Dean Kostos – “Next Big Thing” Interview

Author: Dean Kostos
Picture of Dean KostosWhat is the working title of the book?
Rivering, my recent collection, was released this past September. It was published by Spuyten Duyvil. The “working title” of my next collection is This Is Not a Skyscraper, an oblique reference to the Belgian painter Magritte’s painting of a pipe, called “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” or “This Is Not a Pipe.” That’s because it’s a painting of a pipe. Similarly, my collection inverts and upends assumptions about and perceptions of New York.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It explores New York as a surreal space, not unlike Breton’s take on Paris, in the first surrealist novel/memoir, Nadja.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Jean Dujardin and the ghost of Barbara Stanwyck.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
New York is possibly stranger than we ever imagined–like performing an autopsy on a cadaver, only to discover its inner workings to be cogs made of lapis lazuli.  

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I work on several books simultaneously. There are poems in this book that I’ve been working on for twenty years. Call me obsessive. But hey, C. K. Williams said he worked for 30 years on a poem.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Breton and my love of both history and architecture.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Like Breton’s book, I have been taking photographs of New York to include with the poems. My photos (like my poems) evoke an unsettling, uncanny quality, as those in Breton’s novel do.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have never self published. As for agents, they have no interest in poetry. I will start sending this manuscript out to various small presses in a couple of months. By the way, I’m delighted to add that one of the poems–spoken by the ghost of Amadou Diallo–won an award in the UK. Another poem received a Pushcart nomination, and another was translated into a short film, which was recently shown at the San Francisco Indiefest.
My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:
Karen Neuberg (
Veronica Golos (
Nicholas Samaras (