In honor of Proust’s birthday, I asked poets to answer five questions of their choosing from the Proust Questionnaire, and then I answered five myself.

Christopher DeWeese
, author of The Black Forest:

Your favorite qualities in a man: Modesty. Also: the ability to wear shorts.

Your favorite qualities in a woman
: A memorable laugh.

What you appreciate most in your friends
: That they don’t dance often, but when they dance, they are amazing dancers.

Your main fault
: Lack of context.

Your favorite occupation
: Anything that makes me not know or care what time it is.

Lily Ladewig
, author of The Silhouettes:

My favorite color: Hot pink.

The flower that I like
: Casablanca lilies.

My favorite heroines in fiction
: Jane Eyre, Anne Shirley, Weetzie Bat.

My favorite food and drink
: Spaghetti bolognese, sheet cake, kir royale.

How I wish to die
: Ready.

Alex Dimitrov
, author of American Boys (and check out a list of questions Alex has for you):

The quality that I desire in a man: Emotional strength.

The quality that I desire in a woman
: Emotional strength.

If not yourself, who would you be
: Andy Warhol.

Your favorite poets
: The fearless ones who don’t give a fuck.

What you appreciate the most in your friends
: Passion, loyalty and ambition.

Allyson Paty, author of The Further Away:

The gift of nature I would like to have: Discipline.

How I want to die: Suddenly, but not soon.

Faults for which I have the most indulgence: My impulse is to say the faults of the people I most love and admire, but it may be the exact opposite.

What is your present state of mind: Distracted!

My motto: Sanity is the most profound moral option of our time.

Danniel Schoonebeek—that’s me.

The military event that I admire most: “He hit a dangerous stretch, and big shells started coming in, sending up geysers of debris and foul mud, and a terrible stink, what the soldiers called ‘mackabby,’ from the French macabre, deathlike.”

What would be my greatest misfortune: Often I’m speaking and I think about collapsing dead while midsentence.

What I appreciate most about my friends: They ridicule me is how they love me.

My favorite names: The names of mules.

My main fault: If you keep scratching your hoof in the dirt, I’ll keep scratching my hoof in the dirt.



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