Tabs open on your screen right now:
5: my inbox full of emails I really need to respond to, FB group chat where once we talked long into the night about the merits of the word “sebum,” an image search for traditional American dog tattoos (I’m planning my next one. Spoilers: it’s going to be a Pomeranian), the lyrics to Robyn’s song “Fembot,” and an instance when Elizabeth Bishop dressed down her poetry workshop.

If you had to brag about yourself:
I’m a level-11 warlock in DnD.

Your writer crush:
I’m in love with the world, so there are many: Morgan Parker, Hanif Abdurraqib, David Tomas Martinez, Solmaz Sharif, Randa Jarrar, off the top of my head

Favorite lyric:
“Reality ruined my life.” – One Direction, solidly on their bullshit

Any place in the world:
Impartial as long as it’s a cold, wintry beach where I get to be very in my feelings

Best breakfast:
Vegan donut + cold brew

Favorite online places right now:
Diddle Knabb’s blog, Bitches Gotta Eat, Black Nerd Problems, Gala Mukomolova’s horoscopes for Nylon, more lit journals than I can name but I never miss reading an issue of BOAAT

Sweetest thing:
One morning I woke up and my dog Bowie had her nose pressed against my nose and it made me want to never die.

Your rituals (writing or not):
Pour a cup of cold coffee, read poems until I feel inspired / read the news until I am mad, pull up a blank Word doc, stare out the window indefinitely.

Least impressive thing about you:
My day job (I work for an insurance agency)

Favorite space to write:
On my old, ugly brown couch, flanked by dogs

What should we know:
I am writing this during the Geminid meteor shower.

Guilty literary pleasure:
I don’t subscribe to the idea of guilty pleasures anymore – I like something or I don’t. I’ll read anything with a good first sentence.

Best book nobody talks about:
When I was in grad school nursing a broken heart, Traci Brimhall’s Rookery made me feel like vulnerability is a superpower.

Character (TV, book, movie) you most identify with:
Ramona Flowers, probably

Last time you lied:

The lie:
I feel like I lie a lot if we count corporate political politeness: “Oh, that’s a great idea!” It’s usually not.

Question you secretly want to be asked:
How many times have you been married? It’s a Very Good Story.


RUTH AWAD is a Lebanese-American poet and the author of Set to Music a Wildfire (Southern Indiana Review Press, 2017), which won the 2016 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of a 2016 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in New Republic, The Missouri Review Poem of the Week, BOAAT Journal, Sixth Finch, CALYX, Diode, The Adroit Journal, Vinyl Poetry, Nashville Review, and in the anthologies The Hundred Years’ War: Modern War Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2014), New Poetry from the Midwest 2014 (New American Press, 2015), and Poets on Growth (Math Paper Press, 2015). She won the 2012 and 2013 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize and the 2011 Copper Nickel Poetry Contest. She has an MFA in poetry from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and she lives in Columbus, Ohio. Learn more about her work at www.ruthawadpoetry.com.