Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Writer: Dora Malech

Author Photo Malech April 2016

What is your go-to pen(cil)? A ballpoint pen, because I’m left-handed, so fancier pens smear across the page.

Most beautiful word in all the world: Hope. I just had a baby, and that’s her middle name.

Alter ego: Right now, Elmo. (See baby daughter above.)

What’s for dinner? Leftover spaghetti.

What’re you reading? My colleagues’ new books: Mary Jo Salter’s The Surveyors and Andrew Motion’s Coming in to Land: Selected Poems 1975 – 2015.

Who is your most-recent writer crush? Ooh. I’ll go with a dead crush: Mina Loy.

Song lyrics stuck in your head, go: Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance.” It’s mostly just those two words, I know, but they’ve been stuck there since 2008.

You’re a new edition to the Crayola box. Congratulations. What is your new name? “Romance Sonambulo.” It’ll be a very particular green inspired by the Lorca poem.

What are you putting off? I went to my to-do list in the “notes” section of my phone to check on that, and now I don’t want to talk about it.

What was the last gift you gave someone? I got my husband a movie poster of Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse.

What were you like as a college or graduate student? Same love of poetry and art. More likely drink a Fireball shot.

Here’s your free ticket. Where are we going? Italy.

Optional doodle. It’s a gift bow and an earring.

sketch gift ribbon earring


Dora Malech is the author of Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011) and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her poems have appeared in publications that include The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, and The Best American Poetry. She has been the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, a Writers’ Fellowship at the Civitella Ranieri Center, and a 2017 Amy Clampitt Residency. She lives in Baltimore, where she is an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.


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