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Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She is the author, most recently, of the novels Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walkand Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey. Her latest collection Where Are the Snows, winner of the XJ Kennedy Prize, was released in Fall of 2022 by Texas Review Press and her next novel, From Dust to Stardust, will be published by Lake Union Press in Fall of 2023. She lives in Chicago and teaches at DePaul.

In Conversation

THE BRUTALITY OF BELIEVING: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore In Conversation with Kathleen Rooney

A curriculum vitae-style list of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's many dazzling accomplishments gives you some sense of who she is as a writer, thinker, and queer anti-assimilationist activist.

In Conversation

JAMES CHARLESWORTH with Kathleen Rooney

Some people are more like planets in the outsized pull they exert over the others whom they draw like satellites into their orbits. Such is the titular entrepreneurial egomaniac of James Charlesworth’s riveting and rangy debut novel, The Patricide of George Benjamin Hill, a captivating story of money and freedom, family and forgiveness, grand intentions and grave mistakes.


he poet and writer GennaRose Nethercott radiates a worldview that brings out the magic in everyday life, a magic she commits gorgeously to the page in her debut poetry book The Lumberjack's Dove, a sweetly surreal tale of grief, loss, and storytelling itself.

In Conversation

KIMBERLY J. SOENEN with Kathleen Rooney

Are we healthy? Writer, educator, and curator Kimberly J. Soenen wants to hear your answers, and to get you to listen to the answers of other people. To facilitate this exchange and to humanize the healthcare debate, she has organized the ambitious and interdisciplinary group show “SOME PEOPLE” (Every)body, which will open at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago on October 18, 2019.

In Conversation

Logan Berry with Kathleen Rooney

The publisher calls it “a textualized slasher—brought to you in moldy technicolor splendor—sure to fuel your nightmares for years to come,” and every page of Run-Off Sugar Crystal Lake delivers on that threatening promise. Berry and I corresponded over email in late summer of 2021, one of the hottest on record, and a time during which (like most of recorded history and like slasher movies themselves) human beings were inflicting astonishing violence upon one another with no signs of stopping.

In Conversation

Andrew Farkas with Kathleen Rooney

The Great Indoorsman, published this month by University of Nebraska Press, is wry, absurdist, and absurdly amusing, with Farkas serving as a casual yet expert guide on a sublime tour of what he defines as the in-of-doors. Sure, they’re not lofty mountain peaks or oceans deep, but Farkas proves that dive bars and coffeehouses, dilapidated movie theaters and dying malls, waiting rooms and pool halls can reward our exploration all the same.

In Conversation

John Cotter with Kathleen Rooney

In advance of Losing Music’s April 2023 publication by Milkweed Editions, John and I talked by email about Anna Deavere Smith’s plays, Jonathan Swift’s skull, the destructiveness and discouragements of capitalism, and how—no matter the condition of the body that contains them—all souls weigh the same.

In Conversation

LEIGH STEIN with Kathleen Rooney

Leigh Stein’s second novel, Self Care, examines the ambiguities inherent in its title concept, delivering a hilarious and scathing satire on the toxicity and contradictions of contemporary wellness culture and commodified feminism.

In Conversation

JILLIAN WEISE with Kathleen Rooney

In her third poetry collection, Cyborg Detective (BOA Editions), writer, performance artist, and disability rights activist Jillian Weise (aka Tipsy Tullivan) offers work that is angry and funny, savvy and sad, and willing to criticize ableism in all its forms.

In Conversation

CRIS MAZZA with Kathleen Rooney

The daring experimental feminist author Cris Mazza is not easily reduced to a collection of numbers, but here are some key stats: she is 57 years old, she is the author of 17 books, and she, like an estimated 15 percent of all women, is anorgasmic.

In Conversation

Gina Frangello with Kathleen Rooney

Frangello's books deal broadly with loyalty, sex, betrayal, interpersonal relationships, and the expectations placed on women in particular. Her latest work, the memoir-in-essays Blow Your House Down: A Story of Feminism, Family, and Treason (Counterpoint, 2021) offers an astonishingly forthright account of the darkest fallouts of attraction and dissolution.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues