VIDA Reads with Writers — Shanna Compton!

What are you reading on the subway or in the waiting room today?

I am finally reading Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (on the last chapter), and Changing by Lily Hoang. Sea & Fog by Etel Adnan is next in my book bag stack.

What book popped for you in 2015?

I always have trouble choosing favorites, but Tonya Foster’s A Swarm of Bees in High Court is incredible (and I am still rereading it). I also reread a lot of CD Wright, so sad to lose her.

Whose words do you return to regularly?

CD Wright. I always meant to reach out to her, as someone I found to be such a resonant figure in terms of my own background and work, but who seemed much more at home in some of our shared territory. But I never did. I wish I’d known her.

Is there an author you can’t wait to read next?

I’m looking forward to Morgan Parker’s second book, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé. Samantha Zighelboim’s first book just got announced—The Fat Sonnets—and I have been excited by the few poems of hers I’ve seen, so that’s in my future for sure. People keep recommending Elaine Kahn’s Women in Public, so that is on my list as well. Next is a crowded expanse!

What are you working on now? What can VIDA fans look forward to from you next?

I’m trying (again) to finish up and finalize my book-length speculative poem, The Hazard Cycle, which is a wholly different kind of project for me. I’ve been working on it since 2009, off on on, and every time I think it’s done…. But I also recently realized I’ve written another book’s worth of individual poems in the meantime too, so I am revising some of those to send out, organizing them to into chapbooks and a book.


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SHANNA COMPTON is the author of Brink, For Girls & Others, Down Spooky, and several chapbooks. The Hazard Cycle, a book-length speculative poem, is forthcoming. She is the founder of Bloof Books, a collective poetry press, and works as a freelance writer/editor and book designer.