Daniel Blokh is a Creative Writing student at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and author of In Migration (BAM! Publishing, 2016) and a forthcoming poetry chapbook called Grimmening (ELJ Publications, 2018). Support Daniel in the Epic Read-A-Thon.
Why are you reading in the Epic Read-A-Thon and supporting the Desert Island Supply Co.?
The Desert Island Supply Co. is like no other place in Birmingham. I've been to so many different events there, from experimental rock bands to poetry readings. They even hosted a reading of mine in 2016. As a 15-year-old, there are not a lot of venues that I'm allowed to go to, much less host an event at. But DISCO is an exception, and for that, I couldn't be more proud to support it.
What are you going to read in the Epic Read-A-Thon?
Excerpts from Russian Fairy Tales, collected by Alexandr Afanas'ev.
Why did you choose to read excerpts from Russian Fairy Tales?
Everyone but me in my family is a Russian immigrant, so I was surrounded by the Russian culture growing up. I learned Russian as my first language, ate borscht and grechka as my friends ate bacon and grits, and grew up surrounded by Russian folk tales. Instead of Disney movies, I watched cartoons where Baba Yaga flew after her victims, or where a hero fought Koschei the Deathless to free his lover. These fairy tales were a big influence on me growing up, and I would like to share them with those unfamiliar with the culture.
Which five books would you take to a desert island?
Rose by Li-Young Lee, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and The Trouble with Poetry by Billy Collins.
What else would you take to a desert island?
A typewriter with an an endless supply of paper, or a computer with a word document open on it. My accordion. My drums. A sketchbook. A tent. A lot of bags. Bug spray. Knitting needles and yarn. An ax. A guide to surviving on a desert island.