What do you think of when you think of Chicago?
I think of that great, golden era in my 20s when I lived in Andersonville, on the North Side, in a dark garden apartment full of spiders that flooded whenever it rained. I had just published my first poem, met my future wife, and landed a job that eventually took me away. Clearly part of my heart stayed behind to ride the Red Line and see The Sea and Cake play The Lounge Ax, may it rest in peace.
Who is an author you'd like to meet, dead or alive?
In Chicago: Chris Ware.
What's the worst question you've ever been asked in an interview?
Bad questions don't bother me — it's my own bad answers that can be troubling.
What's your guilty pleasure reading?
Unless you're leafing through bomb-making instructions or your beloved's journal, reading isn't anything to feel guilty about. Read with gusto, I say. Read People magazine. Read poetry. Read celebrity poetry in People magazine. Whatever.
Can you describe a random or unexpected experience you've had while promoting a book?
I once awoke on a red-eye between bookstore readings in San Francisco and Boston, looked out the airplane window and discovered I was flying directly over my own house in Minneapolis, my wife and daughter asleep 30,000 feet beneath me.
What's your favorite font to write in?
My own handwriting. Which oddly never looks the same to me month-to-month.
How do you celebrate after you've finished a book?
A new book is something to celebrate — but it's also something to mourn. For the book, it's a beginning; for the writer, it's an end. It's like sending your daughter off to college. You want to clink glasses, but you also want to bawl your eyes out. I'm happiest writing new poems, so the quicker I can get back to work, the less of a nuisance I'll be to those around me.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun