The Interrobang Interrogation – Ryan Van Winkle

There ain’t no party like an End of the World Party!

But the problem with an End of the World Party is that, while there’s frivolity and fun and drinking and stuff, it’s… well… y’know, the end of the world. It’s all very confusing, so we’ve decided the enlist the help of our awesome guests to get us in the right mindset. First up is RYAN VAN WINKLE!

Incoming! Brace. Brace! BRACE!
Ryan’s tip #1: Adopt the foetal position.

Ryan is a poet, live artist, podcaster and critic living in Edinburgh. His second collection, The Good Dark, won the Saltire Society’s 2015 Poetry Book of the Year award. His poems have appeared in New Writing Scotland, The Prairie Schooner and The American Poetry Review.

As a member of Highlight Arts he has organized festivals and translation workshops in Syria, Pakistan and Iraq. He was awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson fellowship in 2012 and a residency at The Studios of Key West in 2016. You can find his website at

And here’s how Ryan answered our questions:

‽:  So, it’s the end of the world. If you weren’t at Interrobang’s apocalyptic party, where would you be and what would you be doing? (Don’t be afraid to give us the juicy details).

RVW: I would gather as many friends & fireworks as I could in one place and we’d go out with a giant bang.

Any chance of a ride?
Hi? I’m looking for Ryan’s party?

‽: Without giving too much away, could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the pieces you’ll be sharing with us at Interrobang?

RVW: The inspiration for Untitled (Snoopy) was an essay on the ‘worst opening line in English literature’. I wanted to play with the very purple and cliched expression It was a dark & stormy night and this poem grew from that experiment.

Snoopy and Lucy Van Winkle
Everyone’s a critic.

‽: Picture it – all around the world, books are being taken and destroyed, except literature that upholds our new President’s literary sensibilities. You have the chance to save three books from this Reign of Terror; what would they be?

RVW: George Saunders – Civilwarland in Bad Decline, Brian Stevenson – Just Mercy: A Story of Redemption & Justice, and Mary Ruefle – Trances of the Blast.

‽: Pick a song or piece of music that you would have played as your personal soundtrack as the world crumbles around you.

RVW: Hanson – MMMBop

Fair enough, really.

‽: Describe, in three words if possible, your feelings on Trump’s Presidency?

RVW: sensitive, surreal, stoic

Thanks a lot to Ryan for getting us in the mood for the end of the world! Come along to Interrobang’s End of the World Party at Woodland Creatures at 7pm on 21st January and see if you can bear his sensitivity, surrealism, and stoicism (and acclaimed work!) in the flesh.

If it really is the end of the world, it’ll be one hell of a way to go out!




The End of the World Party?!

We’re only a week away from Inauguration Day! Unless you’re really keen, and it’s still the evening of Thursday, 12th January.

Nah man, the jokes are on INTERROBANG?!
“Seven more sleeps. Joke’s on you, nasty Edinburgh people!”

And that means we’re only a week and one day away from INTERROBANG?!’s End of the World Party!!! – 7pm, Saturday 21 January at Woodland Creatures.

We were planning to take INTERROBANG?! on a wee hiatus for the first quarter of 2017. Take a moment to absorb the lessons of our first mini-season.

Dreaming of doughnuts.... Mmm, doughnuts.
Bored now…

But while we were preparing for The War on Christmas?! Heather and Laura of the endlessly awesome 404 Ink (and Nasty Women, our favourite kind) asked if we were planning a show to mark the anointment of The Donald. Well, we hadn’t been

So. Are you ready for the New World Order, President Donald J. Trump Style? We’re not. 21 January is Post-Trump-Inauguration Day and we’d like to commiserate with you. Come along to INTERROBANG?!‘s fourth night of frivolity and fun, listen to some post-apocalyptic poetry and story-telling, and get inordinately drunk with us.

Fire onstage only
Arrive promptly and do Dr Pepper Bombs with your hosts? G’WAN!!!

Performing on this confusingly sad yet fragilely optimistic night, we have:

  • Edinburgh’s greatest living writer of the humorous, volunteer-performed, two-handed playlet, JACQUES TSIANTAR’s latest Big Two-Hander, specially themed with hopelessness and despair?!?!
  • Harpies, Fechters and Quines 2016 Slam Champion KATHARINE MACFARLANE travelling through to Edinburgh with a set themed on the President-elect’s mother’s island home?!?!?!

Aye, well, that’s well worth a wee Google

Your INTERROBANG?! hosts, RICKY MONAHAN BROWN and BETH COCHRANE will also offer some words of condolence on the night.

And since y’all make INTERROBANG?!, a couple of Interrobangers will be joining our performers on stage with (it says here) 5-7 minutes of apocalyptic work. It’s a ton of fun, we promise!

Come mourn, laugh and drink with us, for a charmingly small door charge of £5 – a fee which goes into paying our performers and funding INTERROBANG?!’s future endeavours. And we’ve got some YUGE, format-bending fun coming up in 2017.

Who knows what 2017 will bring, so enjoy it while you can!

Or 12-20 January, frankly
DISCLAIMER: The INTERROBANG?! End of the World Party does not guarantee the survival of the world 20-21 January.