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5 Burning Questions with Matthew McBride

Matthew McBride was one of our featured writers for our April 14th reading which has been postponed, but we wanted to introduce you to Matthew anyway. Check out our interview with him below.

What is your first memory of writing for fun?

This is hard. I didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my 20’s and actually resented it when I was younger. Fun fact, I actually failed my 9th-grade proficiency test in writing. I remember when I was in junior high, our English teacher would read the first couple pages of a short story, then we would have to think of an ending for it as homework. I really enjoyed those, though I did my best to pretend I didn’t since it wasn’t cool as a dude growing up in the Midwest to like school.

How many drafts = done?

I don’t know if I ever “finish” a poem. I just become more comfortable letting it go. I remember thinking that when I had a book, I would feel like the poems in it were complete. Even now, after years of writing and revising the thing, I still cross out or add words to poems from the printed book when I read from it.

What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

Natalie Shapero’s Hard Child. It’s wry and ironic and absurd while still managing to be deeply vulnerable.

What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

I like poetry’s willingness to be small. I get overwhelmed easily, so I hear better when someone whispers.

What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

Surly. I’ve always loved the way it sounds. I like how the “s” slides into the drop of the “u,” and the growl of the “r” is made ridiculous by “ly” at the end. I don’t know why, but it always makes me laugh.

Bonus question: if you could go on a virtual date (romantic or not) with anyone in the world right now in this time of social distancing, who would you connect with?  

Honestly, I would care less about meeting a person than being able to sit a drink coffee somewhere that isn’t my one-bedroom apartment.

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Matt McBride’s work has previously appeared or is forthcoming from Court Green, Cream City Review, The Cortland Review, Diagram, FENCE, Guernica, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, and [PANK] amongst others. His first book, City of Incandescent Light, was published by Black Lawrence Press in May, 2018. He teaches in the English department and in the interdisciplinary MFA at Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA.

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