Interview with Chad Redden

by | Apr 2, 2013 | Features

Chad Redden Cash Money

Chad Redden is busy. In addition to being the managing editor at NAP, he also masters the web for Pop Serials 3 and 4 and the NAP echaps. His book, Thursday, is available through Plain Wrap Press, and his ebook, The Lesson of Furniture, is published at Red Ceilings Press. His website is located at, where you can find his Micro Zines and other screen-friendly creations. Chad says he lives in Indianapolis, but he’s not fooling anybody. We know he really lives on the internet.

Chad talks with me about National Poetry Month, waking up in unknown places and kissing dead people.


Hi Chad.

Hi Sarah Jean.

What are you excited about this week in your personal life?

I am excited I made it through the winter. I could smell garbage this morning. The air is warming. I am more excited about the warm air than the garbage smell. There is a connection there. Soon people will be outside in the warm air. Soon the people in the warm air will be in love. Soon people will be making smells in the warm air. I will be excited about people in the warm air and in love for a moment and then I will be excited for winter to return so the warm people will stop being in love so I don’t have to smell it any more. Also, I am excited I completed a couple of projects for NAP and Pop Serial. Also, I am excited for my upcoming free time for personal projects now that I have completed projects for NAP and Pop Serial. Also, I am excited that my little book Thursday exists and a few people might be reading it, right now. At this moment.

And what are you excited about this month in literature? Who is exciting to you?

I am excited that people are excited about National Poetry Month. This will mean lots of poets will write/post poems every day. Raw and under-cooked poems. Wild poems. Poems with too many ligaments. Poems that might have everything wrong with them. Poems without pants. Oh, it is a very exciting month.

There are so many things that will happen in literature that I will probably find out about as they happen and that is exciting. Of the few things that I know about (and this is because I helped with the design and publication), I am very excited for the next NAP echap, Twilight Zone by Carolyn DeCarlo and Jackson Nieuwland. It started with an idea I solicited Jackson to consider and then he and Carolyn took the initial idea so much further than I could have imagined.

There are a lot of people that are always exciting to me. Russ Woods consistently taps together a happy combination of buttons in my brain and I am looking forward to his collection from Artifice Books. There are so many others writers I pay attention to because they are very exciting: Brandi Wells, Nick Sturm, Cassandra Gillig, Alexis Pope, The Printed Internet, oh yeah and YOU too (can I write that in this interview?). I am still really excited when I read NAP submissions still, because I get to meet someone new every day. I am still really excited when I meet someone familiar when reading submissions too.

Your motion poems are some of the best things I’ve seen on the Internet, and I am always very excited to see you post new ones. Feels nice to see someone combining different types of familiar mediums (poems/images/gifs) into one beautiful product. Very not lazy. I mean, you can’t just shit those out. Did you start making them for fun/are they even fun to make/they make me cry/how do they make you feel?

They make you cry? They make me cry. This is because they stress my eyes when I create them. A lot of hours go into the large motion poems. It takes a lot of tears and hours before the poems work the way I intend.

Witches by Chad Redden, appeared in UP Literature 6

They are fun to make, but only after I figure out the right words to animate. That is the most important thing. I spend a few days thinking about my initial idea for each to know if the words will work. Then through the words the pattern and animation develops. I try to make sure I am not forcing a poem that wants to stay still into a moving poem. I never want a motion poem to be a series of lines blinking in an order that could just as easily happen as a standard stationary poem. I want to make several things happen at once. I want it to be confusing. I want to open up multiple dimensions in each. I want them to create headaches. I think after I build a couple hundred more I will know if I am successful.


We Are Over The Spaces Touching by Carrie Lorig and Chad Redden

We Are Over The Spaces Touching by Carrie Lorig & Chad Redden, Red Lightbulbs 9

After I finish a motion poem, I always ask myself if it is like a poem a Star Fleet Cadet might build for a poetry workshop at Star Fleet Academy. After I finish a motion poem, I wonder about the snarky comments Star Fleet Cadets might write on my motion poem if it were introduced into a poetry workshop at Star Fleet Academy.

I can teach you how to have a hangover every morning after, how to crochet a case for your Kindle, how to hate cops and how to over-romanticize emails. What can you teach me?

I know a fair amount about insomnia. I’m uncertain how to teach insomnia.

Some people don’t have homes. Do you? Close your eyes. Where is home for you? What does it sound like? What does home smell like? Are you alone here or are you sharing a home. If this home does not exist, tell me a story about the last time you killed a man.

I feel most comfortable when I wake up in an unknown place. Usually when traveling. Probably because I discover my senses again. I pay attention to light and smells and sounds so much more than at my home where everything stays the same. I have a place where I live with a strong wifi signal and it holds a fair amount of my junk. It doesn’t feel like a home. When I dream or nightmare my childhood home is sometimes a setting. But that home doesn’t exist anymore. It was a trailer and because it was a trailer it didn’t last very long and was recycled into whatever trailers are recycled into.

If this home does exist, tell me about the last time you killed a man anyway.

I have never killed anyone. I guess I don’t like to hang out with dead people. This always causes embarrassment at family funerals. You know, when it is time to pose for pictures with the deceased. I’m always the one with my hands in my pockets standing away from the body. Everyone else touches or kisses the dead. Everyone else asks me to try it and to show some respect for the dead. I can’t. I worry about the dead opening their eyes or grabbing me the most I think. There are other things I worry about while around dead people, but I don’t want to sound weird.

I had a job at copy shop once. A paralegal for a law firm that specialized in car accident settlements came in often with photographs of people killed in car accidents. She would need color prints made of the photographs. For some reason I was the only person working when the paralegal came around. Most of the photos had a fair amount of dismemberment, decapitation, laceration, mangling, impaling, charring, smashing, and blood. And that is fine. What bothered me the most is how the eyes of the dead were almost always open. Looking forward at whatever their car was smashed into. Also, eyes are a lot like grapes and if they are slightly leaking fluid, then they are a lot like raisins.

Really, I can’t deal with eyes. Living or dead eyes. I could talk to a professional about it, but it’s cheaper to look at the ground when I am around living or dead people.

Why write?

I wish I had a decent answer for you. Writing sometimes seems like a symptom of a deeper problem. But I am not a doctor, so I couldn’t tell you what is wrong. There is also a therapy in it too. Often, when I am very focused while writing, I can tune out the world. Maybe it all comes down to escape. Yes, probably.

Thanks Chad.