Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst by Hosho McCreesh: Interview + Giveaway

Book Description
A 300+ page magnum opus of “drunken poetry” from Artistically Declined Press.

In the footsteps of Charles Bukowski comes Hosho McCreesh's magnum opus of drunk poetry. Mammoth in size and scope, A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst is unlike any of McCreesh's previous collections.

"A Deep & Gorgeous Thirst is for anyone who's ever had a drinking buddy -- and who hasn't? A perfect elegy to the illusions and delusions of alcohol. A book to be tasted and savored.”
—Mark SaFranko, author of Hating Olivia, and No Strings

“These may be the best (and certainly the most) drinking poems I’ve read in twenty years (which, coincidentally, was when I stopped writing them myself, because I’d stopped drinking). Hosh has colloquial dialogue (and monologue) down as close to perfect as it can get, and there’s a highly congenial tone to it all, no matter what stage of the bottle(s) the revelers find themselves. Great fun for all. And no morning-after…for the reader!”
—Gerald Locklin, author The Case Of The Missing Blue Volkswagen

“Hosho McCreesh’s new sweeping poetry collection, A Deep and Gorgeous Thirst, is, on the surface, about booze and bars and drinking a lot, something the speakers in Hosho’s poems know something about. But what’s beneath the surface is what counts. The people in these sly, funny, often heartbreaking poems know that a bar is never just a bar, a drink is never just a drink. These are poems about being human, the heartbreak and joy and horror of all that. McCreesh -- like the great Joseph Mitchell (see McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon), John Fante (Brotherhood of the Grape), and of course Charles Bukowski – knows that the truth comes up when illusions of control come down.”
— Lori Jakiela, author The Bridge to Take When Things Get Serious

                                                    Q & A with Hosho McCreesh

Q: For you, what is the best about writing?
The magic of words on a page, proving to ourselves and each other that we are not alone. People have felt -- and written about -- the same things we feel...and that shared experience is profound. It's how we know the hearts and minds of the dead -- through immortal words that have survived the centuries, and it's how we connect and spiritually conspire with strangers, living and dead, we will otherwise probably never meet.

Q: What do you consider influences on your writing?
Art, love, joy, death, life, loss, laughter, justice and injustice -- searching the vast inner universe for meaning while exisiting in our dreaming and waking lives.

Q: Do you think poetry is easier or harder to market than a novel, and why?
Poetry is absolutely. As to reasons -- heck, there's probably a combination of a few. First is that people don't like poetry. I suspect it has to do with the way poetry is taught -- the work of old dead guys is given to classrooms to read aloud or memorize while students are told that this is what poetry is. If the students don't respond to it -- and let's face it, few do -- then it begins to feel like this opaque chore. It's unbelievably difficult to get young students to ponder the weighty themes of the poetry in the it bears little resemblance to their lives at the time. Maybe in college it starts to make some sense -- but by then it's too late. I think we'd do much better to meet students where they are -- use examples of the things they already care about, find the "poetry" in the stuff they already enjoy. Dr. Suess, Shel Silverstein, up through the rappers and muscians of the day.

As for why novels are easier to market -- the vast entertainment industry (film, TV, books, even bedtime stories) is built on narrative, on story, most often a linear one...and most novels are a linear narrative. Readers might not know what to expect, page to page, but they certainly have an expectation of basic narrative and dramatic tenets -- beginning, middle, end, the hero's journey, etc. Poetry is an all together different beast. Poetry is, first, the words -- as few as possible -- with the larger themes built on association and contrast and image. The story, if there even is one, is a thing that happenes between lines and stanzas. It's a demanding kind of reading -- and as so many people are put off of the idea of it from early on (confused by what they've been taught and told poetry is), then many simply prefer not to even bother with it.

And, of course, there's the undeniable fact that so much that is widely hailed as "poetry" is written is such a dense and exclusionary kind of language that only the "poet" and his cronies get it. What we so often forget is that we need words when we're so profoundly affected by the largest joys and sorrows in life. And yet, when we need them, when we can't verbalize what we're feeling -- we look to poetry. The failure of "poets" for generations and centuries has been writing work that has no room for the average reader to participate. It should be an art of, by, and for people...for everyone. But it has been conscripted by academics instead...cordoned off, and kept from readers by the self-important language it chooses.

Q: What is the best advice you have been given?
A professor in college, Digby Wolfe, told me that "sometimes you have to kill your babies." Clearly it was aped from "kill your darlings," but it is amazing advice. The more in love you fall with the stink of your own shit, the worse it'll be for readers. Writers should write what they want to write -- but they shouldn't write for themselves. They must must MUST leave room in the work for others to join in, and partake. Otherwise, why even bother?

Q: What do you keep yourself busy with when you're not writing?
Eating, drinking, being merry with my tribe. Doing everything and nothing with my amazing woman, and her boy. Painting. Someday, hopefully. I'll even do some more filmmaking. Creating, living, loving -- that's what I enjoy.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Quarterback for the Oakland Raiders; a striker for either Ireland or the US in the World Cup. Now, all I want to be is Walt Whitman.

Q: Physical books (hard/paperbacks) or ebooks?
Physical books -- as I don't have a cell phone or an e-reader. I'm not opposed to them -- it's a great way to have lots of stuff to read at your fingertips. But a beautifully-made book is becoming more and more rare with each passing day -- and more and more necessary. If all human knowledge is inexorable ties to electricity -- then whoever controls electricity controls human knowledge. That's why presses like Bottle of Smoke, sunnyoutside, Tangerine, Blackheath, Chance Press are unbelievably important.

Buy artisan books. Buy directly from the press or the author. We can do that in this day and age...yes we can!

Q: What book are you reading now?
I often read lots of things at the same time, and in different locations. In my desk at work I have Studs Terkel's WORKING, Tony O'Neill's SONGS FROM THE SHOOTING GALLERY, and Gary Amdahl's ACROSS MY BIG BRASS BED; in my car I have ON THE ROAD and Dennis Johnson's TRAIN DREAMS; on the nightstand at home I have John Sayles' DILLINGER IN HOLLYWOOD, Willy Vlautin's newest THE FREE, Lori Jakiela's MISS NEW YORK HAS EVERYTHING, and I just finished re-reading Christopher Cunningham's AND STILL THE NIGHT LEFT TO GO + a huge to-read pile; On my computer is a small library of screenplays. And never enough time for everything...

About Hosho McCreesh
Hosho McCreesh is currently writing and painting in the gypsum and caliche badlands of the American Southwest. He has work appearing widely in print, audio, and online. Books available from Alternating Current, Artistically Declined Press, Bottle of Smoke Press, Mary Celeste Press, sunnyoutside, and Orange Alert Press.

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Hosho McCreesh is giving away the DrunkSkull Survival Kit ($50 worth of fabulous prizes!).   
The Kit will include:
-a copy of the book
-a recycled wine-bottle glass with the DrunkSkull logo on it 
-a jar of Fiery Gardens Artisan Jams & Jellies, 
-a DrunkSkull fridge magnet, 
-some stickers
-temporary tattoos
-a coaster
-a patch

Check out all the stops on this Making Connections blog tour! 


  1. Thank you thank you thank you for the fine interview, and for sharing my book with your people!

  2. thanks for the giveaway! pretty nifty stuff!!!