KYLE DARGAN Q & A
ICL: Can you please tell us a little about any writing and/or creative projects that you have been working on over the past year?
I polished off and published my third book, Logorrhea Dementia. Aside from that, I've just been doing a lot of random writing—pieces of prose, lyric fragments, etc. It was a very discombobulating year between deaths and other transitions. I'm just trying to write my way back to some normal that I cannot yet define.
ICL: What was your most exciting writing-related development this year?
Travelling to China as part of the International Writing Program and State Department's "Life of Discovery" initiative was an enlightening (and frightening) experience. The Chinese Writers Association members were wonderful hosts.
I actually loved being in a place where the language was so unlike my own. It was like being a small child again looking at billboards and signs, attempting to decipher through context words you don't understand. With the Chinese character system, though, the language is very metaphoric. For example, the characters for "poet" are poem ("shi") and human ("rén"). There is a certain wisdom in that.
ICL: Have certain techniques and themes endured as central to your writing?
Are you asking if I'm repetitious? If so, I believe the answer is no.
ICL: If you weren't focused on writing, what would you be doing?
Honestly, and this is something people always joke about with me, I'd be running for local office. The political atmosphere has incensed me to the point that . . . . Well, let me say this. Having grown up in a political machine (the James administration in Newark, New Jersey, for which my mother was Chief of Staff), I know how dirty and spastic politics can be and, as a result, always said I would never consider entering public service unless I absolutely could not stand idly and watch the machine work its will. I think I am very close to that point right now.
ICL: If you had to Tweet (in 140 characters or less) about one thing you learned about yourself through your art, what would you write it?
Attaining what you desire makes you less interesting as an artist (and, I imagine, as a human being). Unfortunate, but true.