Interviews

(Sort of) a Lonely Jew in Iowa: An Interview with Daniel Khalastchi

Sevy Perez

Daniel Khalastchi is an American poet. He is a professor and assistant director of the new Undergraduate Certificate in Writing program at the University of Iowa, where he obtained his MFA in poetry from the Writers' Workshop. His first collection of poems, Manoleria, debuted last year and was awarded the Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book Prize. He is also the managing editor at Rescue Press. His latest poem, "Notes from an Adjunct Professor at a Major American University," is featured in the Fall 2012 issue of The Iowa Review.

I sat down with Daniel to discuss his new poem, rap music, and why the chicken man blew up in Philly last night.

SP: I see you a lot with your iPod, walking around Iowa City. What kind of music are you listening to?

Sex, Rocks, and Taxidermy: A Conversation with Chris Offutt

Alex Dezen

[This interview appeared in the Winter 2011 issue of The Iowa Review.]

I first met Chris Offutt outside the fabled Foxhead bar on Iowa City’s east side. What I had heard about Chris Offutt was that he graduated from the Workshop during the fabled Conroy days—when Frank Conroy ruled the Workshop with painstaking intensity and tough love—and that he wrote about hunting. I had shot a pigeon with a BB gun at age twelve, from the second-story window of my friend’s brownstone in the Bronx, an experience that continues to plague me with guilt.

An Interview with David Gates

Brian Gresko

Reading David Gates led me to take one of his seminars, with the hope—not unusual for a novice writer—that he might impart some secret to his skill. Writing mostly in the first person, Gates's antihero protagonists are rude and disaffected, erudite and funny—not-so-distant relatives, one imagines, of Holden Caulfield. Like that iconic character, they come across as flawed yet likable, or at least sympathetic, revealing sordid aspects of the human condition with brutal honesty and wicked humor. Gates's debut novel, Jernigan (1991), was short listed for the Pulitzer Prize.

A Lowly, Humble Bookworm: A Conversation with Michael Silverblatt

Sarah Fay

[This interview appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of The Iowa Review.]

On the surface, Bookworm is a nationally syndicated weekly radio show that hosts fiction writers and poets. But after listening to it once, anyone with an ear knows that it is an opportunity to learn how to read, listen, and engage with print culture via Michael Silverblatt, the show’s perspicacious and endearing host. Silverblatt created Bookworm in 1989 and has conducted what he calls “interview occasions” with thousands of writers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Carlos Fuentes, Maxine Hong Kingston, Salman Rushdie, Susan Sontag, Alice Walker, and Kurt Vonnegut.

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