Friday, October 29, 2010


This week, for our modified Proust Questionnaire project, we are very lucky to be able to feature the poet Christian Hawkey. Mr. Hawkey’s latest book, Ventrakl (which was excerpted in issue three of Correspondence), was just released from Ugly Duckling Presse. If you are unfamiliar with Christian Hawkey, read his bio (below), read his books, and, more immediately, you might be interested in this awesome conversation (PDF) he had with Bill Martin, where he asks the very important question: “is that Mike Myers/Austin Powers, playing Derrida, with a wig?!”

An Introduction to Christian Hawkey

Christian Hawkey is the author of three previous books of poetry. His first book, The Book of Funnels, appeared in 2004 and won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. His second book, a chapbook called HourHour, includes drawings by the artist Ryan Mrowzowski, and was published by Delirium Press in 2005. Citizen Of, his third book, was released by Wave Books in the spring of 2007, and received enthusiastic reviews from numerous magazines and online journals, including Time Out New York, Octopus, Silliman’s Blog, and the New Yorker. His poems have appeared in Conjunctions, Volt, Denver Quarterly, Tin House, Crowd, BOMB, Chicago Review, Best American Poetry, and Conduit, and his art criticism has appeared in frieze and Meatpaper. He has received awards from the Academy of American Poets and the Poetry Fund, and in 2006 he received a Creative Capital Innovative Literature Award. In 2008 he was a DAAD Artist-in-Berlin Fellow. He is currently an Associate Professor at Pratt Institute, where he teaches the practice of writing poetry in the Writing Program. (via UDP)

Christian Hawkey Answers the Proust Questionnaire

Your favorite virtue.

Your favorite qualities in a man.

Your favorite qualities in a woman.

Your chief characteristic.
Lack of self-knowledge.

What you appreciate the most in your friends.
Rutilant loyalty.

Your main fault.
Lack of self-knowledge.

Your favorite occupation.
Hand-taming wild birds.

Your idea of happiness.

Your idea of misery.
Industrialized animal slaughter.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Where would you like to live?
To live in contact with those I love, with the beauties of nature, with a quantity of books and music, and to have, within easy distance, an art-house movie theater.

Your favorite prose authors.
Beckett. Stein. Marie Redonnet. Walser. Derrida.

Your favorite poets.
Stein. Clare. Vallejo. Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury.

Your favorite heroes in fiction.

Your favorite heroines in fiction.

Your heroes in “real life.”
Andy Kaufman. Mandelstam. Anna O.

What characters in history do you most dislike?
Karl Lueger; Mayor of Vienna, 1897-1910; he brought anti-Semitic rhetoric into the political discourse of a fading Austrio-Hungarian empire; big influence on Hitler.

Your favorite names.
Gerald. Riven. Blondie.

The natural talent you’d like to be gifted with.
Ability to carry a tune.

How do you wish to die?
I will die in Paris, on a rainy day, with all of my school loans unpaid.

What is your present state of mind?
Distracted attentiveness.

Your favorite motto.
An embryonic thing is a sort of embryonic thing.

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