Awful Interview: Gina Myers

1 Nov

I would let Gina Myers narrate my life. Her voice is as calming as Sigourney Weaver’s. You can hear for yourself on November 9th at our next Vouched Presents. She has lived in Saginaw, Michigan,  New York City  and now lives in Atlanta.  All of these cities have taken up residence in her poetry. They live and breathe in her sentences, the way we live and breathe in their streets. Her collection, A Model Year, was released by Coconut books in 2009.

Vouched: Okay, let’s start with the important stuff. You’re a really big sports fan. How has that influenced your writing?

Gina: I think sports, like literature, is a form of escape for many people. Some of my earliest memories involve listening to the Detroit Tigers on the radio, trading baseball cards with my brother, and hearing my grandpa complain about Sparky Anderson. It provides an outlet or distraction from the everyday, especially when the everyday isn’t so pleasant. We constantly hear negative news reports of Michigan’s economy and crime rates, but the Tigers can give us hope. Or the Lions. Even if for years they’ve brought us misery, it’s a bonding experience that connects fans with each other. And sports has a lot of parallels to literature–the fallen heroes, the lovable losers, the possibility of redemption.

Vouched: That leads me to two questions: 1. Do you still have your baseball card collection? 2. Do you have a favorite ‘lovable loser’ from your teams?

Gina: I no longer have my baseball card collection. I’m not sure when I got rid of it but probably sometime during high school after it sat neglected in a shoebox on a shelf in my closet for years. As a kid, I loved Doug Baker, who was a complete nobody, but my brother–who is older than me–told me that he was a really great player, and he was really doing me a huge favor by trading the Doug Baker card for whatever card of mine that he coveted. More recently I was a big of Joel Zumaya, a pitcher for the Tigers, who was an amazing talent but could never get it together due to injuries.

Vouched: If you had to choose between having a peg leg or a pirate hook, which would you choose and why?

Gina: I’d go for the hook. I love walking & I’d be concerned that the peg leg would slow me down. And if I had the hook, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about safety walking through the city at night.

Vouched:  A hook would certainly be very vicious. Are you dressing up for Halloween?

Gina: Right now I don’t have any plans for the night, so I haven’t thought about a costume. But if something comes up, I’ll put something together. I love Halloween but frequently miss it or under-do it each year. The day after I always think, next year I should plan better, but I never do.

Vouched: What’s your favorite thing about Halloween? Scary movies? Crazy people? Haunted Houses?

Gina: All of the above! When I was young, I always liked the Halloween episodes of TV shows like Roseanne and The Simpsons, and scary movies were a sleepover staple. I haven’t been to a haunted house since I was in high school, but I used to enjoy doing that too. I kind of like creepy things–cobwebs, cemeteries, spiders, and so on. And I like mischief too, and Halloween allows for some of that. In Michigan, we have Devil’s Night, which is on October 30th, and is a night of mischief–smashing pumpkins, egging houses, toilet papering, etc. But in more recent years it’s become more known as a night of arson, and some community organizers and church-minded people have attempted to rebrand it Angel’s Night.

Vouched: I’m a big fan of the Simpson’s Halloween episodes too! Have you considered bringing Devil’s Night to Atlanta? It sounds like April Fools Day covered in darkness. April Fool’s day is a personal favorite of mine. I love me some pranks.

Gina: I hadn’t considered what Devil’s Night in Atlanta would be like, but it seems like it would be much warmer here, which could encourage a lot of people to be out causing mischief. I have an uncle who was born on April Fool’s Day, and his name is Mike Myers, which brings us back to Halloween…

Vouched: That’s stupendous! I bet his costume just kind of decides itself. I had a friend in high school named Michael Bolton, but he lived up to the name in the ‘Office Space’ sense a little bit more than the ‘Long-haired man whose voice makes 90’s moms swoon” sense. Speaking of, who do you think would win in a fist fight: Yanni or Michael Bolton?

Gina: Michael Bolton. Gut instinct.

Vouched: How would you go about persuading someone into attending our reading on November 9th?

Gina: It will be a great escape from the everyday. Plus there will be goats!

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