Think back to when you started writing. What’s an earlier influence you outgrew, abandoned, or turned against?
I was very influenced by the Romantics, and the Beat Generation interpretation of a modern yet Romantic view of life. This led me, at first, to write a lot about idealist, lofty subjects, a veneration of corporeal beauty, a concentration on the alignment between aesthetics off the page turning up on the page. I wouldn’t say I’ve abandoned this tradition, but at the suggestion of two profoundly influential undergraduate mentors, I’ve ‘turned against’ it in the sense that I try to flip the subject on its head. I’m more interested in unraveling those issues, complicating them, rather than merely celebrating them.