Tiny Spills: Carmen Giménez Smith

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Tabs open on your screen right now:
Gmail, CantoMundo, CFP on Latina Outsiders anthology, lyrics to Norf Norf by Vince Staples, and the website for an electrolysis place in town.

If you had to brag about yourself:
I would brag about my ability to remember the lyrics of almost every New Wave song from the 80s. I also have a pretty good singing voice. My pasta puttanesca is not bad. I’ve been told I’m funny af.

Your writer crush:
If we’re talking just writing, I’m currently crushing (in no particular order) on Tisa Bryant, Natalie Shapero, Sara Borjas, Roque Dalton, Samiya Bashir, and Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Alejandra Pizarnik, and the Peruvian poet Roy Vega Jacome.

Favorite lyric:
Right in the moment, Golden Brown by the Stranglers, but only because it’s playing right now. Warm Leatherette by Grace Jones, Anything by Elliott Smith or Cocteau Twins. I mostly like songs without lyrics like JLin and Boards of Canada

Any place in the world:
In a beach house I would own in Santa Cruz, California. I’d love to live there again someday and want my ashes scattered there when I die.

Best breakfast:
French toast, some fancy-ass thick bacon, poached eggs, and freshly squeezed OJ served in bed.

Favorite online places right now:
Alternet.org, LARB, LitHub, I Blame the Patriarchy, Raw Story, CantoMundo Twitter, and Kanopy Streaming.

Sweetest thing:
My children’s kisses. My husband’s tenderness. My dog’s devotion and his commentary throughout the day (as voiced by our entire family), my friends’ constant and unconditional love.

Your rituals (writing or not):
I write late at night. I have to listen to music because I have a weird brain, and I have to be in comfy clothes. Other rituals: I cannot leave my house with an unmade bed. I’m sometimes late to things for this reason. I text with my friends Ruth Ellen, Rosa, and Susan every single day. I wake up in the hopes that I might  become a better person each morning. Finally I ask myself each morning before reading the news, “what fresh hell is this?”

Least impressive thing about you:
I’m a hothead. It gets me into trouble. I get lost finding my way out of a paper bag. I don’t give a shit about fashion and would happily wear a uniform like Charlie Brown.

Favorite space to write:
Bed.

What should we know:
That I have two books coming out: Cruel Futures with City Lights next April and Be Recorder with Graywolf in 2019. I guess also that there’s nothing that I love more than editing books, and I’m a massive design snob. I love parties. That I really struggle to pronounce peculiar. That I have dyscalculia.

Guilty literary pleasure:
True crime. I’ve read all the major serial killer books. I’m sure it’s related to childhood trauma, but whatever, I love it.

Best book nobody talks about:
Are people talking enough about Philosophical Toys by Susana Medina or anything by Luisa Valenzuela or Eduardo Chirinos?

Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Lady Dynamite but less bipolar.

Last time you lied:
I have children so like five minutes ago.

The lie:
I’m working on stuff from work (and not surfing the web)

Question you secretly want to be asked:
What will you do with your massive lottery winnings?

The answer:
Buy a commune, pay off all my peep’s debts, then move us all into the mountains as we inch towards the apocalypse.

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Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir and six poetry collections, including Milk and Filth, a finalist for the 2013 National Book Critics Circle award in poetry. She was awarded an American Book Award for her memoir Bring Down the Little Birds and the Juniper Prize for Poetry for her collection Goodbye, Flicker. She also co-edited Angels of the Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing, an anthology of contemporary Latinx writing (Counterpath Press, 2014). A former fellow, she now serves on the planning committee for CantoMundo and as the publisher of Noemi Press. Her next collection of poems, Cruel Futures, will be a volume in the City Lights Spotlight Series in 2018. Be Recorder will be published by Graywolf Press in 2019. She is Professor of English at Virginia Tech and with Stephanie Burt, poetry editor of The Nation.

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2018-02-03T18:48:17+00:00