Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

P(rivate)S(paces) w/ Eric Weinstein

in which Prairie Schooner contributors give us a glimpse into their writing spaces and sensibilities.
Eric Weinstein

Eric Weinstein’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Best New Poets 2009 anthology, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, and others. He was named a finalist for both the Poetry Foundation’s 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the 2011 National Poetry Series. He lives in New York City.

Name three things of particular significance on your writing desk at the moment.
My notebook (which, along with my phone, contains all my drafts/ideas for poems); a copy of And So It Goes (Charles Shields’ biography of Kurt Vonnegut); and my fish, Kevin Sorbo.

Name one classic you've long been wanting to read.
Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare. I hear it’s terrifically violent.

Why haven't you read it?
I had a professor of English literature in college who recommended saving one Shakespeare play for a rainy day. That’s the one I picked.

Is there any particular music or musician that puts you in the mood to write?
Indie/folk rock has been doing it for me lately. The past few months I’ve been putting on The Decemberists’ The King is Dead whenever I want to get in the mood to write, and that usually does the trick.

Name a favorite book in your possession: a favorite not just for content but for its actual physical qualities.
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. It’s a really engrossing book—I stopped going to class for a week when I read it in college—and it’s not only a great story, but really typographically beautiful. Some pages overflow with text, while others contain only a few words; different typefaces in different colors crisscross over each other; some sections of text appear completely backward and can only be read in a mirror; copious footnotes reference obscure or utterly non-existent texts, or even other footnotes. It’s fantastically labyrinthine and well worth reading more than once.