Speaking With Travis Nichols

‘The More You Ignore Me’ tackles a lot of important and current themes regarding the internet and its uses. How do you feel about Social Media Platforms and their ever- increasing influence on our daily lives?

I woke up last night at about 4 thinking about something I needed to Skype over to my colleagues and wondering if it might also make for a funny Tweet.  It was totally unimportant, not even that clever, just a riff on a phrase we all say unthinkingly in emails.  Now, I really needed to get some sleep last night because my wife and son are both sick, and I just took a week off of work so I’m woefully behind.  But I was awake, spinning my brain’s wheels about what I was going to type and send to the people I work with, really trying to get the exact phrasing down.  I won’t reveal the state secret here, but it had something to do with Sunglass Hut and engraved Zippos.  I did eventually send it off via phone while I was on the train, and it got a few “ha ha” responses.

The-More-You-Ignore-Me-356x535I see that you have two books of poetry out as well. What are some of the similarities and difference when writing a novel vs poetry?

As a reader, I usually want poetry to immediately alter my sense of reality, the language should disorder and intrigue in a way that requires no preface.  In fiction, I have more patience for the set-up. So as a writer, I try to keep those expectations in mind as I make my distinctions.

What do you think are some of the greatest struggles young writers are facing today? And do you think these struggles are unique to our time?

The greatest struggle for writers of any age is the struggle against oblivion.

Where do you draw inspiration from and what would you say to authors who find themselves low on it? 

I find the most inspirational to do for any artist is the thing that he or she most doesn’t want to do. Left to my own devices, I would just stay inside and read by myself, which does very little by way of inspiration if it’s the only thing I do.  So, I would like to be open to life and all its possibilities more, to be more generous in all respects to PEOPLE rather than to corporations and my own self interest.  I have almost never regretted staying out later, talking to more people, listening, cooking dinner, saying I have no idea what is happening please help.

Who are some of your favourite authors and if you had to recommend a book to a friend what would it be?

The list is so long, so the best I can do is just tell you what’s had a hold on me recently. I spent three days in Alabama away from just about everything in June, and that time allowed me to inhale Will Oldham’s book, which is up there with Chris Ware’s journals and Eileen Myles’ Inferno as one of the most terrifyingly accurate representations of what it’s like to actually live as an artist.  Mary Ruefle’s essays Madness, Rack, and Honey do all of the great things those three titular things do.

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