Super excited to have the wonderful Katharine Coldiron join the Barrel Fam as a new Reviews Editor! She’ll be working closely with the equally wonderful Kamil Ahsan to bring you delicious review-y content. Stay tuned for that, but for now, let’s get to know her a little bit here.
BH: ell us about all the things you do that aren’t Barrelhouse-adjacent.
KC: For the past year, I’ve mostly been a book critic, but I also write weird hybrid essays and occasional fiction. I’ve been gunning for a book contract for something like 15 years, but it’s taken me about that amount of time to write well.
In former lives, I was a paralegal, a government contractor, a pizza deliverer, and a hummus-squirter. Now I’m full-time freelance, and I do a little bit of most things related to the written word. Not copywriting, though. I’m a horrible copywriter.
BH: What made you want to work with us?
KC: The intersection of pop culture and literature that Barrelhouse represents, mainly, but also the smart people you have on the team. I’ve been submitting to Barrelhouse for a ridiculously long time.
BH: What kind of books are you looking to review? What can we expect from reviews curated/edited by you?
KC: As a reviewer, I focus on small presses, books by people of color and women, and books in translation. I like tussling with hybrid work. As an editor, I want more poetry, more weird books, more weird takes on popular books. What was your reading experience like? I want to know that, more than I want to know a summary. Literary theory is welcome, too.
BH: Who are some of your favorite contemporary writers?
KC: Tana French. Dubravka Ugresic. David Shields. Lidia Yuknavitch. Karen Green. John Haskell.
BH: If you could change one thing about the current lit world, what would it be?
KC: The money. The way it’s distributed is nonsensical, and the way it impacts criticism is inexcusable.
BH: We’re legally obligated to ask you this: what’s your favorite Patrick Swayze movie?
KC: Dirty Dancing, but my favorite performance of his is in Donnie Darko.
Katharine Coldiron’s work has appeared in Ms., the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, LARB, the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, VIDA, Brevity, and elsewhere. She earned a B.A. in film studies & philosophy from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. in creative writing from California State University, Northridge. She has read many, many books. Born in the American South to a professor of poetry and translation and a U.S. Navy captain, and raised along the East Coast, she now lives in Los Angeles. Find her at kcoldiron.com or on Twitter @ferrifrigida.