Punky Brewster, Flying Bicycles, and Jonesy the Cat from Alien, an Interview with our next feature Cam Awkward-Rich!

We’ve known Cam Awkward-Rich for quite some time and we think he is pretty damn neat-o! We are very much looking forward to his feature at the next San Francisco Queer Open Mic, THIS FRIDAY!, like, tomorrow, woo! Come check him out, and if you want to learn a little more about him before then, read the interview below.


1.      What is your favorite song? What are you listening to right now?
My favorites are always whatever I’m currently listening to, which right now is mostly the new album from Milo & Otis (Jamila Woods), Almost Us.

2.      Name a writer you admire, or have learned a lot from?
Oh, I’ve definitely learned the most about writing from my friends Sam Sax, Nic Alea, Danez Smith, Josh Smith, etc etc. Aside from that, Douglas A. Martin who was my thesis advisor in undergrad, and writes gorgeous novels.

3.      When did you decide to be a writer, what made you decide that?
I’m not sure I really “decided” to become a writer. I was just a sad preteen who wrote because it was the only way I knew how to put a name to what in the world I was so sad about. Cliché, but there it is.

4.      Who would you hang out with India Jones or Ripley from Aliens?
Neither, but I would love to hang out with the cat who survived the first Alien movie with Ripley.

5.      What is your favorite spot to read/recite in the Bay Area?
Is it bad if I say my show? (The New Shit Show, 1st/3rd Fridays at Merchants of Reality in SF). Honestly, I haven’t really had time lately to be other places, but I do love the new shit community.

6.      Do you have a favorite role model?
Punky Brewster.

7.      What writer should we be reading right now that you would recommend?
Anne Carson Autobiography of Red, Maggie Nelson Bluets, Tarfia Faizullah Seam, and Claudia Rankine Citizen (when it comes out in October).

8.      Favorite restaurant in your neighborhood?
My kitchen.

9.      What’s wrong with the literary world today?

10.   Favorite junk food?
Ice cream.

11.   What would you like to see happen in your lifetime?
Flying cars, or in my case, flying bicycles.

12.   How do you get in the mood, when you write? Do you have any rituals?
Mostly I just walk around talking to myself…is that weird?

13.   If you could say something to young writers everywhere right now, what would you say to them? Run? Do it? Advice? Love? What would be your message?
I think we have to make art to sustain ourselves and each other and to figure out how to survive our worlds and our language. So do it, of course, but only because you want to or need to, not because you expect to be able to get famous or make a living as a writer.  Which sucks, sure, but

14.   What is your favorite movie now? Favorite band? Favorite Celebrity?
I’ve lumped these all together, because the answer is the same: I don’t really live in the 21st century, so I don’t know things like the names of celebrities or bands. Also I don’t really watch movies…sorry. It’s best to think of me as an 85 year old man, you know?

15.   What are you most proud of?
I can do a back flip.

Friday, May 23rd
7pm sign-ups, show at 7:30
Modern Times Bookstore
2919 24th Street in San Francisco!

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