Interview with Ben Nardolilli

Photo: © Christine Sloan Stoddard 2020


Your latest writing project(s)?

Right now, I’m between two of them. I finished a novel in July (quarantine was good for something) and I’m planning on starting one in January. The one I completed is about a Southern town dealing with the legacy of post-Civil War Reconstruction. The mayor wants to put on a play about this history and in the end disturbs the ghosts of the past. The next novel in the new year will be about the rise and fall of a city in the American desert. I suppose I am moving from the past as a source material and onto the future. For now, I’m writing poems and sending some out (which you graciously accepted).

How would you describe your pieces?

“The Uptake” was based on emails I get in my inbox, especially ones that are painfully upbeat in the midst of this pandemic. I used them as a way to reflect on the reality of one reading them. “Inch in Stone” has a similar genesis. If I remember correctly, it was based on an email with a subject line about earthquakes. It acted almost like a bit of an earthquake in my inbox because it sounded this dire alarm.

Why do you write?

It’s one of the few things that makes sense, while at the same time managing to still surprise me.

Who are your favourite authors?

Tolstoy, Pound, Eliot, Bukowski, Melville, Woolf, Sophocles, Updike, O’Connor, Bellows, Lowry, Kerouac, Hamsun, Roth, I know a lot of light, sober reading.

Do you have a homepage?

Just a blog: http://mirrorsponge.blogspot.com/.

Thank you very much for the interview!