If you haven't been keeping up with us via the newsletter, then you may have missed out on the pre-order for Brian Looney's book Alcoholic Murmurs.
The poetry is a lyrical movement that follows an alcoholic from the depths of addiction and into the qualms of recovery. The speaker experiences a range of state's of mind including disorientation, hallucinations, self-made arguments, and more.
To get a better feel for Looney's book, we interviewed him about Alcoholic Murmurs and writing. Here is what he had to say:
Is this your first published work?
Yes and no. This is the first work that I’ve had published with a company like Unsolicited, but I’ve already done some work previously. Mostly chapbooks, but I do have 1 poetry book, Food to Fill Your Belly With, that I published with Publish America.
Did you have a system to get things published?
Well, I wrote part 1 of Alcoholic Murmurs five or six years ago. Mostly, I just was googling stuff, submitting maybe 10 places to the different publishers I thought would fit with the book.
So how would you describe the style of this compilation?
I would say it’s a mix between prose and poetry, like narrative poetry.
Follow up to that: Do you prefer poetry or prose?
I like blurring the lines. I’m not a fan of traditional rhyming. It limits your creativity. This way, I get to play with the language and also communicate what I want.
Do you have a routine when you’re writing? Do you like to write in public, by yourself, pen and paper or computer?
Well I write almost every day, but I don’t write in public. If I have a particular phrase or word, I’ll jot it on my phone and then work on it later at home. I prefer computers. Writing on paper is just more secretarial work, because then I have to transfer it to the computer. Everything I do is pretty heavily edited, by me. I don’t really go for creative circles, as the work I do is usually very personal.
What inspired you to write about alcoholism?
Personal issues in my past, so it is kind of based on my past, but there is some embellishment.
Any idea what’s next for you?
I’m pretty much always working on something. Not shopping around [looking to submit], but I’m always working. The process of cover letters and rejection letters can get to me. I’ve started drawing three years ago, and I do the covers for my work.
What are you doing that’s exciting?
I’m currently in a residency with the Pike’s Peak library district out here [in Colorado]. I go from library to library, drawing in some and teaching some classes in others. People can stop in and talk to me while I’m drawing. It’s nice to start to get a foothold in the region.
What’s something that you want people to know about the book?
Well, as I said before, part 1 was written five or six years ago. Part 2 was at the request of Unsolicited. I think that the writing style has a matured a little bit. The pieces are longer [in Part 2], and help to finish the narrative.
Part 1 was a chapbook, well initially a short story, but I chopped it up into the chapbook that was called Fragments of Frailty.
Who are some of your inspirations?
They aren’t poets, but novelists. The two biggest are Victor Hugo and Marcel Proust. One of my favorite books is Remembrance of Things Past [as known as In Search of Lost Time].
This picaresque apologue and cautionary tale chronicles the misadventures of Jack Mitford, a befuddled, down-and-out, and nearly disillusioned ex-fiction writer turned tolerable ghostwriter. Through a series of unexpected and thoroughly hedonistic events, early on in the novel, Jack befriends a mysterious and wealthy socialite with a cryptic past named Clint Richter. Richter contracts Jack to aid him in his efforts to write his memoirs, ostensibly hiring him as a sort of “fact checker” or “runner.” Using his supposed agoraphobia as an excuse, Richter dispatches Jack to several strange (and potentially threatening) locations across the US and Canada, in order to uncover conspiratorial elements related to Clint’s nebulous past. The assignment is a fool’s errand. The various investigations, fueled by Jack’s growing alcoholism and pill-popping dependence, become mired in a vast, conflicting web of almost incomprehensible possibilities and obscure outmoded information. Vague certainties and answers multiply into more questions as Clint’s project expands. The search is an elegant trap that leads to the most inescapable of postmodern landscapes: nowhere. In what often appears to be a seemingly pointless quest to uncover hidden truths of fatalism, this light-hearted comic romp challenges socially accepted Truths, ultimately revealing itself as an apt allegory for the modern human condition.
Dominic's book is available in our store and via Amazon!
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