Today’s Cardiff geography comes from long time friend of the blog and one time Cardiffian, poet Bill Trub. If you’re in the Cardiff area TONIGHT MONDAY 14 JULY 2014, he will be doing a poetry reading at 7pm in Gwdhiw. So get down there!
Q. Tell us about yourself
Bill Trub. I’m not great at this which must be why my online dating profile gets little action.
I’m a 32-year-old American writer and wanderer. I’m currently on a UK tour of my debut book of poems, All Men Are Afraid (Cinnamon Press). It took me ten years to write and get it published, so I’m really savouring sharing the poems with friends and strangers around England and Wales. The book’s a beer-soaked romp through the world, a collection of bizarre, stray underdogs trying to break through, a tangle of dysfunctional relationships, a call to readers to reexamine gender identity. It’s an awful anniversary gift, but great for your weird friend’s birthday. If you don’t have a weird friend, you’re the weird friend so you can buy it for yourself. When I’m not reading to adults, I am a lecturer of English at a university in China.
Q. Explain your Cardiff connection
In 2003, I booked a one-way flight, packed two suitcases and moved to a mythical, dragon-protected place called Cymru. I didn’t know anyone in all of the UK and didn’t know what to expect, but I remember being confident in the decision. I enrolled in an MA at Cardiff University and became very comfortable very quickly. I was a brash, young kid in a brash, young capital with a castle zonked down in the middle of it. By day, I was in creative writing seminars with poets and novelists from all over the world. By night, I was dancing to the pulse of St. Mary’s or Womanby Street. Weekends, you could find my on cliff’s edge in the Gower, exploring Brecon or eating hummus in Bute Park. Even though Cardiff is no longer my full-time home, I packed part of it with me when I left.
Q. What’s your favourite food?
Cold sandwiches… A chicken and bacon baguette with butter and salad. Pita and hummus. Tomato, pesto and mozzarella wrap. Chicken tikka on a bun. Salt bagel and cream cheese.
Q. What book are you currently reading?
‘Telling Tales’ by Patience Agbabi. It’s a reworking of Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’, set in modern Britain. Agbabi has accomplished something brilliant and important with this book. I saw her performance of it last month in Rochester Cathedral and was gob smacked. There’s even a poem about Cardiff.
Q. Last film you watched
I’m tempted to lie and say a really cool indie flick, but honesty is my biggest flaw. I watched We Are the Millers at my friend’s house last week. It was actually really funny. When Jason Sudekis’ character encourages his faux son to give a Mexican cop a blow job by saying, “Just pretend it’s a girl’s penis,” I couldn’t stop laughing. I’m laughing now. Also, it has Nick Offerman in it and he is the man.
Q. Current favourite band
I’m listening to Little Dragon quite a lot on long bus, train and plane rides. I dig their songs “Paris” and “Pretty Girls” but the whole Nabuma Rubberband album is solid. Generally, I like music with a unique female vocal and strange beats. Think Bjork, Portishead, MIA, Santigold, Morcheeba, Tori Amos, Missy Elliott, Aluna George, Roisin Murphy, Robyn, Nelly Furtado.
Q. Tell us a secret
I’ve been living out of a backpack for the last five weeks. I didn’t have anything to wear to my book reading and signing tonight (Monday, July 14, Gwdihw Bar, 7pm) so rather than do laundry and iron, I just bought more clothes at a shop on Queen Street.
Thanks Bill! Hope to see some of you tonight. In the meantime, here’s some more info about him …
(Photo by Nathan William Meyer 2014)