Interview with Hannah Frishberg

As we’re wrapping up our interviews with Issue 11’s authors, we’re also wrapping up Issue 12’s submission period. I guess technically we’re closed to submissions, but due to ambiguous wording with ending on July 1 and what with not being the fucking Paris Review, I think anything that slips in today will count. Therefore, submit away until the submissions page says otherwise, slackers.

So here’s Hannah. She submitted just three poems, and two of them, “The Brooklyn Hallelujah” and “Stoop Dreams,” made it into our hallowed, holy pages. It turns out her and I have a lot in common, as you can see. We both love animals and catching dreams, for instance.

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Describe your work in 25 words or less.
Young blunt and extreme. But positive. I try to stay positive about everything.
 
Tell us about your poems “The Brooklyn Hallelujah” and “Stoop Dreams.”
They’re both mostly true. I really dig Brooklyn. I grew up here. Brooklyn stories are much crazier than most, I’ve found. Shit just happens here. Everything changes constantly.
 
Who or what inspires you to write?
Bukowski’s pretty great, and so is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But mostly I’m inspired by the things I experience. I can’t really write about shit if I haven’t experienced it to some degree.
 
What are your thoughts on print vs. online publications?
I wish people still read print, but most don’t. I like my work to by as accessible as possible, and often that means putting it online. That said, it’s really beautiful when I get to see my work in print. I like being able to literally hold my words. It’s more measurable, more tangible, more clearly art.
 
How do you feel about being a writer in New York City? Do you find the community more supportive or competitive?
I love New York. The energy here, it’s addictive. There’s no shortage of things to write about. My community here right now is mainly old friends and random strangers who eventually become old friends, and they’re all very supportive. I like New Yorkers cause they are, for the most part, very driven and slightly crazed. If people are competitive with me, I guess I haven’t noticed.
 
What are you working on right now?
A book about the Gowanus Batcave! It’s an abandoned powerhouse turned squat that’s now privately owned. I think it’s a great story and one that really speaks to the current state of gentrification in NYC. I’ve interviewed so many people for the project, heard so many wild stories. It’s an incredible space, and I’m scared it’ll be forgotten. I’m tryna immortalize it.
 
Do you have a website/blog for your work?
Not yet, but I should really get on that.
 
Where can we read you next?
I have a bimonthly column at CurbedNY called In Focus, where I interview NYC street photographers and feature their work. I also write for DNAInfo New YorkGothamist, Narratively, and Atlas Obscura, among others.
 
Any advice for your fellow writers?
Make writing a habit, not a routine.
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About bopdeadcity

Bop Dead City is an independent, quarterly literary magazine. We are seeking new writers who have a great story to tell. Sound craftsmanship couldn't hurt either. All of our issues are available for purchase here on the site through Paypal. If you’d like to know more about what type of work we publish, reading a back issue would be the best way to do it. View all posts by bopdeadcity

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