Tag Archives: Molly Brodak

Awful Interview: Molly Brodak (Redux)

10 Mar

Molly Brodak

You probably remember Molly Brodak because last time she was Awfully Interviewed we discovered she was not only a Molly Brodak but also the last Unicorn (aka: Amalthea). Molly Brodak is still a revelation, and probably, yes, still the Unicorn. Since we last spoke she has been surrounded by a flurry of words, confectioner’s sugar, sprinkles, and glitter. These experiments resulted in her latest chapbook Essay on Parts of Day (Horseless Press) – a really stunning collection that will cause something to bloom inside you as you read. Molly will be reading at the Animal Bodies Release Party at Youngblood on March 14th.

So Molly, your latest chap is called Essay on Parts of Day. What’s your favorite part of day?

Hhhm, probably the morning is the best-looking part of day. But the part where I sit on the couch with a blanket is the best-feeling part of day.

Which can really be any time of the day, right? Are you a fan of naps? If so- do you prefer couch naps to bed naps?

Couch-blanket time can be anytime, which makes it, like, outside of time. BEYOND time. Naps… naps are hard. Sometimes I feel much worse after taking naps, sometimes better, so it seems like a real gamble. This is how I gamble. With naps. My life is full of danger and excitement.

Casinos would be much more tempting places if they incorporated blanketed couches- don’t you agree?

Yes that would be bad for me. Plus with a buffet nearby always that would be really, really bad for me. They could set up “nap roulette” rooms where you could take your chances with a nap, then eat some buffet, win or lose. I hope no one who is into investing in concept casinos is reading this.

That’s actually Vouched’s exact target audience. Buffets are really intimidating to me. Have you ever been to a Golden Corral?

Have I…ever…Been…to Golden Corral?? The Trough? You are now talking about my favorite restaurant. How could it possibly be intimidating? It’s true that buffets can be kind of stressful in some ways. But I always seem to manage.

Is it called the trough? I hadn’t heard that before! What’s your first go-to at a breakfast buffet? I usually go straight to the Belgian Waffles, when they’re available.

This is a real place.

The Trough

Well I think just my sister and I call it the Trough. I feel like a pig knocking against other pigs in the chute when I go there! Yes Belgian Waffles are a good choice. Pancakes get sort of rubbery if they sit for too long. Sausage gets filmy and resistant. Eggs get glacial and start to feel doomed. The large tub of yogurt giggles when you walk; no one wants it. Bacon is okay with difficulties. Biscuits think of themselves as asteroids. The syrup winds up under a protective sheet of itself.

Wow, that’s really beautiful, Molly. Do you feel that your relationship with your writing is similar to your relationship with your cooking, or are they different beasts entirely?

They are pretty different beasts. I really like writing recipes for baked goods because I like codes and patterns and proportions, so there’s probably some similarity in poetry but I try to not think about that too much because it seems corny. I like to bake because I want to make these weird things exist in the world that don’t exist yet, so probably that is like poems too.

What’s the most innovative thing you’ve ever baked?

My boyfriend Blake is always trying to come up with difficult baking challenges for me, which I love. So the weirdest things I make are usually responses to his challenges. Once he asked me for spherical cookie so I made a mold by wrapping foil around a baseball and filling the mold with dough with a marshmallow baked inside (the marshmallow melts away during baking, leaving a hollow center I injected with frosting). One of my favorite weird cookies is a variation on a tuile cookie where I take really thin batter and “screenprint” it across shapes cut out of foam. They come out incredibly thin, then I stack them with frosting to make a sort of 3-d shape. Last spring I made strawberries this way, maybe this year I’ll make little bananas.

If you were to describe the upcoming reading as a confection- what would it be?

A parfait! Duh! With a LOT of layers so you need a LONG spoon.

An announcement!

27 Feb


Running a Vouched table has its restrictions- Christopher & Tyler can attest to this. It is a labor of love that would prove cumbersome otherwise- lugging a table and an oversized rubbermaid of books into different venues, setting up and tearing down. Often, when I side-shuffle with the rubbermaid back to my car after an event, I ponder the limitations of the guerrilla bookstore – how restricted we are by the size, portability, and durability of the books we carry.

Opening a bookstore would contradict the heart of Vouched. It is SO key that we’re nomadic. We have no overhead! No bills to worry about! No employees, really, aside from ourselves! We can keep our price points low and set up the table on a whim if we like. Often, in the Spring and Summer, I contemplate just setting up with some lemonade (+bourbon) on any ol’ sidewalk. We have the freedom to do that.

