Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy! (Fifth Star Press, 2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012). With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). A winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, her reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Rumpus, The Nation, the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay.
Rooney's new book, her second novel, is Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk.
From Rooney's Q&A with Adam Morgan at the Chicago Review of Books:
Adam Morgan: What does flânerie mean to you personally? How has it impacted your writing and your relationship with Chicago?Visit Kathleen Rooney's website.
Kathleen Rooney: Walking saves my life every day. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the world, simultaneously so basic and (ha) pedestrian, but also magical and transcendent. I despise cars (so bad for our health, our earth, and our society), but I adore mapping a place with my feet. Physically and emotionally, walking feels right to me in a way that being in a vehicle never, ever does.
I love the opportunities to read the city like a book in super-close detail—walking is near and slow enough to do that. And I love the chance encounters with people and places you get on foot that you don’t quite get from other forms of transportation, even on a bike (which I say as someone who also likes to bicycle around the city).
Chicago is a tough city to walk, I can’t lie, because it’s so huge and spread out, and because its neighborhoods are so unevenly resourced. But those are some of the reasons I love to walk here. My flaneur friend and DePaul colleague Eric Plattner and I often set out early in the morning and walk from 9 am to 5 pm, covering 10 miles, 12 miles, 15 miles. And doing that—traversing so many different landscapes—teaches you things about a city and the people in it, as well as its history and future. Who has power and who lacks it, who is remembered and who is forgotten, who is thriving, who is struggling—all of those things about who is at the margins and who is at the center.
I wish Rahm Emanuel would take more walks. I think...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Live Nude Girl.
The Page 99 Test: For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs.
My Book, The Movie: For You, for You I Am Trilling These Songs.
My Book, The Movie: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk.
Writers Read: Kathleen Rooney.