What have you been drinking?

I’ve been drinking a lot (like gallons) of a beer called Maredsous. A Belgian. Like 9% alcohol and delicious. I go to Pete’s Cafe & Bar on 4th & Main during happy hour and drink much of it. Before that it used to be Piraat Ale. Also Belgian.

And I also drink wine because I love it. I have writing workshop at my apartment on Tuesday nights and we drink and snack during the class. Whatever is left over, I drink it on Wednesday morning for breakfast.
And tequila.

What is your favorite recent film?

Ok. So I can’t stop watching Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. I watched it recently on cable only because it was directed by the guy who directed Raising Victor Vargas, which I also could not stop watching (In fact, for a while, while living in New York after watching that movie, I couldn’t stop saying, “Hey, I’m Victor!”). Anyway, I’ve watched Nick & Norah like 4 times now. I think I will have to illegally download the soundtrack. Kat Dennings! Mmmmm…

Which got me thinking (the movie, I mean) about writing, about what I wanted to accomplish as a writer, and then I thought I had this huge breakthrough of a thought and so I’m walking down 7th St. toward Maple through all that piss stink and I’m walking with my wife and I’m all excited as I tell her that I’ve figured out what I want to do and she says, “What?” and I say, “Ok, so if I could just combine high literary art with uber-melodrama, THAT would be the holy grail!” She’s like, “What?” And I say, “You know, combine, I don’t know, William Faulkner with, you know, Dawson’s Creek! That! That would be the greatest thing!” And she says, “William Faulkner already did that.” And that was the end of that.

Are you tired?


Are you excited?



Well, couple of things.

One — this is HUGE! I got the opportunity, I mean the honor, of working with O-Lan Jones and her Overtone Industries on an opera she’d conceived and was developing. This started like 10 years ago. I got to write one segment/world in the story and one song. And guess what? It’s here! Opening July 8! (Previews starting July 1) In beautiful Culver City! In a beautiful abandoned 25,000 sq ft car dealership space!! It’s actually one of the most exciting things I’ve ever been involved in. Go here for tix.)

Two — this month’s edition of The Last Chapbook Salon was awesome. Every third Sunday of the month, we have a reading at an amazing bookstore in downtown LA called The Last Bookstore. They gave me a shelf to curate with chapbooks from local writers and in return, the writers donated 3 copies each of their chapbooks so the store can make a little money. And it’s been great because people you may not normally see at a reading have been showing up and sharing and trading and buying. Very cool. I’m proud of that one.

What else?

I hate Boston. I’m so happy we beat the Celtics. I’m so happy the Bruins self-destructed in the hockey playoffs. I can’t wait to see the Red Sox lose a 7-game series too.

Any last words?

She’s just jealous because you have a beautiful thorax.

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CHIWAN CHOI's poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including ONTHEBUS, Esquire, and Circa.. Chiwan’s first major collection of poetry, The Flood, was published by Tía Chucha Press in April, 2010.

He is a regular in the Los Angeles literary circuit, often invited as a featured poet at readings at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood and the legendary Beyond Baroque in Venice. He also leads two writing workshops, one in downtown and one in Santa Monica.

After a two-year stint in New York, where he received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School at NYU, Chiwan returned to Los Angeles where he and his wife, Judeth Oden, launched a new publishing company to feature Los Angeles writers, Writ Large Press, in March of 2008.

He lives in downtown Los Angeles with his wife and their dog, Bella.

One response to “Chiwan Choi: The TNB Self Interview”

  1. Chiwan:

    I feel very blessed to have seen you read at the Hotel Cafe so that I could share your work with the TNB community. Welcome aboard, my friend.

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