Thursday, February 12, 2009


John Degen for DESK SPACE


JOHN DEGEN Poet, novelist, father, civil servant.

DS When did you start writing, publish your first book or when are you publishing your next?

JD I started writing as a child on a typewriter just to see my name slowly appear on the page. Not much has changed since.

I published a book of poetry, Animal Life in Bucharest, in 2000, another, Killing Things, in 2002 and a novel, The Uninvited Guest, in 2006. I have another novel and another collection of poetry both clawing at the door to be let out into the backyard, but I’m just not sure I’m ready to follow them out and clean up the mess.

DS Where do you work?

JD I write at a boxy Ikea desk in my Etobicoke condo, but since the invention of the laptop I’ve also become more mobile. My latest bits have been written in the Buffalo and Erie County Library in Lafayette Square, downtown Buffalo, New York.

There is a terrific bar a two-block stroll from there -- Eddie Brady’s -- which is so essential when you’re writing, I find. The bartender there can really do up a martini, and you can usually get in the pool on the next Bills game. Mark Twain used to drink at Eddie Brady’s, or at least that’s the story I tell visitors.

DS What's next?

JD My next poetry collection will be called 109 Details, and is a nearly incomprehensible love story. My next novel is called Weehawken, and is a nearly incomprehensible love story. See the answer to question number two.

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1 comment:

Alessandro Porco said...

John Degen is right fuckin' on the ball: Eddie Brady's is a great bar in Buffalo, with (little known fact) the best damn burger in town, I'd say.

The library ain't bad, either.