This interview concerns Danny Snelson’s Epic Lyric Poem (Troll Thread 2015). It was conducted in person and transcribed by Christy Davids. It is part of the interview collection Reconfiliating: Conversations with Conceptual-Affiliated Writers (Essay Press 2015), which also includes interviews J Gordon Faylor and Divya Victor, as well as an afterword by Joseph Mosconi.
Caleb Beckwith: I’d like to talk about Epic Lyric Poem as well as some related practices in so-called conceptual writing. This may sound heterodox, but I read ELP as a narrative in which the lyric plays the central character. The book opens with an incantatory proem, which it follows with an invocation of the muses and a rising sense of conflict that ultimately resolves. I may be reading too closely here, but I want to ask about the role of narrative in this book. The first word in the title is “Epic,” a highly established form—maybe we can begin there.