Dan Gutstein Recommends...


“When I’m feeling a bit blue as a writer, I give myself an arts assignment, one that often features ‘categorical’ elements. A few years ago, for example, I decided to create a compilation of jump-blues music. I listened to several thousand songs, and in the process, found the compilation—more than 120 recordings, more than 150 songs—expanding to a seventh compact disc. Jump music rocks more than most rock music, reminding me to be entertaining, at the very least, when I read in front of audiences, and the ordering of the songs within the compilation reminded me how pieces—poems, stories—often need to speak to each other, in collections. This is saying nothing of the mid-song tenor sax jumps, guitar jumps, etcetera, as well as the lyrics that brought many salty characters and situations to light. I will often play these songs, like a jukebox, in my mind, and the rhythms creep into my language.”
Dan Gutstein, author of Non/Fiction (Edge Books, 2010)