AUSTIN ISLAM INTERVIEW
‘Austin Islam is a budding artist, entrepreneur, or emo pariah. He lives in Fort Worth, TX with three dogs, three humans, and his Epiphone SG.’
find him here:
matthew sherling: what is your perception of ‘alt lit’?
austin islam: I think alt lit is a lot of fun. it’s a literary community for young writers who might not have any other way to share their writing and read new things. the internet enhances real life.
ms: how would you describe your process when constructing a poem?
austin islam: usually a poem starts with some sort of emotional outburst or sudden realization that I throw up on my tumblr. later I’ll edit it down, re-arrange it, spice it up, whatever. for my last chapbook (~20 poems), I spent about 4 hours editing and re-writing.
ms: what draws you to poetry?
austin islam: poetry gives me an intensely visceral experience, and it is more immediate than watching a movie or reading a novel. poems are like snacks for the soul.
ms: what are you reading & listening to presently?
austin islam: recently I read two tao lin novels (my favorite was richard yates), a sam pink book of poems (no one can do anything worse to you than you can), and a lot of internet poetry. on my desk to read next are ‘trout fishing in america’ by richard brautigan, ‘a heartbreaking work of staggering genius’ by dave eggers, and ‘thus spake zarathustra’ by nietzsche.
music I dig lately: riff raff, (new) such gold, (new) the chariot, (new) circa survive, a lot like birds, also went back and listened to heems’ mixtape a few times.
ms: how do you see the internet impacting the writing world?
austin islam: the internet is only just beginning to change humanity as a species. everything will be more transparent, more accessible, more human and less corporate, easier to find. sometimes I think about ‘going into’ publishing as a career. I think the internet will make that easier to get into and consequently more competitive.
ms: how do you define ‘truth’?
austin islam: truth is subjective, the same thing is perceived differently by each separate observer. that is all i have learned so far on this subject.
i know that the search is interminable. but noble.
ms: if you could state your worldview in one sentence, what would it be?
austin islam: ‘ask more questions. ask better questions.’