Monday, March 13, 2023

The 40 But 10 Interview Series: Gregory Crosby


I had retired the literary Would You Rather interview series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

We are joined today by Gregory Crosby. Gregory is the author of Said No One Ever (2021, Brooklyn Arts Press) and Walking Away From Explosions in Slow Motion (2018, The Operating System). He's just a song and dance man, really. 

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

 In my callow youth, I would have said mind control; now I would settle for a cosmic Delete button.


 Describe your book in three words.

More goddamn poems.


What is your favorite book from childhood?

 Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes


 What are you currently reading?

 A re-read of Don DeLillo’s Libra, in the new Library of America edition; Rae Armantrout’s Finalists; Bob Dylan, The Philosophy of Modern Song; Katherine Dunn, Toad


What’s the single best line you’ve ever read?

 From Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge: “I perceive I am to suffer.”


 What would you do if you could live forever?



What’s the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

 To be less ambitious for myself and more ambitious for the work.


What are your bookish pet peeves?

 I can’t write in books; I am anti-marginalia, and won’t buy a used book if someone has written in it. Whenever I have to make notes about something I’m reading, I write them in a separate notebook. Further, I won’t even crack the spine on a paperback if I can help it. I have a vast library, but none of the books in it are mine—I’m only the trustee, taking care of them for whatever readers may find them long after I’m gone.


 What’s the weirdest thing you’ve given/received as a gift?

 My Brilliant Girlfriend (now My Brilliant Wife) once said to me, in all earnest, “I wish all books were written by you.”

What’s the one book someone else wrote that you wish you had written?

 Carole Maso, Ava


Gregory Crosby is our go-to poet for cinematic deep-dives, apocalyptic parables, hot takes on century-old literary dustups, and lusty interludes of backlit longing. Said No One Ever collects a decades’ worth of breakneck verbal switchbacks and charged poetic insight—there is almost no subject pertinent to American culture that Crosby doesn’t square up. Here we are in the 21st Century, our lives balanced between myth and modernity, advertising and socializing, as Hollywood babbles on and our political scene skips through horrors like a creature feature on a busted reel—but still Crosby manages to plumb these depths without breaking stride or giving in, taking us on a memorable journey through art, language, history, and entertainment.

Buy a copy here:

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