Breaking Down the Walls Between Genres

A Conversation with Stuart Dybek on Writing as a Continuum

Stuart Dybek is the author of five books of fiction: I Sailed With Magellan, The Coast of Chicago, and Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, and, most recently, Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern, both published in 2014. Both I Sailed With Magellan and The Coast of Chicago were New York Times Notable Books. Dybek has also published two collections of poetry: Streets in Their Own Ink and Brass Knuckles. His fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Poetry, Tin House, and many other magazines, and have been widely anthologized, including work in both Best American Short Stories and Best American Poetry. Dybek’s awards include a PEN/Malamud Prize “for distinguished achievement in the short story,” a Lannan Award, a Whiting Writers Award, an Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, several O.Henry Prizes, and fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2007, Dybek was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.


On May 14, 2015, Stuart Dybek visited the Writing House to give a Q&A and reading for Interlochen Arts Academy creative writing students. During his visit, Interlochen Review editors Allen Smith, Stephanie Bennett and Brittany Burton sat down in the Interlochen Public Radio recording studio with Dybek to discuss the connection between music and writing, and the nature of lyrical thinking.