Justin Marks

Justin Marks: Why Should I Read YOUR Book ????


ok, Justin, so why should we read YOUR book ???

Why should you read my book? I have no fucking clue. I don’t even know why I wrote it, except that doing so was part of a compulsion I have to make things, and the only means I have for doing that, the “talent” I have, is writing. Writing in general, poetry in particular. If it were different, I would have written a novel or a memoir or a scholarly book or something YA.

My book is none of those things. There is some narrative, but it’s pretty fractured, as they say. There are characters, but not the kind you really get to know. I present them from my point of view only. It’s poetry, for Chrissakes! The lyric “I.”

The book is about me and my life, but also other lives I wish I’d had. Or think I wish I had. It is about struggle, though is decidedly not “My Struggle.”

Overall, it’s pretty adult. By which I don’t mean porn, though there is a fairyou going to miss me amount of sex (not) happening in the book. It’s about trying to be a grown up and how much that fucking sucks. It’s about choosing a life and then having to actually live it (auto correct tried to change “live” to “love”). It’s about making decisions and having to live with them, which also fucking sucks.

It’s about broken bones. And booze.

Life, death, love and (un)happiness. Kids.

And then, by the end, it’s about realizing what a sick piece of shit you are and having to live with that. Having to figure out a way to be a better person, behave responsibly because, really, the way things are going, it’s just not going to end well.

Or maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s about something else entirely. I don’t know. You tell me.                         (Justin Marks, 8/2014, NYC)

Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
August 16th, 2014 / 10:00 am

Introducing Barrelhouse, a poetry press


Great news! Barrelhouse is putting out its first book of poetry. It’s by Justin Marks and it’s called You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re BoredI asked Barrelhouse editor Dan Brady some questions.

Has Barrelhouse published books before, aside from the journal?

Last year we published an anthology of pop culture non-fiction called Bring the Noise, which was kind of a greatest hits anthology from the magazine, but it had some new stuff too. That served as a nice transition from working exclusively on the magazine to doing books as well. We wanted to learn how book production would be different from a print mag and work with people we trusted and who trusted us to do a good job.


Behind the Scenes & Presses / 4 Comments
January 20th, 2014 / 1:25 pm

Justin Marks- An HTMLGIANT Exclusive— strip clubs and “If there were more presses, we’d have more books, and that can only be a good thing.”

Justin Interview 3

Preparing to Strip ???

To follow’s a brief interview with Justin Marks, author of a Million in Prizes


Author Spotlight / 20 Comments
November 5th, 2009 / 11:56 am

Justin Marks the Spot


Justin Marks (A Million in Prizes) is the featured artist over at Tusculum Review. Also, our own Rauan Klassnik interviewed Marks for his blog. Also, Tusculum review is very interesting, and their site is filled with little treasures. Previous featured artists have included such fine folks as Mathias Svalina and Alexis Orgera, both occasional targets of this blog’s affection. You should spend some time there.

Author Spotlight / 1 Comment
November 3rd, 2009 / 1:59 pm


More Poetry Coverage: For that guy in the comments section the other day who said he wanted more poetry coverage

Asketh and ye shall receiveth, Friends. Today we look at two Major Critics Writing for Major Magazines, who are Getting Down With the Young and Indie.

At Boston Review, Stephen Burt discusses and attempts to define an emerging school/movement/moment in contemporary poetry. He traces the [whatever]’s origins/motives/aesthetics back to Oppen, Creeley, and especially W.C. Williams’s famous declaration that there are “no ideas but in things.”

The poets of the New Thing observe scenes and people (not only, but also, themselves) with a self-subordinating concision, so much so that the term “minimalism” comes up in discussions of their work, though the false analogies to earlier movements can make the term misleading. The poets of the New Thing eschew sarcasm and tread lightly with ironies, and when they seem hard to pin down, it is because they leave space for interpretations to fit.

The poets Burt discusses include Jon Woodward, Graham Foust, and my friend Justin Marks, whose first book, A Million in Prizes, just came out this year. It’s a long essay and will give you plenty to think about.

Burt identifies Flood Editions as the preeminent press of the New Thing poets, so it’s sort of interesting that his essay doesn’t mention Jennifer Moxley at all. But Moxley is given plenty of attention by Ange Mlinko, in the Nation Spring Books issue. Mlinko’s review of Moxley’s new book, Clampdown (Flood Editions; and yes, named after the Clash song) is illuminating and persuasive; it also does double-duty as a thorough introduction to Moxley’s whole body of work. Subscribers and/or newstand buyers can also avail themselves of Joshua Clover’s take on a new translation of Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen by Keith Waldrop.

Also noteworthy is the poetry in the issue itself, including poems by Robin Blaser and Adrienne Rich. Also also, a not-poetry-related but Nation-related PS— Remember when my man Deresiewicz wrote this about James Wood? Well it seems to have peeved Vivian Gornick, and she wrote a long letter explaining just how and why. Her letter and Deresiewicz’s response are both here.

May 30th, 2009 / 10:24 am

3 Interviews for Tuesday

At Writers Digest, Robert Lee Brewer talks to Justin Marks about his first book, A Million in Prizes, which won the New Issues prize and which is out now.

One of the things a book is to me is in some ways a chart of a person’s development/growth as a writer during the time in which the book was written.

At Jezebel, Anna is talking to Feministing.com’s Jessica Valenti, whose new book, The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women, came out just last month.

After all, how is it not focusing on young women’s sexuality by talking constantly about their virginity or bringing them to purity balls? If you are telling young women over and over that what’s most important is their virginity, that what makes them valuable is their chastity – then you’re sending the message that it’s the body and sexuality that defines who they are.

And Emily Nonko talks to Tao over at the Bomb magazine website.

The next two books are completely autobiographical. I just think about the most interesting parts of last two years. And then for the ending, I just ask: does it work?

Author Spotlight / 6 Comments
May 12th, 2009 / 5:17 pm