This time around I asked some questions to STEFAN and SANAZ KIESBYE. I first met Stefan as a student in his graduate fiction workshop at Eastern Michigan University. My favorite memory of Stefan took place there. He assigned us an Aimee Bender story from an anthology of Ann Arbor writers (I don't remember the name of the anthology but there were Furries on the cover) and the next class we were supposed to talk about it. Well when he started pressing us about it, nobody said anything, and he immediately jumped out of his seat and he either threw the book or slammed it down on the table, I can't remember because memory is funny like that. But he yelled out "EVERYBODY READ THE FUCKING STORIES." Then he calmly sat back down and smiled and said, "okay, let's begin." Ahhh, good times. So yeah, that's my favorite Stefan story. Also, he wrote, NEXT DOOR LIVED A GIRL, which for my money, is the best novella I've ever read.

BG: so many quality indie presses and literary journals, what is hippopants bringing to the table? what words of wisdom can it offer to the literary conversation?

STEFAN & SANAZ: It's a conversation between art and literature. We publish short work that is visual but also has a literary component. We don't limit the forms of expression -- we accept comics, illustrated prose poems, paintings that make use of poetry. We're looking for short forms, graphic flash, but we make exceptions. For example, we published Long beach artist DAVE VAN PATTEN's book "Raul and the Revolution," which is dark and phantasmagorical, and just genius, and right now we're serializing MIKE ALBER's graphic novel "The Baby Jar," which is a work of absolute beauty. And to the first part of your question: no one has pants bigger than ours.

BG: when the world ends in 2012, as the mayans predicted, and the next species takes over the earth and digs up America 1,000 years from now, what literary journals / indie press publications will they be restoring, reviving, and immortalizing, and why?

STEFAN & SANAZ: Hobart, because it's eternally cool and it has this sweet trailer logo; and Hippopants, because it's just weird.

BG: what is the last book you borrowed and never returned? who'd you steal it from and why didn't you give it back?

STEFAN & SANAZ: Shakespeare, Richard III. We stole it from the library and replaced it with an identical copy. It was just the greatest book and we had become attached to that very copy. So we ponied up the money and bought a new one for the library.

BG: name the five best books you've read that you'd bet your balls nobody else has?

STEFAN: Arthur Schnitzler, Anatol (a play)
Wilhelm Hauff, Fairy Tales and Novellas
Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery
Dave van Patten, Black Candy
Otfried Preussler, Krabat

BG: who is your favorite historical figure, past or present, and how have they influenced your literary journey?

STEFAN: Gertrude Stein -- she created meaning beyond words' common usage.

BG: BONUS QUESTION: Give us a six song playlist that tells the story of your life.

STEFAN: Anne Clark, Sleeper in Metropolis
Fashion, Dressed to Kill
X-mal Deutschland, Stummes Kind
Autechre, VLetrmx
Stephan Eicher, Des Hauts, Des Bas
Philip Boa and The Voodoo Club, Kill Your Ideals

1 comment:

  1. Great interview, Barry. Weird ass questions, but... eniightening!!