Still, it is a vexation that certain titles just don’t work with the nature of our guerrilla bookstores. It’s something I’ve struggled with since launching here. That is until Youngblood Boutique approached me a few weeks ago about carrying some of our wares permanently in their store.

Youngblood is a staple here. Located right along the main drag of the Poncey Highlands, they’ve been kicking ass since 2003 by offering a broad variety of fresh work from local and national artists and artisans. Really, their mission is  a broader version of our own. They’ve been fervent supporters of Vouched since we launched here in Atlanta- going so far as to donate their space for our launch reading in July 2011. Here’s a picture from that.


As of March 14th a special run of Vouched Books will be regularly available at the boutique. Being there opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for what can be sold- it’s a thrill to bring a whole new body of literature to the city through this partnership.

To celebrate- we’re throwing a party– a release party taboot! We’re also celebrating the release of David Courtright’s beautiful chapbook of poetry Animal Bodies– lovingly designed, hand-sewn & assembled collection of poetry from Two Steps Press in Athens, GA. It will stir your insides! Our readers for the evening? David Courtright, Molly Brodak, Bruce Covey, and Maggie Ginestra. Plus, there will be music from Christ, Lord! All of this goodness will take place on Thursday, March 14th. Readings will commence at 7:30 p.m.

Here’s a promotional video for the chapbook.

The next few weeks will be full of reviews, interviews, etc. to get you as pumped as I am!


19 Apr

Maybe it’s rude or not cool to talk like this, but who am I so I’ll say it: my last three rejections from Sixth Finch have echoed “These are so close! Keep trying!” which could mean any number of things, but after reading that new digital stack of goodness the Sixth Finch crew has assembled, I’m kind of like “Shooo-weee, I’m glad they said no.” Sincerely, honestly, down right, my poems don’t belong in this issue, or any of their issues yet. Sixth Finch is one of my two or three go-to-the-day-it-drops poetry journals and they haven’t let up, man.

Like “Lying” by Molly Brodak, fleeting and contemplative, and I feel kinda how I feel in a big used bookstore, the centuries of thoughts in stacks, the unending search, here collapsed, compressed, into this neat little pile.

Like “The Seep-Child” by G.C. Waldrep, a growing flame about fire and the burning and people, how they burn, and here in this word hunk, I follow, amazed at how it moves and shines, this idea of fire pushed and pressed on and on.

Like “from Pink and Grey” by Dan Boehl, this reminder of how inside a simple scene, a moment, always this hulking gap, this hunk of missing.

And the art, too, snagging its own rightful spot alongside the words, always crisp, startling depictions of thewhat’s up.


Vouched ATL September wrap-up

13 Oct

Whoa September flew by! It feels like maybe October is following suit. Before time gets away from me I’d like to do a round up of VouchedATL’s September happenings. But since it’s October, I’ll sneak a trick in the treat: this whole post is backwards.

We had a reading on September 19th! It was full of wonder and glory! Our readers were stupendous! The venue was amazing! The audience was beautiful!

Here’s a picture of Molly Brodak and Matt DeBenedictus reading to us. They charmed everyone’s pants off. Molly made caramels and they were absolutely delicious. That tells you a lot about Molly, doesn’t it? I can only imagine that it takes great patience and precision to make chocolate dipped caramels. She’s just as careful with her words, and it shows.

Matt gave everyone choices. He would hold up his hands and summarize option 1 and option 2. It was kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure situation. Who doesn’t love choosing their own adventure? At the end of one of his stories, about different popes, he stood up on his chair like a boss. It was great.

Before them Cristina Martin read. Her poems are sweet and carbonated like champagne, brimming with description that bursts off the page. They’re beautiful to hear. Cristina read after Daniel Beauregard, whose poetry is full of undercurrents and introspection. This is what they looked like reading.

First of the evening was Sarah Beard, who was spritely and potent. Before her there was set-up times. Check out the amazing lighting that the goat-farm had for us!

The VouchedATL Chalkboard actually made its debut a week before at the Decatur Book Festival! Two days of book-loving bliss with the great people of Wink!   The pictures say quite a bit for me.

I’d like to take a second and thank all of the local writers who came by to visit throughout the two days: Gina Myers, Cristina Martin, Molly Brodak, Matt DeBenedictis, Tom Cheshire, Jamie Iredell (+ family!), Blake Butler, Ben Spivey, Melysa Martinez, Johnny Carroll, and John Steen. All of you really made my weekend. It was also wonderful to meet so many new writers and readers. I hope that everyone at the festival had as much fun as we did. (Trust me, we had a lot of fun.)

