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!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *