The Transmitter: Mel Bosworth Answers the Questions That Matter

Author Mel Bosworth talks fresh air, squirrels, recent reads, and taking tea with Italo Calvino.

The Coil: Describe your writing style to someone who’s never read you.

Mel Bosworth: Easy.

How would The New York Times categorize your writing?


What was the catalyst that made you start writing?

Herman Bowden, 5th grade English teacher.

Your favorite —

Whisk(e)y: Bulleit Rye.

Wild animal: Squirrel.

Waffle topping: Whipped cream.

Poem: “The Cowboy” by James Tate.

Scientist or inventor: Galileo.

Broadway musical: Chicago.

Badass getaway vehicle: 1986 Lincoln Town Car, Black.

Movie to watch alone: Raging Bull.

Quote: “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” — Henry Miller

Tell us about your favorite books or authors.

Just finished Brian Evenson’s A Collapse of Horses. That was a good, spooky one. Also recently read James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. That blew me away. Flannery O’Connor’s story, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” was also something that rocked my brain recently.

If you could witness or participate in any historical event or time period, what would it be?

American Civil War.

Which underrepresented cause do you want to bring to our attention?

Your local food pantry.

Weapon of choice:


If you could invent something that is missing from your life, what would it be?

I want for nothing.

The perfect soundtrack to your writing:


Which literary figure, dead or alive, would you want to —

Take tea with: Italo Calvino.

Arm wrestle: Dennis Rodman.

Ice skate with: Snoopy.

Drink under the table: Kurt Vonnegut.

Get a blurb from: Joy Williams.

Beat in a duel of wits: David Sedaris.

Have on your side in the apocalypse: Virgil.

Write your next book for you: Where’s the fun in that?

Sit quietly with: Thich Nhat Hanh.

The one thing in your writing routine you couldn’t live without:

Used to be cigarettes. Now it’s air.

Set the perfect scene for you to write your next masterpiece.

A quiet room with open windows and plenty of natural light. A good chair. A sturdy desk. A computer.

When writing makes you rich, you will:

Eat my annual Whopper in the dining room of BK instead of in my car.

MEL BOSWORTH is the author of the novel, Freight, and the poetry chapbook, Every Laundromat in the World, and is co-author of the flash collection, Second Acts in American Lives, with Ryan Ridge. He lives in Western Massachusetts.