Friend Friday: Diana Salier

1. Who are you? What do you do? Biographical background….

I’m george mcfly – I’m your density.  I’m an LA-raised SF transplant.  I write poems that don’t really sound like poems, and I play/write music.  I guess most people would call that being a writer and a musician, but sometimes I’m not really sure what those terms mean you know?  I’ve been living in San Francisco since August of last year.  I studied writing and psychology at NYU and no I don’t want to be a therapist.
2. Where do you live? Where do you work?

I live in the mission across the street from a mexican restaurant and a liquor store.  By day, I’m an in-house writer for a mobile tech startup.  I also music blog a few times a week and write theater reviews for the SF Station.

3. When and how did you start doing what you do?

As a person who plays music — I’ve been playing music my entire life, starting with learning the jurassic park theme song on the piano in 2nd grade.  There was a classic Asian person arc from piano to clarinet to guitar (I skipped the violin lessons), and I’ve stuck with guitar since I was 13.  I found a kids’ guitar in my neighbor’s closet and taught myself how to play the Rocky theme song using only the high E string.  I guess I have a thing with theme songs.

As a person who writes — I thought I wanted to be an English major going into college.  One semester of Literary Interpretation class taught me otherwise.  NYU didn’t have a creative writing major so I took the minor, and it pushed me into writing a lot of poems and (trying) to write short fiction.  After I graduated I kind of stopped writing and put more time into playing music, until I read my friend Dan’s book The Ancient Book of Hip and decided I wanted to do it too.  I guess I’ve been doing it ever since, whatever ”it” is.

4. What are you working on now?
I just finished a full-length manuscript called Letters From Robots and I’m trying to get it published.  I am also writing songs under the name Polar Bear Party and hoping to make a short film out of them.  You know this, because we’re working on it together. And I just started playing in a band-ish thing for the first time in a few months, so i’m excited to see where that goes.
5. Who/what are your influences?
Frank O’Hara and J.D. Salinger are the big ones.  I’ve also started combing a lot of contemporary online journals and have seen a ton of great stuff — a few names that come to mind are Mike Young, D.W. Lichtenberg, Gregory Sherl.  I feel like i’ve been kind of writing in a vacuum and it’s really awesome to see all these people out there getting published and writing interesting shit that’s not about nature or something.On the music side, I’ve been into The Walkmen for their I’m-sad-but-I’m-also-angry-and-drunk aesthetic, and their amazing reverb.  Also, Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys just wrote a soundtrack to the movie Submarine and everyone should listen to it.And in general I’m influenced by random things that happen to me, or not so random things.  People I’ve cared about.  Bad nostalgia.  Good nostalgia.  Things people say in cafes or at parties.
6. Any new projects on the horizon?

I’ve got a couple poems up in YesPoetry’s August issue, and some more coming up in the September issue of NAP LIt Mag.

My new book, Wikipedia says it will pass, is being published as an ebook by the Red Ceillings Press — should be available (for free download/viewing!) end of this month or early September.
Check em out if you want.


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