Joe Milazzo has been a member of the Writers’ League for two years and is attending the 2015 Agents & Editors Conference in Austin. He lives in (and is a native of) Dallas, Texas.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
I write fiction (long-form, primarily; novels) and poetry. I occasionally write essays on the topics of literature, music, and the visual arts.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
I have a weakness for both of these refreshments, and the list of writers alongside whom I’d like to bend an elbow is far too long. But to limit myself: coffee with Nathalie Sarraute and Marguerite Duras (I’d just sit back and listen); a beer—only one, but one that was very, very cold—with William Goyen.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
That our state’s literary community is much greater and much more diverse than I imagined. It’s also a community that is incredibly hospitable, and the Writers’ League has helped me to see how I might make myself a bit more at home in it.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
I only hope my writing continues to allow me to explore that vast and coterminous, if not precisely contiguous, territory of “other” vocabularies, grammars, and realms of experience. (I’m not much of a “write what you know” kind of writer. I tend instead to write towards the particularities that I do not know with the trust that by writing through my assumptions and into my ignorance, I will be able to augment my appreciation of the unknown.) I am currently at work on a number of projects: another novel, this one set in Dallas in mid-70’s and concerned primarily with Dallas’ economic and cultural position within what they used to call “the Sunbelt”; another volume of poetry, which I have been describing elsewhere as “a contemporary and secular retelling of the Gospel According to Mark,” which is another way of saying that the poems are concerned with issues of poverty, political leadership, and the (im)possibilities of reform; and a creative non-fiction project focused on how human beings forge intimate relationships with the language they use.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
I am very active as an editor: for the journals Black Clock, Entropy, and [out of nothing], and as the proprietor of Imipolex Press. My wife Kristal is a graphic artist, and we have done design work together under the name Pasta & Sardines. We’d love to work more consistently with authors and small presses, helping those clients with cover (and book) designs etc.