Over coffee and pan de guava, I talked to Chelsea about her chapbook, the writing process, art and porn, living in Brooklyn, and direct sentences. I transcribed the interview, and—for a little bit of creative fun—allowed her to rearrange the answers, edit them in her writing style, and omit my questions, with the condition that the result should be closer to the heart of our discussion rather than further from it.
“I was an athlete growing up, and many people don’t associate athletics with art, but I found athletics to be a very visceral and emotional world that in many ways informed my art later on. There’s a certain intuition an athlete has and this intuition is invaluable to my creative process. Of course there’s a team in many sports and I always was drawn to more solitary endeavors, so naturally I was drawn to writing and art.”
Perhaps no one has been more responsible for introducing modern Persian prose to Americans than Mohammad Ghanoonparvar. Everyone who teaches modern Persian literature or reads Persian novels in English translation is indebted to his work as a translator, scholar, and teacher. Ghanoonparvar and his students have produced a significant portion of modern Persian literature in English. He recently retired from University of Texas at Austin and is now Professor Emeritus. In celebration of his long service to Iranian literature, I took this opportunity to ask him some questions.