#CopingWith is CCM’s interview series run by managing editor Joanna C. Valente
Janice Lee’s book, “The Sky Isn’t Blue,” came out on March 11, 2016 from CCM. Of the book, Chiwan Choi has said, “To read Janice Lee’s new book, The Sky Isn’t Blue, is to remember. Not major events or turning points in life, even though she is writing after a huge one in her life, but remembering moments, textures, sounds, pauses. The air that touched my skin once as I walked home. The sound of dust touching glass. How there was blue once above me when I looked up. It makes me remember that my life is about spaces—of things as large as the sky that envelopes me and of the more intimate, like the space that is my body. The book disappeared as it became each second ticking away in my life, reminding me that I will not be able to save it nor will I ever be able to forget. ”
As such, we interviewed her about her book, although instead of asking boring lit questions, our managing editor Joanna C. Valente asked Janice about everything else instead, like what her favorite meal and apocalypse plans are.
Here’s what she said:
Describe your favorite meal.
I love food, so that’s hard. I love donuts, pancakes, ramen, meat, beets, bread, more bread, biscuits, fried chicken… But OK, in terms of a favorite meal, it’s probably Korean BBQ. Cooked at the table. Surrounded by friends and family and loved ones. Meat sizzling on the table with lots of side dishes and veggies and pickled things, lettuce wraps, raw garlic, and cold beer.
What music do often you write to, if at all?
It depends on the project. For the novel I’m currently writing, I’ve had a very strict and curated playlist of the same few albums on repeat:
Russian Circles – Enter
Matt Kivel – Fires on the Plain
Bohren & Der Club Of Gore – Black Earth
What are three books that you’ve always identified with?
War & War by Laszló Krasznahorkai
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Mommy Must Be a Fountain of Feathers by Kim Hyesoon, trans. Don Mee Choi
Choose one painting that describes who you are. What is it?
Blue Sea by Emil Nolde
Choose a gif that encompasses mornings for you.
What do you imagine the apocalypse is like? How would you want to die?
As László Krasznahorkai tells us, “We are living in the apocalypse. The first moment of time was the first moment of apocalypse and death. Please, don’t fear the apocalypse.” It began the day we were born, and it will end the day I die. I’d like to die without fear.
If you could only watch three films for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Can I have like 3 groupings?
Everything directed by Béla Tarr: Satantango, Damnation, The Werkcmeister Harmonies.
Then Ice Age.
And then The Fast & the Furious franchise.
How would you describe your social media persona/role?
moosh / thoughts about the sky / today the sky is blue / today the sky is some other color / more moosh / political action / Entropy / writing / sometimes I eat food and am human / sometimes I have feelings / mooshy friday / trumpwatch / literary community / books
What’s your favorite animal and why?
I love animals right now. I think we need to learn more from them, like I wrote a bit about birds & interspecies communication here.
I love watching birds. Lately, cats have been helping as spiritual guides and with my creative practice. My mooshes (dogs) keep me alive and make me a better human.
What do you carry with you at all times?
Wallet, phone, keys, chapstick.
Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and most recently, The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She is Editor of the #RECURRENT Novel Series at Civil Coping Mechanisms, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, Executive Editor of Entropy, and CEO/Founder of POTG Design. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Marys of the Sea (ELJ Publications, 2016), & Xenos (2016, Agape Editions). She received her MFA in writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She is also the founder of Yes, Poetry, as well as the managing editor for Luna Luna Magazine and CCM. Some of her writing has appeared in Prelude, The Atlas Review, The Feminist Wire, BUST, Pouch, and elsewhere. She also teaches workshops at Brooklyn Poets.