It was really a pleasure to talk with Justin Marks about his new poetry book THE COMEDOWN from Publishing Genius. We discuss the complexities of memoir/poetry, sobriety, politics and most of all the huge unease of the self and how to explore that in a book of poetry. What I love about this book is how we’re seeing the journey of the self, mirrored in the creation of a manuscript. It is not a surprise that writing a book of poetry (especially one like this where Marks deliberately wanted to explore memoir) is a meditation on a psychic journey. But what also happens is that the creation, editing, and seeing it through to publication, is a whole new journey, that and evolution. Great books of poetry will have layers of understanding, for the writer, reader and the poems themselves, and will never be static, but continue to show and highlight discovery and insights.
Justin Marks’ is the author of The Comedown (Publishing Genius) You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re Bored (Barrelhouse Books ), A Million in Prizes (New Issues), and the chapbook We Used to Have Parties (Dikembe Press). He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his family. Read poems at Poets.org.