Hey Nate Pritts, what are you reading?

13 Feb

Nate Pritts is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Sweet Nothing which Publishers Weekly describes as “both baroque and irreverent, banal and romantic, his poems […] arrive at a place of vulnerability and sincerity.”

POETRY Magazine called his third book, The Wonderfull Yeare, “rich, vivid, intimate, & somewhat troubled” while The Rumpus called Big Bright Sun, his fourth book, “a textual record of mistakes made and insights gleaned…[in] a voice that knows its part in self-destruction.”  His poetry & prose have been widely published, both online & in print, at places like Southern Review, Columbia, Court Green, Gulf Coast, Boston Review & Rain Taxi where he frequently contributes reviews.

He is the founder & principal editor of H_NGM_N Bks, an online journal & small press — which publishes a refreshingly inspired roster of emerging voices.

I asked him what he’s been reading and here’s what he said:

 “I read some poetry every day, sometimes just a few pages & sometimes a book or two. Though I get obsessed with a particular poet, or period or style, my reading here is really scattered & intuitive…serious, but lacking any kind of discernible program.

Late last fall, spurred on by a course I was teaching, I started reading in this recent vein of books targeting the ways in which the internet, & our predominantly online socio-cultural network, can damage us in all kinds of ways – our hearts, our brains, the way we understand our experience & process our memories. I read Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows & Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together & Maggie Jackson’s Distracted: The Erosion of Attention & the Coming Dark Age & Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. I felt like all this speed was making me forget about patience, that sometimes we need things fast but often it’s nice to go slow & open yourself up to the complex pleasures of sifting & accumulation instead of the brief jolt that accompanies acquisition.

I wanted to hit the refresh button on the world, make it strange again. I read some Borges, & then Paul Poissel’s The Facts of Winter. Finally, I decided that it was memory (our only record of the self) & time (both scientific & theoretical, how it passes & what that means) that I was most interested in. So I started reading Proust’s In Search of Lost Time. The sentences & descriptions are beautiful. That’s where I still am today.”

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