Interviews

Rule-Breaking is a Conscious Decision: an Interview with Willie Perdomo

LISA M. MARTINEZ interviews WILLIE PERDOMO

Willie Perdomo Headshot

Poet Willie Perdomo at his home in Exeter, NH
Daffys and Paperwhites

Willie Perdomo is a Puerto Rican poet and storyteller. He is the author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon (a 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist), Smoking Lovely (winner of the 2004 PEN Open Book Award), and Where a Nickel Costs a Dime (a Poetry Society of America Norma Farber First Book Award Finalist). Perdomo is currently an English instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy. His latest collection, The Crazy Bunch, is forthcoming in 2019, and his poems Breaking Night, They Won’t Find Us in Books, and We Used to Call it Puerto Rican Rain are published in Issue No.16 of The Common.

Via email, Lisa M. Martinez recently spoke to Perdomo about what it’s like to write about his former home, New York City, where much of his inspiration still lies. Perdomo discusses his relationship with that city, communication with ghosts, and the power memory has to transport us to a “gone place.”

Whitney BrunoRule-Breaking is a Conscious Decision: an Interview with Willie Perdomo
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Ask a Local: Snigdha Poonam, Delhi, India

Snigdha Poonam

Snigdha Poonam at a 14th-century stepwell behind her 18-story newspaper office in the heart of Delhi. Photo by Ravi Choudhary.

 

Your name: Snigdha Poonam

Current city: Delhi

How long have you lived here: Nine years

Three words to describe the climate: hot, cold, extreme.

Best time of year to visit: October-March

Emily EverettAsk a Local: Snigdha Poonam, Delhi, India
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Books Can Help Us Feel Seen: an interview with Crystal Hana Kim

MELODY NIXON interviews CRYSTAL HANA KIM

Crystal Hana Kim’s If You Leave Me is a poignant, lucidly written intergenerational story that will leave you aching. The novel takes a clear-eyed look at the ways adults can end up with the lives we didn’t think we would have—how we deal with the mismatch between dream and reality determines our fate.

Debbie WenBooks Can Help Us Feel Seen: an interview with Crystal Hana Kim
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Above the Clouds: An Interview with Chandrahas Choudhury

Chandrahas Choudhury headshot

NEHA KIRPAL interviews CHANDRAHAS CHOUDHURY

Chandrahas Choudhury is a novelist and columnist based in New Delhi. His first novel Arzee the Dwarf was shortlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize and chosen by World Literature Today as one of “60 Essential English-Language Works of Modern Indian Literature.” Choudhury is also the editor of India: A Traveler’s Literary Companion.

Released by Simon & Schuster this year, Clouds is Choudhury’s second novel. While fictional, the book weaves in topical themes of religion, democracy, and politics in India.

Via email, Neha Kirpal recently spoke with Choudhury about the people and places that influenced Clouds’ narrative and characters, his obsession with clouds, and a recent mango trail he undertook across the subcontinent.

Avery FarmerAbove the Clouds: An Interview with Chandrahas Choudhury
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Ask a Local: Ko Ko Thett, Sagaing, Myanmar

With KO KO THETT

The lively streets of Sagaing.

The lively streets of Sagaing. Photo by Thett Su San

Name: Ko Ko Thett

Current town: Sagaing, Myanmar

How long have you lived here: Fifteen months

Three words to describe the climate: Humid-hot, humid-cool, humid-rainy

Best time of year to visit? From July to the end of February. My favorite time is after a drizzle, when the dust settles. 

Whitney BrunoAsk a Local: Ko Ko Thett, Sagaing, Myanmar
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Salons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen

Iris Martin Cohen

MELODY NIXON interviews IRIS MARTIN COHEN

Iris Martin Cohen’s debut novel is a witty, incisive, and very funny send up of New York City literary circles and the ambition that drives them. The Common’s Interviews Editor Melody Nixon spoke with Cohen this month about The Little Clan, New York high society, contemporary American male writers and their pitfalls, the female socialite ideal, and, you know, what to do about patriarchal capitalism.

Avery FarmerSalons, New York City, and the Litriarchy: an interview with Iris Martin Cohen
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Ask a Local: Rewa Zeinati, Beirut, Lebanon

With REWA ZEINATI

T-Marbouta, a restaurant in Beirut. Photo by author.

T-Marbouta, a restaurant in Beirut. Photo by author.

Your name: Rewa Zeinati

Current city or town: Beirut

How long have you lived here: On and off for twenty years

Three words to describe the climate: Mostly reasonably moderate

Best time of year to visit? All year, but if I really have to choose I would say between March and June

Whitney BrunoAsk a Local: Rewa Zeinati, Beirut, Lebanon
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Ask a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado

With ELIZABYTH A. HISCOX

Trees in Gunnison, Colardo

Your name: Elizabyth A. Hiscox

Current city or town: Gunnison, Colorado

How long have you lived here: Four years (not yet a local by local standards)

Three words to describe the climate: Bright (year-round), frigid (in Winter), oxygen-deprived (great track & field team).

Best time of year to visit? Pick your outdoor poison/potion and it can be a year-round spot.

Avery FarmerAsk a Local: Elizabyth A. Hiscox, Gunnison, Colorado
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On Noticing: an interview with Kirstin Allio

Kirstin Allio headshot

ISABEL MEYERS interviews KIRSTIN ALLIO

Kirstin Allio is the author of the short story collection Clothed, Female Figure and the novel Garner, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her latest novel, Buddhism for Western Children, will be the inaugural novel from The Iowa Review Series, a new imprint from University of Iowa Press, coming out in the fall of 2018. In this month’s interview, Kirstin Allio and The Common’s editorial assistant Isabel Meyers discuss motherhood, childhood memories, and society’s fascination with religious cults.

Isabel MeyersOn Noticing: an interview with Kirstin Allio
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