Archive Theft: The Paris Review Re-Interviewscurated by Krystal Languellwith Latasha Diggs, R. Erica Doyle and Khadijah Queenand an afterword by Carmen Giménez Smith
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In EP 17, Krystal Languell reappropriates Paris Review interview questions as a feminist intervention.
AN EXCERPT FROM KRYSTAL LANGUELL’S INTRODUCTION
“In 2011, I began interviewing women poets, using sets of questions borrowed from the Paris Review online archive of interviews… I read an interview with William Faulkner from 1956 (by Jean Stein), in which he’s asked in-depth about working in Hollywood and about specific characters from his novels. It was quite different from the contemporary interviews I was also reading—those conducted online, the two parties never meeting face-to-face, using email or GChat to really kick the exchange into an artificially frantic pace. The Internet interview, it struck me, was nothing like a conversation…
Wresting these questions from their original context and recycling them for my own purpose is an exercise in feminist intervention; my goal is specifically to promote the work of women poets I believe in. The purpose of an archive, in my view, is to make material available for writers and scholars to use in creating original work. Happily, I’ve been able to make many discoveries in the process of engaging with the Paris Review interview archives. I learned that LaTasha Diggs has a brother, R. Erica Doyle took a ballet class, Khadijah Queen dropped out of art school. Without the constraint of the interview form I created, I never would have known to ask.”
R. Erica Doyle was born in Brooklyn to Trinidadian immigrant parents, and has lived in Washington, D.C., Farmington, Connecticut and La Marsa, Tunisia. Her work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry; Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Gay and Lesbian Writing from the Antilles; Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing; Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam; and Voices Rising: Celebrating 20 Years of Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Writing.
Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir and four poetry collections (including Milk and Filth, finalist for the 2013 NBCC award in poetry). A CantoMundo Fellow, she now teaches in the creative-writing programs at New Mexico State University, while serving as the editor-in-chief of Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press.
LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, writer, vocalist and sound artist, is the author of TwERK (a collection of poems, songs and myths) and the co-founder and co-editor of Coon Bidness, yoYO and SO4. Her performances have been featured at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Walker Art Center. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and El Museo del Barrio. She lives in Harlem.
Krystal Languell was born in South Bend, Indiana. She is the author of the books Call the Catastrophists and Gray Market (forthcoming from Coconut Books), and the chapbooks Last Song (dancing girl press) and Be a Dead Girl (Argos Books). In early 2014, Fashion Blast Quarter was published as a poetry pamphlet by Flying Object. A core member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, she also edits the journal Bone Bouquet. She is a 2014–2015 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council workspace resident.
Khadijah Queen is the author of Conduit, Black Peculiar and the digital chapbook I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (Sibling Rivalry). A Cave Canem alum, she is the winner of the 2014 Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women Performance Writers.