"...one is about Brad Pitt eating on screen, another is about watching LeBron James's online dad content, another is about Andy Warhol's diaries"
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
lucas mann biopic

Each semester, the Writing University hosts the 5Q Interview series with authors from the University of Iowa Press. We sit down with UI Press authors to ask about their work, their process, their reading lists and events. Today we are speaking with Lucas Mann, the author of ATTACHMENTS (University of Iowa Press, 2024).

Lucas Mann teaches creative writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He is author of Captive Audience: On Love and Reality TV. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his family, where they own Riffraff Bookstore and Bar. 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your new book Attachments?

ATTACHMENTS is an essay collection about early fatherhood, both my own experiences and larger cultural ideas of fatherhood. The essays move around a lot in subject and form -- there are shorter, more lyric pieces, longer works of cultural criticism and literary journalism, some memoir work; one is about Brad Pitt eating on screen, another is about watching LeBron James's online dad content, another is about Andy Warhol's diaries, yet another is a look at the men who have become dad joke influencers online. My goal is to surround the subject as much as possible, and investigate all these cultural influences that permeate my experience of fatherhood, while also trying to capture and honor the intensity of the lived experience, the overwhelming joy, fear, frustration, love.

2. What was the inspiration for this work?

Maybe this is a cop out, but the inspiration was the experience itself. And, more specifically, spending the first couple of years of my daughter's life as her primary caregiver, with COVID quarantine tossed in the middle. I stopped writing, felt totally submerged in this new experience of life, was pretty much (to my great surprise) totally okay with this. When the itch to write again came back, it felt like I had this entirely altered perspective and set of interests. Writing became — as it always is, I guess — a process of relearning what it is that I might want to say. These essays were what I wanted to say. 

3. Do you have any plans for readings or events for this book, either in person or virtual?
Yes! I did an early pre-pub event at Prairie Lights with Melissa Febos, which was wonderful. In May, I'm reading at Riffraff Bookstore and Bar in Providence, RI, with the amazing poet and essayist Elisa Gabbert (I should mention that this was a pretty easy one to book, because my wife and I own Riffraff). Then on May 20th I'm at Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge with Nina MacLaughlin, on May 23 I'm at Back Cove Books with Hannah Matthews, and on May 29th I'm at P&T Knitwear in NYC with Leslie Jamison. I am fully using book tour as an excuse to talk to writers I admire.

4. What are you reading right now? Any books from other university or independent presses?

As I mentioned above, my wife and I run Riffraff Bookstore and Bar, so a lot of my reading is store related, which is wonderful. In particular, I run our nonfiction book club, and we focus on small press books. I've loved two of our most recent picks: Enjoy Me Among My Ruins, by Juniper Fitzgerald, which come out with Feminist Press, and About Ed, by Robert Gluck, which came out with New York Review Books, and is one of the best things I've read in a very, very long time. 

5. What is your writing routine? Do you have a daily routine?

My writing routine is take it where I can get it, and try not to feel too much pressure. Oh, and also go on long walks whenever possible. If I write at the end of the walk, that's perfect, but if I don't then I at least had a nice stroll. 



Thank you!