In early 2020, Mag Field will publish Alban Fischer’s full-length book Fake Moon.
Alban Fischer is the founding editor of Trnsfr and Trnsfr Books, and author of the poetry chapbook Status Area. As a graphic designer, he has worked with a number of organizations, including Alice James Books, The Believer, Bellevue Literary Press, Coffee House Press, Columbia University Press, Faceout Studio, Turtle Point Press, and Verso. His work has been selected for AIGA and Design Observer ’s 50 Books /50 Covers, was included in the 2018 AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show, and has been recognized by The Book Cover Archive, The Casual Optimist, and Spine Magazine. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he serves as Graphic Designer for YesYes Books and Art Director of Sarabande Books.
Here’s a short missive from Alban, in response to some questions about his current writing practices, interests, and the forthcoming book:
As far as deep dailiness, um... I'm afraid there's not much happening there. Work? I recently remodeled my office. It is now--finally--a warm and inviting space. My work can be all-consuming, so having a space that isn't cluttered or drab is great for the spirit, I think. I feel so much less stressed than I have in a long while. And I am working on taking more time for myself, more time to relax and decompress and follow my own pursuits. I think I used to have a more distinct routine and was able anchor myself in daily ritual; it is something I've been conscious of of late, actually, and I'd like to get back to that.
I recently read Graham Foust's Nightingalelessness, which is wonderful. I love Foust's work--the divergent, forking logic of his poems, spidering out in tightly twined strands of seemingly opposing vernacular feels both madcap and restorative. Each poem is like a Gatling gun of poetic epiphany. I want to say that I completely understood Carlo Rovelli's The Order of Time and that I came away with a greater acceptance of the infinite, endless granularity of our existence, but I didn't. It was nonetheless beautifully written and immersive. Oh and Claire-Louise Bennett's Pond! There are no words ("rapturous" sounds about right, though).
Movies. I have to say, I thought Bad Times at the El Royale was brilliant. I liked it a great deal, and wasn't expecting to. I can't think of anything else I've seen recently worth noting. Music-wise, I've been obsessed with the new Sharon Van Etten, Amen Dunes, and Deerhunter albums, and with trying to figure out what is going on sonically/aurally/mentally when I listen to Miley Cyrus' "Younger Now" that makes me so captivated.
Fake Moon was written over a period of fifteen years. Which is to say, made from pieces and parts of five other manuscripts and three unfinished projects/poem cycles. Some of the poems were written specifically for Fake Moon. I kept wanting to add to the book after getting it into its current form, but I feel like this book exactly represents some older version of myself. It's like a little funeral. Well, not quite--it's the best funeral suit I could make for the corpse of old-me? I'm talking almost exclusively to myself in these poems, but in a highly coded way. I think it's the only way I could safely talk about some things in case anyone happened to be listening--the joys and pains and convulsions of life experienced with a now ex-lover of seventeen years, silently enduring a years-long anxiety disorder, suicidalness, physical trauma, political outrage, the death of my stepmother, my estranged birth mother, her mental illness--leavened with some general playing around with my influences. I think my next book will be very different.