Whatcha Reading, Knox Gardner?

Every week we ask an interesting figure what they're digging into. Have ideas who we should reach out to? Let it fly: info@seattlereviewofbooks.com. Want to read more? Check out the archives.

Knox Gardner is a poet and photographer, as well as publisher and editor-in-chief of the unique and wonderful local press Entre Rios Books — a press that focuses on collaborations between poets and artists. He's the author of two collaborations: Twelve Saints, with Nia Michaels, and the brand-new release Woodland, with musician Aaron Otheim. Gardner will be appearing twice in the near future in support of Woodland: Sunday, June 2nd, at Open Books (see our Event of the Week column for more details), and the official book launch for Woodland, Monday June 13th at Hugo House, where he will be joined by Otheim.

What are you reading now?

I was just in New York for the first time in maybe a decade and saw on one of those discount classics racks in a book store, Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. It seemed appropriate being in NYC and in our new gilded age, and over the last few weeks with all the new restrictive abortion laws subjugating women, perhaps more so. I feel like I must have read Age of Innocence in college, but I am not sure. I almost always end up reading the end of books first, so I know this is going to be a tragedy, but what I was not expecting is how funny and bitchy Wharton can be. My book is all marked up with zippy one-liners for my inner queen. Seriously, all queens should be reading Wharton. Oh Miss Bart is going to make some bad choices!

What did you read last?

I had the good fortune to find in a used book store on the same trip, Drift by Caroline Bergvall. It is the most intense, engaging “narrative” poetry book I’ve read — as far as how one might manipulate language to tell difficult stories — since Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red. This is a deep, profound work by both the writer and book designer — truly a collaboration in design much like Don Mee Choi's impressive Hardly War with Wave Books. Our publicist has been encouraging me to start taking our press in a more national direction — and to publish work like this, well yes, I would. This book peers in to the despair of the refugee crisis, into our deep past, to create something so startling and immediate.

What are you reading next?

One brutal thing since starting the press is how much less time I have for reading and yet how many more books are piling up around the house. If the fires don’t ruin lake swimming season, I am planning on a bit more of that this year, during what I hope is about a month long production break. These are the books currently at the top of my list: