How Liz Worth rewrote Andy Warhol

Liz Worth on how she rewrote Andy Warhol in her book of poetry No Work Finished Here.
Liz Worth's new poetry collection began as a personal project that attracted a fan base online. (BookThug/Shawn Nolan)

Liz Worth's new book of poems, No Work Finished Here: Rewriting Andy Warhol,  takes pieces of an experimental Warhol novel from 1968 and turn them into something altogether different. 


No Work Finished Here is a collection of poems inspired by Warhol's a, A Novel.  It was put together by choosing different words and phrases from each page. When I first started reading a, A Novel, I was fascinated by this book, but I found it very difficult to read, because it really is just raw transcripts of people talking for 450 pages. But there are passages in there that I felt were just so beautiful and so striking. I started playing around with those words, and sometimes I would just write down a line and look at it. At the time I was studying journalism, but I was also realizing that I really wanted to be a poet. I thought if I become a poet, this is how I want my writing to be. I felt there were some phrasing in there that were really edgy and could really push a lot of boundaries. 

A couple years ago my dad passed away, and I was kind of between projects while waiting for my first novel to come out. I wasn't planning on doing anything involved because I wasn't in the right head space for that, but I felt I needed a creative outlet. My mind kept going back to Warhol's a, and I thought I could just write a poem or two a day based off of his book and put it on a blog. I got really fired up about it, and it just became this little daily ritual. The more poems I put online, the more people responded to them, which I wasn't really expecting — I was really just doing this for myself.

Liz Worth's comments have been edited and condensed.