- What is your first memory of writing for fun?
I started writing comic books in third grade after taking an illustration class over summer break. I love creating cliff-hanger endings for each issue and trying to come up with witty dialogue between my heroes and villains. I still have a bunch of them in my basement.
- How many drafts = done?
It varies but the average is probably around 10. That’s usually one solid first draft and then loads of tinkering with the tiny pieces to see where they fit best.
- What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?
Favorite book of all time is Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires. For poetry, my book of the moment is Catie Rosemurgy’s new Bloof chapbook called First the Burning. I also just finished Tommy Orange’s There There, which is some of the best fiction I’ve read in a long time.
- What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?
I love that poetry—both writing and reading it—helps me understand myself and the world better. My favorite poems are very generous in the way the interpret the world and they’re always showing me new things to be grateful for and excited about. Each poem is a new way to open one’s eyes.
- What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?
I’ve always loved the word “autumnal.” I love the fall with its crisp weather, changing colors, and sense of fleetingness. I like that “autumnal” has a quality of allusion to it. It’s not autumn, but it’s like autumn or representative of autumn. In stories and poems and songs, I like when it feels like something is sadly coming to an end but is not quite ended yet. That’s autumnal.
Bonus question: Why is a raven like a writing desk?
A raven is like a writing desk because they’re both harbingers of death, metaphorically at least.
I would LOVE to see some of your 3rd-grade comic books, Dan. That would be amazing.
Come out to Writers & Words in a few weeks, August 14th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Dan and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!
Author of the poetry collection Strange Children (Publishing Genius, 2018), and two chapbooks. Poetry Editor of Barrelhouse. Lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two kids.