Tabs open on your screen right now:
Gmail, Twitter, an article on Coleridge called “Is the Ancient Mariner a Zombie?”, my Game of Thrones fantasy league score tables, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s “Women’s Work” from the Boston Review, Wikipedia page for the singer Rebekah Del Rio, essay on the Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Twitter
If you had to brag about yourself:
I was a top-ranked backgammon player in the state of Indiana in 2014. I got trophies, medals.
Your writer crush:
Paige Lewis. Also Rimbaud.
Too many, but Destroyer’s “Please remove your spurs. Come to think of it, remove your antlers.” is the first that leaps to my mind.
Any place in the world:
Some day, I would love to spend real substantive time back in Tehran, Iran, where I haven’t been since I was two-and-a-half.
A thermos of Paris Breakfast Tea and a free morning to write.
Favorite online places right now:
I love poetry Twitter—I learn so much about voices and journals I never would have known otherwise. The Ringer is great (though I still miss Grantland).
Your rituals (writing or not):
I read the packers.com mailbag every day. Lately I’ve also been using the “5 Calls” app to leave daily voicemails for my congresspeople. And I make a lot of tea.
Least impressive thing about you:
I’m 6’4’’! People seem shocked by this when they meet me in person. I’m much shorter on the internet.
Favorite space to write:
My office, surrounded by my books.
What should we know:
Our daily participation in resistance against the fascistic regime is vital to the preservation of our species. The situation (especially as it pertains to climate) really is that dire.
Guilty literary pleasure:
I don’t believe in guilty pleasures! I hate the phrase, even. Why would I ever feel guilty about liking something? I love the Best American Sportswriting series, and I think that’s maybe one that would surprise people.
Best book nobody talks about:
Kathy Acker’s Don Quixote changed my life as a teenager. I also think Gretchen Marquette’s May Day and Anaïs Duplan’s Take This Stallion were quietly two of the best poetry books published in 2016.
Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Last time you lied:
Yesterday, ordering takeout.
I just gave them an easier name for the order than my own so I wouldn’t have to repeat mine five teams and spell it. Sometimes I’ll get in a mood and go through the process of making them get it right, but usually I’m just trying to get it done quickly.
Question you secretly want to be asked:
What am I reading? What books am I excited about?
I just read Melissa Febos’s Abandon Me and loved it. I’m starting Hala Alyan’s Salt Houses and love that too. I’m excited about a ton of forthcoming poetry—new books by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Javier Zamora, sam sax, Danez Smith, Nicole Sealey. Will Brewer’s I Know Your Kind is amazing. Natalie Shapero’s Hard Child has taught me so much.
Kaveh Akbar’s poems appear recently or soon in The New Yorker, Poetry, Tin House, Ploughshares, FIELD, Georgia Review, PBS NewsHour, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Narrative, The Poetry Review, AGNI, New England Review, A Public Space, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poetry International, Best New Poets 2016, Guernica, Boston Review, and elsewhere. His debut full-length collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf, is forthcoming with Alice James Books in Fall 2017, and his chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic, is out with Sibling Rivalry Press. The recipient of a 2016 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a Pushcart Prize, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, Kaveh was born in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives and teaches in Florida.
Kaveh founded and edits Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in contemporary poetry. Previously, he ran The Quirk, a for-charity print literary journal. He has also served as Poetry Editor for BOOTH and Book Reviews Editor for the Southeast Review. Along with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, francine j. harris, and Jonathan Farmer, he starred on All Up in Your Ears, a monthly poetry podcast.