Nolan Liebert Responds To Our Questions!


What is your beverage of choice?

It’s summer. So, while you can usually find me drinking a Coke, lately I’ve been drinking Arnold Palmers. Sometimes I add some gin or vodka.

Tell us a little bit about your work in REALITY BEACH.

I have spent a long time denying my roots, as a human and as a writer. I was born and raised in the Midwest, am living here with my own wife and children, and spent the better part of a decade as part of the South Dakota Oral History Center. This past year I’ve been working on a currently unpublished chapbook titled silo//bunker, which explores regional history, geography, and myth trough my own lens. “Irregular Flight” is a part of that exploration.

What is your typical writing process?

I get phrases stuck in my head – from a dream, from an outing with my family, from something I misheard at work or at the library. These fragments will circle around in my head, linking up with other fragments until a core idea is formed. I build everything I write around these core ideas, attaching tendon and muscle to bones. Each poem or story of mine is its own living, breathing creation.

If you had a talk show, what would the name be?

Water Pressure. I would host it in lakes or the ocean, and we wouldn’t talk, just try to catch amazing scenes underwater. Maybe we’d say a few words at the end about how stunning and unknowable these aquatic ecosystems are. I imagine some guests would be upset they didn’t get to plug their most recent film or song or book, but some would try to talk to the fish or play games in forests of giant kelp. That would be awesome.

Do you have any home remedies for loneliness?

Don’t be alone. Get hugs. Hugs are the best.

What have you conquered recently?

I beat my son in a game of Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots.

Where can we buy more of your work (if applicable)?

I have an unclassifiable piece titled “The Swing, OR How to Ricochet According to Sylvia Plath” in An Alphabet of Embers, edited by Rose Lemberg. The paperback was just recently made available on Amazon. I’m extremely proud of this publication, and am honored to be included in its table of contents.

What motivates you?

My family. Good music. Quality liquor. An intense fear of being forgotten.

Any upcoming projects?

I am continuing to tinker with individual pieces in silo//bunker as I prepare to submit it. Other than that, my main focus is on two short series of poems, one based on the art of Man Ray, the other based on the work of female surrealists.

If Earth is a mother, and Time is a father, then what is Art?

An invocation to evoke feeling. A spell. A mantra. The energy that keeps everything alive.

Make sure to check out Nolan’s poem in Issue Two!