Today I’m talking about the various forms of nonfiction that poet, essayist and novelist Hilary Plum has found herself interacting with in her newest book Hole Studies. From listening to music, to obsessively reading journalism, podcasts, or editing and examining the conventional forms of academic publishing–Plum’s inquisitive mind investigates the structures and mechanisms of forms and activism, finding new ways to bring them into her own work in a vivid and welcoming conversation. Together, we talk about talking, about looking, and listening and thinking. All as it interacts with the writer, creating new works. From pitfalls of higher academia, to the challenges and joys of teaching and guiding discussions; being able to be the fool in charge; the work of nurturing and mentoring, as well as creating discussion-based workshops and crafts classes that are mutually enjoyed and felt by all. Asking too, what happens when famous people “go off script” and examining the messages that prompted them to do so. Plum asks: What is responsiveness? How do you act publicly and privately? What does it mean to talk freely and how do we learn to do it while being sensitive to one another? What does it mean to listen, learn, think and imagine, culturally, socially, creatively? Enjoy this in-depth discussion with a very brilliant mind.
ORDER THE BOOK HERE
Hole Studies is a book about care and the forms it may take. An essay collection on writing and labor, art and activism, attention as a transformative practice, difference and collaboration, adjuncting and the margins of the academy, whiteness and its weapons, professionalization and its discontents, the radical importance of surprise, friendship at work, the self and its public and private modes: Hole Studies keeps listening. What is it we need from each other? What could we still make happen? Essays explore the music of the Swet Shop Boys, the literature of the US’s brutal war in Iraq, the career of Sinéad O’Connor, the aesthetics of the Dirtbag Left, the legacies of the “war on terror,” feminism on the job, and illness in America.
Hole Studies is an intimate document and a critical guide. Hole Studies would like to work for you.
Hilary Plum is the author of several books, most recently the novel Strawberry Fields, winner of the Fence Modern Prize in Prose. Her poetry collection, Excisions, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence. She was the recipient of the GLCA New Writers Award for the work of nonfiction Watchfires. She teaches fiction, nonfiction, and editing & publishing at Cleveland State University and in the NEOMFA program, and she serves as associate director of the CSU Poetry Center. With Zach Savich she edits the Open Prose Series at Rescue Press. Recent work has appeared in Granta, College Literature, American Poetry Review, Fence, and elsewhere.