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 Deborah Kalb:
Q: You write that Lillian Boxfish is based on a real advertising woman and poet named Margaret Fishback. How did you decide to write a novel based on her life, and what did you see as the right balance between history and fiction?Visit Kathleen Rooney's website.
A: [My friend Angela McClendon Ossar] happened upon Fishback's papers, she knew instantly that Fishback...would appeal to me as a person, and that her comedy in both her ads and her light verse would appeal to my sensibility.
Thanks to Angela, I got to be the first non-archivist to work with her materials. But it took me almost a decade to decide what form my work on Fishback would take.
The key that let me decide--and that also let me strike that balance between history and fiction--was my own love of flanerie: aimless walking through an urban environment. I knew that if I let my Lillian Boxfish be a city walker, I could free myself up to do the imaginative work necessary to make it a novel.
Q: What type of research did you need to do to recreate the decades you write about, and was there anything that especially surprised you?
A: I tried to follow the rule of...[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.