Our thanks to Tethered by Letters for this terrific Q&A with Steven Dunn, author of Potted Meat (TS 2016).
Here’s an excerpt:
Who do you read now and who have you never stopped reading?
Lately I’ve been reading over and over Katie Jean Shinkle’s novels, Our Prayers after the Fire, and The Arson People. Mairead Case’s novel See You in the Morning. Also, poetry from Khadijah Queen and Nikki Wallschlaeger. And I’ve never stopped reading Nas, Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Curtis Mayfield, Sly and the Family Stone, Van Hunt, Cold War Kids, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monae.
In terms of publication, is there something specific you look for when approaching different presses? Tarpaulin Sky obviously was a great fit, seeing as how you won their book prize last year. What caused you to gravitate their way?
When I look at a press, I look at their aesthetic, what they publish, and have I read books from any of their authors. I try to read at least two books from a press before I submit. I like to listen first before I ask them to listen to me. I’d been reading Tarpaulin Sky books for about four years before I submitted to them. I knew they made beautiful books, and was publishing writing that I felt were taking risks and fucking shit up. So when they decided to publish Potted Meat, I knew I was in good hands, and in good company with all of the other badass writers they have published, are publishing, and will publish.