How Liz Worth rewrote Andy Warhol
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.
ON FINDING LITERARY DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH
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.