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WORD Interviews Douglas A. Martin

WORD Interviews Douglas A. Martin

July 8, 2009

Originally posted on the WORD website, here’s the author of Once You Go Back, Douglas A. Martin:


Do you have a favorite WORD?

Probably it’s burr, aesthetically, though I also like lure and thrush quite a bit for reasons more aural.

What WORDS do you live by?

Most practically: those of my students.

What was the last book you read?

I’m always in the midst of two or three things, usually starting another before finishing something up. Sarah Manguso’s The Two Kinds of Decay was the last I saw to the end.

Any idea what you’ll read next?

I’ll probably finally wrap up Reading Boyishly by Carol Mavor, which I’ve been pecking at for over a year, or complete Cesar Aira’s Ghost. Rebecca Brown’s American Romances will be the next thing I start.

What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?

I think it’s a gift for the author to buy their book when you go to a reading, so Life As We Show It, edited by Masha Tupitsyn and Brian Pera. That was at Housing Works, Soho.

Can you name one author or book that was influential in writing Once You Go Back?

Sleep Has His House by Anna Kavan was the model for my earliest draft.

What are you working on now – anything you can share about your next project(s)?

I’m beginning the process of trying to publish my dissertation, on the writings of Kathy Acker. In July and August, while school is still out, I hope to finish up a manuscript of a book I’ve been struggling with the voice and ethics of on and off for about eight years now I guess.

Do you have a favorite spot in the neighborhood that you can tell us about?

I’ve lived in Greenpoint for nearing a year. It’s the first time I’ve ever shared a place with a partner. Paloma was a favorite restaurant, until the fire. We’re hoping it will be able to reopen.


Interested in hearing more from Douglas A. Martin? Hear him in conversation with Lee Stringer and Phong Bui of the Brooklyn Rail at WORD this Thursday—and take a look at Once You Go Back, coming very soon from Seven Stories Press.

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