#AWP18 Featured Presenter Q&A with Maud Casey
AWP | February 2018
Event Title: The Arts of Death, Mystery, and Perspective: Edwidge Danticat, Maud Casey, and Christopher Castellani, Sponsored by Graywolf Press
Description: Three acclaimed novelists explore territory often left unturned—the arts of death, of mystery, and of perspective. How can one extend craft into areas and techniques like these, and how does one make space for the personal in criticism and fiction? Three acclaimed novelists answer these questions and read from their recent books published in The Art of Series from Graywolf Press. Introduced and moderated by Graywolf Press director and publisher Fiona McCrae.
Location: Ballroom C, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Date & Time: Thursday, March 8, 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Q: What are some of the conference events (besides your own) or bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing?
A: The bookfair, the whole shebang of it. It's a wonderland: the surprise, the discovery. Book love and joy at every turn. And, of course, the incomparable swag. I use my Small Press Distribution tote bag, with its beautiful flying books, every single day.
Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
A: Some old ones: The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, by Rainer Maria Rilke, and Suite for Barbara Loden, by Natalie Léger. Some new ones: What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, by Lesley Nneka Arimah, The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, by Molly McCully Brown, and Watchfires, by Hilary Plum.
Q: What are a writer’s main responsibilities in this particular cultural moment?
A: As scary as this particular moment is, I'm not sure they've changed. The task is still to pay imaginative attention. James Baldwin, as usual, said it best: “to lay bare the questions which have been hidden by the answers.”
Q: Has public funding for the arts made a difference in your life and career as a writer?
A: In every possible way. I started to make a list but it became clear pretty quickly that public funding for the arts has everything to do with everything I do. So I'll just say yes. And yes again.
Maud Casey is the author of The Art of Mystery: The Search for Questions, as well as three novels, including The Man Who Walked Away; and a short story collection, Drastic. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, Salon, Poets and Writers, A Public Space, and Literary Imagination. She is the grateful recipient of the Calvino Prize, the St. Francis College Literary Prize, and a Guggenheim fellowship. She lives in Washington, D.C., and teaches at the University of Maryland.
(Photo Credit: Zach Veilleux)