The Next Big Thing

Pattie McCarthy asked me to participate in this self interview project that Elizabeth Scanlon started called The Next Big Thing. Here are my answers to the questions, and the poets I’ve tagged to participate next.

What is the working title of the book?

The Autobiography of Plastic

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I can’t be completely sure but it was influenced by the image of a dead albatross chick filled with plastic.

What genre does your book fall under?

poetic essay, proetry

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The star of the book is not a person but a plastic. Right now the main character is a four-foot-long plastic car part that I found in my front yard and that has been sitting on my bedroom floor since October.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Contaminate: that means to touch.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I expect it to take me years.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Plastic and its zombie-like ability to last forever. Also, originally, Kenneth Weiss, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times who wrote about the plastic inside the albatross, and Susan Middleton, the person who took the photo of the albatross. And the poets Alicia Cohen and Kaia Sand who had conversations with me about it.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

I pick up all the plastic I find when I walk my dog and archive it here. What I find is a material portrait of all the culture(s) around me. I traveled to Hawaii to look at all the plastic washed up at a notorious collection point known as Junk Beach, but then I learned that a house forms its own coast, as does a body — things wash up against us, and inside.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It has not yet revealed its plans to me.

Tagged for next Wednesday:

Jennifer Bartlett