Poet Kendra Grant Malone: “The Day Jessica Lange Yelled at Me Was the Best Day of My Life”

12/05/2012 9:00 AM |


Bushwick poet Kendra Grant Malone, author of Everything is Quiet and Morocco, will read tomorrow at NY Tyrant’s launch party for Blake Butler’s Sky Saw at Franklin Park (not a part of its monthly reading series, which is the following Monday). The last time we went to a Blake Butler launch party he was pretty tipsy by the end when he read, so it should be fun. We spoke to Malone about Michael Kimball and Jessica Lange.

For our readers who may not be familiar with your work, what’s the most accurate thing someone else has said about it?
Matthew Savoca once said this: “Everything is Quiet is a woman sitting calmly near a glass window, hungover and smoking a cigarette in the aftermath of dealing with strange lovers who shush her, smack her, ask her to be more vocal, and for some reason, really enjoy dirty period sex. Everything is Quiet is a person riding a train alone in a big world with an open sky, trying to remember what happened last night, but not really caring.” I liked it so much that now he lives with me.

What have you read (or seen or heard or tasted or etc.) recently that will permanently change our readers’ lives for the better?
I’ve been reading Big Ray by the incredibly talented Michael Kimball. The only other books that made me cry this much where his first two. Michael will rip the jaded, bored, lingering ennui right out of you.

Whose ghostwritten celebrity tell-all would you sprint to the store to buy (along with a copy of The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius so that the checkout clerk doesn’t look at you screwy)?
Jessica Lange, but only cause she yelled at me once and it was the best day of my life.

Have you ever been a Starving Artist, and did it make you brilliant, or just hungry?
On and off. I starve and then I eat. It just makes me hungry and subsequently cranky.

What would you characterize as an ideal interaction with a reader?
My ideal interaction with a reader is any at all. I’m not particularly precious about what happens after my work leaves my hands and enters others. I’m just happy people are reading.

Have you ever written anything that you’d like to take back?
Hah! Yes, most of what I’ve written I’d like to take back. Luckily I haven’t tried to publish everything that comes out of my head like a lot of young writers do these days. I work on things for a very long time before I send them out for consideration—I’m talking years here—just so I can answer a question like this with the least amount of shame possible.

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