The following is an interview with Quinn White. Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from journals such as Bayou Magazine, Word Riot, Weave Magazine, and Sixth Finch. Her chapbook, My Moustache, is due from Dancing Girl Press in March 2013. Sometimes she wants to dig holes.
1. Who’s the first person who encouraged you to be a writer?
My grandmother caught me singing while I was playing in the bathroom sink with mermaid ponies. She told me that my songs were quite good and suggested I write them down.
2. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Pet peeves. For example, people say they hate “mouth-breathers.” Ridiculous. I have asthma. My nose doesn’t provide me with enough oxygen to remain conscious at all times.
3. What’s your most effective tactic for falling asleep?
Cold to warm bed. Warm to cold lights.
4. What book has given you nightmares, or otherwise appeared to you in dreams?
The Shining. I was taking a Kubrick and Cronenberg class and King’s book was required reading. I couldn’t finish it. In fact, if I’m about to cry, one of my strategies for keeping a straight face is to imagine that woman in the bathtub.
5. What book(s) are you reading right now?
Essays by Emerson. Robert Hass’ What Light Can Do. ALIEN VS. PREDATOR by Michael Robbins. Woolf’s The Waves (in spurts). Williams’ play, Night of the Iguana.
6. What is the worst film adaptation of a great book that you have ever seen?
I heard the 70’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby was awful so I didn’t watch it. A friend wears a t-shirt that reads: “Movies: Ruining Books since 1910.” I think I have that date wrong. I love lots of movies adapted from films, by the way.
7. Have you ever been to a town hall meeting?
No. When I was little, however, I formed a teddy bear government. They attempted democracy.
8. Have you ever been to a freak show?
No. Freaks, directed by Todd Browning, is a great film, though.
9. Who’s your favorite author (or book) that no one’s ever heard of?
10. Who’s your favorite author that everyone’s heard of?
11. Do you avoid high school and college reunions or do you embrace them?
I avoid gatherings of more than three people.
12. What’s your favorite single syllable word?
I love this question because it caused me to realize I am unable to separate the word from the thing it describes. I came up with “paw” and “kiss” but I don’t know if they count because what I love about them are their physical counterparts.
13. If you could make up a word, what would it be? Definitions permitted.
Mank. verb. from the French Manqué. 1.) to long for your significant other.
14. What existing word would you prefer had a different definition? State word and redefine.
Pronoun: the quality of favoring nouns over verbs.
15. What question would you like to ask of me?
Why are people who need people the luckiest people in the world?