Also a thousand thank you’s to the good people of the Goat Farm who were so incredibly helpful . More thank you’s to our stupendous readers! Thank you to Wink for being the best bunch of booth buddies! Thank you to my awesome husband for being such a champion with a camera!

Our next Vouched Presents reading will be Wednesday, November 9th at the Goatfarm, with awesome readings by Robert Pfeiffer, Gina Myers, Tom Cheshire, and Amy Herschleb! More details, Awful Interviews, and an awesome poster to come!

Awful Interview: Molly Brodak

15 Sep

Molly Brodak may or may not be a unicorn. Okay, okay…Molly Brodak is a unicorn. She lives off of ice-cream and marshmallows and she walks the earth only where the sunshines. You can tell where she’s been by the glitter and dew drops (sometimes those are one in the same). In case you didn’t get the memo earlier, (which should have arrived on the very best Lisa Frank stationery) Molly also happens to be a poet (because unicorns and poets really are one in the same). She will be reading her poetry at our next Vouched Presents reading here in Atlanta on the 19th. Don’t you want to come listen to a real-life unicorn read her poetry?

So, Molly. Have you ever noticed that you bear a stunning resemblance to Amalthea aka: The Last Unicorn from the 1989 movie The Last Unicorn (when she’s a human)? Which leads me to my next question, are you a unicorn?

Oh man! That is one of my favorite movies of all time. I can recite a lot of it if you’d like and sing for you the Last Unicorn song either as America or Kenny Loggins. I’m pretty sure it came out in ‘82 though–was putting the wrong date a test? You’ll have to do better. And to answer your question, yes, of course.

Wow! A real life unicorn! Do you live off of marshmallows? ‘82 makes much more sense, I was relying too heavily on imdb.com. You ‘re the star of the movie, so you probably remember better than I do. How does being a unicorn influence your writing? 

Marshmallows and ice cream. Um writing poems is a job requirement for unicorns. Like cobbling for cobblers. It’s nice to not have to worry about making “sense” or being “happy” with my poems or “surviving” off of them.

Where do you find your inspiration? Also, what happened with Noah’s Arc? That was pretty cut-throat of Noah. Do you still hold a grudge?

I find inspiration in learning about things. I read a lot of natural science, astronomy, history, biology, linguistics, and other random science writing. I just finished reading about John Snow who was the first to learn how to control the process of etherization by testing it on himself. He sat at his desk and inhaled ether or chloroform, passed out for a few minutes, then woke up and wrote about it. Out of his kitchen he built a controlled vaporizer in 1847, basically the same thing anesthesiologists use today, when three months before the very concept of etherization didn’t even exist. He also helped cure the biggest cholera outbreak in London by thinking about it more and in different ways than anyone else. Noah’s Arc is what the unicorns named Noah’s lightless eternal sphere, which is curvilinear and sort of cramped as a punishment for not letting us on Noah’s Ark, which we didn’t need anyway because we are ttly immortal.

Have your studies ever led you to consider taking up Alchemy? If so have you had any success with that? BTW that book sounds awesome. 

Everything is already Alchemy.

Does that mean that everything is gold? 

Well it wants to be. I mean that’s the thing about Alchemy–it doesn’t work.

What does work? Also, where is your favorite place to write? 

Gravity, antibiotics, nonstick foil, cruise control, antioxidants, Resolve© Stain Stick,  Sennelier Masking Fluid, eggs, smiling. My favorite place to write I guess is in bed at night, or sometimes in the car.

You just recently moved to Atlanta, whats your impression of our fair city? Favorite places? Least favorite places? 

 Honestly, it’s very wonderful. I keep expecting a giant sink hole to open beneath me because I can’t possibly be this pleased with life. I haven’t been around too much yet, but so far I really like the High Museum of Art and the post office near my building, which is also near a gelato place I’m not mad at. So far I have not liked the Emory University Hospital Emergency Room nor the sad dirty dumpster alley behind my apartment building where four heartbreakingly sad kittens live.

If you could say any thing to peer pressure/enchant someone into attending our reading on the 19th of September, what would you say? 

I would remind them that a unicorn dies every time a person chooses to stay in and watch tv or sleep instead of going to a poetry reading.

Whoa. Shit just got so real.