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Artist Interview

Greg Purcell

October 8, 2015



If Ginsberg is the literary son of Whitman, Greg Purcell might just be his great-step-grandson who went a little rogue. Yes, he can grow a mean beard. But the shared poetic lineage is most apparent in Purcell’s unadulterated celebration of the human in his work: the innocent and the dirty, the nitty and the gritty, the “strip clubs and boomboxes / Nightlights and babies.” We welcome Greg Purcell, who will be reading alongside Arda Collins and Ish Klein, at Ode on Friday, Oct. 9th, 6-8pm.

Writer Anais Nin threw a “Come As Your Madness” party and wore a birdcage over her head. What’s inside your birdcage?
Nero himself.

What does Your Madness wear around the house?
A slip of paper proving sanity definitively.

Fall is here. Are you more of a sweater or a scarf?
Sweater.

What color is Truth? What fabric is Beauty?
Orange/Black and anything glossy.

Do you have a photo that inspires you?


Here's a photo by Harry Callahan: "Chicago 1950". There's no accounting for inspiration. He was a Midwestern photographer who violated a very Midwestern sense of personal space because he had the technology to keep his distance while doing it. That means more in Chicago, then and now, than in other places.

Your best Halloween costume?
A bat costume my mom made for me when I was eight.

What’s your favorite line of your favorite poem?
“Fat! Fat! Fat! Fat! I am the personal./ Your world is you. I am my world.”

Describe your most magical moment of this past summer.
Not making much money.

What makes you mad?
See above.

The dark: are you scared of it?
Not the dark of the city. The dark around here, yes.

How does your campfire story begin?
“You used to love your cats before they decided they loved the aliens more than you; owing, you think, to the fact that the aliens looked so much like cats.”