6 Questions We Always Ask: Jules Nyquist, poet

Since poet (and former Minnesotan) Jules Nyquist is reading at Magers & Quinn this week (and because my allergy meds haven’t kicked in), I’m going to steal what they wrote about her:
Jules Nyquist is a native Minnesotan now living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She will be reading from her new full-length poetry collection, Appetites a collection of poems, photographs and recipes, a collection the poet Margaret Randall has called “A succulent book for a time in which our attention is too often diverted from the tactile and sublime.”

What they didn’t mention that aside from reading with Freya Manfred (who will answer our questions tomorrow) and John Roche at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis, she’s got a bunch of local events this week. Including a spot on KFAI’s “Write on Radio” tonight at 7 p.m. and a reading tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, 308 Prince Street, St. Paul. You can get the full scoop on her website. Now, onto the answers.

[h2]What book(s) are you currently reading?[/h2]
There are piles of them all over the house. Mostly from fellow poets when we trade books, or books given to me by my boyfriend as we trade back and forth, or ones I pick up while browsing bookstores. I’m currently reading New York author Susan Sherman’s memoir America’s Child: A Woman’s Journey Through the Radical Sixties because she visited Albuquerque last week and did a great reading (her latest book of poems is The Light That Puts an End to Dreams: New and Selected Poems). Also New Mexico author Joanne Bodin’s novel Walking Fish – another ‘outcast’ story. The Way of Zen by Alan W. Watts. Catching up on poets Charles Olson, George F. Butterick, visiting Los Angeles poet Michael C. Ford, and New Mexico poets Mary McGinnis, Lisa Gill  and Minneapolis poet Bao Phi’s Song I Sing. I attend a weekly Monday evening poetry open mic group called “East of Edith” and every week I am bombarded by original work and works from others. We are encouraged to read a poem of our own, plus a poem of someone who is inspiring us at the time. I’ve found many new poets to read that way.

When I moved from Minnesota to New Mexico I asked friends for books to read to get me acclimated to the culture here. Important ones are Willa Cather’s Death Comes for the Archbishop, Demetria Martinez’s Mother Tongue, Rudolpho Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima and anything by Margaret Randall. Local anthologies I recommend would be “Malpais Review” and “Adobe Walls.” I have been pleasantly surprised with the intense and vibrant poetry scene in Albuquerque.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? Who?

Well not sure if it’s a crush, but I would love to be Smilla Jasperson in Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Icelandic author Peter Hoeg. I’m drawn to the outcasts and those that don’t necessarily fit into society and strong female leads. Lisabeth Salander is also a favorite in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy series.

If your favorite author came to Minnesota, who would it be and what bar would you take him/her to?

Some of my favorite authors are Minnesotans, but I would love to bring my Albuquerque poet friends to Tony Jaro’s River Garden in Northeast Minneapolis to experience ‘greenies.’

What was your first favorite book?

My family had a few books in the house like The Jungle Book and the Pippi Longstocking series. My favorite place to be was the local Sun Ray Branch Library in Maplewood, MN where I would ride my bike and spend hours and then try to carry as many books back as would fit in my bike bag.

Let’s say Fahrenheit 451 comes to life, which book would you become in order to save it from annihilation?

Ah, to become a book!  I would pick anything by Erica Jong, probably her “Fruits & Vegetables” series of poetry. I love Erica’s boldness and truth. We always need to be reminded of women’s strength and power in the world and Erica would be a great author to have around at that stage. I had the pleasure of meeting her for a radio interview a few years back and she left a strong impression with me.

What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?

To finish War & Peace – the new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, it’s been sitting on my shelf for a few years now.

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