When Poets Become Novelists


Ben Lerner talks with the Guardian about life in Brooklyn, octopuses, and poets:

“Poets really haven’t gotten the news that the novel is also dead,” he says, of the opinion among some poets that writing in prose is a capitulation to market forces. Still, the poets tolerated a single attempt—even Ashbery wrote a novel. “It’s like some weird homeopathic myth, that you avoid the novel but you are allowed to write one,” Lerner says. “You can write one novel in your life as a poet.”

Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Joyland Magazine, The Billfold, Fiction Advocate, Electric Cereal, Thought Catalog, and io9. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →