bought a copy."

"It's hard to get readings when your book comes from a small press and you're an insignificant writer."

"I think a lot about a second book. And I am sometimes embarrassed that I am creating (have created) one. Does the world need another book by me?"

"I started writing because I wanted love."


Peter said...

Thanks for this.
A good interview.
And one more book to check out!

Anonymous said...


I want to say thank you posting my geeky quotations!

Your blog is a lot of fun to read: I like your unabashed, unguarded excitement about things. The reserve of most poets is boring.

I'll be looking forward to the announcement of your first book and anticipate buying a copy.

With much respect,
Steve Fellner