Author Interview: Paige Lewis

Consider this glowing debut from Paige Lewis a menagerie of near-extinction. Space Struck explores the wonders and cruelties occurring within the realms of nature, science, and religion, with the acuity of a sage, the deftness of a hunter, and a hilarious sensibility for the absurd. The universe is seen as an endless arrow “. . . and it asks only one question: How dare you?”

The poems are physically and psychologically tied to the animal world, replete with ivory-billed woodpeckers, pelicans, and constellations-as-organisms. They are also devastatingly human, anchored in emotion and self-awareness, like art framed in a glass that also holds one’s reflection. Silky and gruesome, the poems of Space Struck pulse like starlight.

We spoke with Paige Lewis about what inspired them to write Space Struck, the importance of independent bookstores, and more.

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

I was inspired to write the poems in this book after reading the poetry of writers like Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Anne Carson and Tiana Clark and Marianne Moore and Tracy K. Smith and Tim Seibles and Heather Christle and and and! The list could go on forever!

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

It only uses the F-word once! Try to find it!

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

I have listened to my own audiobook! I was so blown away by how connected narrator Xe Sands was to the poems’ speakers. I was especially impressed with how Sands tackles the poem “Diorama of Ghosts,” which features more than one speaker.

Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?

Homie by Danez Smith
A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib
The Lightest Object in the Universe by Kimi Eisele
Heavy by Kiese Laymon

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

Indie bookstores have been so supportive of my own book and they have been essential in my finding new books to love! Independent bookstores have been so important to me and my husband that we actually got married in our very favorite indie bookstore, Open Books!

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