Fellows Friday: Q&A with Kevin Varrone

Fellows Friday: Q&A with Kevin Varrone

Kevin Varrone, 2012 Pew Fellow. Photo by Colin Lenton.

As part of our “Fellows Friday” web feature, we focus on the artistic lives of our Pew Fellows: their aspirations, influences, and creative challenges. This week, we speak to 2012 Pew Fellow and poet Kevin Varrone. Since receiving his Pew Fellowship, Varrone has developed Box Score: An Autobiography, an app for iPad and iPhone that features work from his book Eephus—a collection of prose poems about baseball—paired with collages. Box Score: An Autobiography, the book version, will be released by Furniture Press in 2014.

What could you imagine doing if you didn’t do what you do?

Architecture and carpentry. I’d love to design and build smallish houses—like, old-style shotgun beach cottages. Or have a small farm filled with non-productive animals.

Which artist would you most like to have dinner with, from any time in history?

Joseph Cornell, I think. He was such a strange and interesting guy. He’s from where I’m from and he reminds me of my grandmother.

If you could collaborate with anyone alive today (someone you don’t know personally), who would it be?

I’m very interested in the possibilities of apps for poetry and art, and there are these amazing people at an outfit called Moonbot Studios who produce really gorgeous work. It would be an absolute dream to work with them.

How has your thinking about the business of your practice changed since you started working professionally?

I used to think that good work would find an audience of its own volition—that my job was writing poems, and the rest was up to someone or something else. That was naïve. I currently think there are two things: making work and presenting work. For me, the latter is the business part of it.

What do you most daydream about when you are working?

Clarity, and the coastline of Maine.