November 14, 2018

Nurse Ratched—Mildred, as she has me call her from the start (she is Millie to friends, as she tells me three times)—lives a brisk, fifteen-minute walk from the Oregon State Hospital, where she is employed as a nurse supervising the men’s ward. (“It’s simply practical. Close to home for convenience, but just far enough away for comfort,” she tells me, impatiently.) 

But Mildred owns an expansive Vi...

November 2, 2018

Matthew: Good to speak with you again, Brooke! So what are you reading these days? What sort of ideas, books, poems are you obsessing over lately?

Brooke: I’ve been fixated on this Hélène Cixous essay about Nancy Spero called “Spero’s Dissidences.” It’s about Spero’s panels on war, torture, and cruelty. Cixous does a lot of deep-dives into the belly of the painter to talk about psychic labor behind...

Three Iron Horse managing editors sat down with the fiction and nonfiction writer, author of The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters on Your Shore: A Story of American Rage, and Twitter phenom Jared Yates Sexton for soup, cheesy salad, and some incredibly intense conversation. The exact transcript of this conversation, like all magical encounters, cannot be retrieved, as a poet was left in ch...

April 25, 2016

Chen:First, thank you for agreeing to do this interview, and welcome to Iron Horse. You've described in other interviews how your second collection, Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions), is a turning toward the dirt, an act of digging, asking, What strange and crucial relation do we/can we have to our dead? Your third collection of poems, the black maria, is out now (also with BOA) and is oriented towa...

February 29, 2016

The following interview with poet Monica Sok continues the series I began back in December when I interviewed fiction writer and visual artist Swati Khurana. The series explores the intersections between the literary, the ethical, and the activist in the contemporary landscape, in light of Best American Poetry 2015 and other moments of problematic representation, appropriation, or erasure. I hope...

February 4, 2016

“The Small Things That Make Up a Life”

Sarah Einstein talks to us about her memoir Mot, a new book that’s in the works, and how literature can illuminate the future as much as the past

Jess: How are you today? Are you working on anything you’re excited about?

Sarah: I’m great, thank you for asking. And yes! I’m just getting started on my next book project, which I am really excited about. It’s going...

December 21, 2015

Introduction to the Series

This series of mini-interviews invites participants—all emerging writers of color—to reflect on the Best American Poetry 2015/Michael Derrick Hudson debacle (or other literary debacles) as a way into perhaps rethinking their own work and their visions for a different literary world. The interviews are quick in order to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules and to give mor...

December 18, 2015

IHLR: First, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed with Iron Horse. We’re big fans of your novel. How are you doing and what have you been doing recently?


Gray: Thanks. I’m well. I’ve acquired a wife, a ten-year-old stepson, and a baby boy in the last year and a half. So I’m learning how to write and live a life that is not completely self-obsessed. How are you? Is that weird to ask? I’m from...

October 9, 2015

Photo Credit: Alyssa Lynee 

In the following interview, Iron Horse Associate Editor Jess Smith talks with poet David Trinidad.

"Every obsession is a mystery that must be figured out." ​​

Jess: How are you today? What are you working on?

David: I’m good, thanks. It’s a clear, summery October day in Chicago. I’m not working on anything in particular at the moment. But having just visited Lubbock, T...

April 20, 2015


In the following interview, Iron Horse Associate Editor Mark L. Keats talks with Yiyun Li about her essay, which orignally appeared in A Public Space is now anthologized in The Best American Essays of 2014.


IHLR: One of the things I enjoyed about your essay “Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life,” is, despite this natural forward momentum, given the numbers and sense of time,...

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