As We See It

Overheard at the Vegas Valley Book Festival: A Poem

Guests arriving at a panel about the role of art in society at the Vegas Valley Book Festival.
Photo: Kristen Peterson

In America there’s really no such thing as high art. They’re giving away free hot dogs. And they tried to switch horses with bikes.

I wanted it to be porous and I wanted there to be space for people to think about these things.

Do you have any Diet Coke? I hoarded bottled water in my apartment. And the cat is actually just my cat. I think of him as a weird bastard offspring of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joe Cocker. I didn’t even know there was such a book.

As an author you have to find what your natural voice is and where your talents lie. I really love decay and the abject and things that are really ugly.

It’s such a beautiful day. I don’t want to walk past Grouchy John’s with this in my hand. It’s a collection of angry love poems. It’s about a mother and daughter showgirl team. I want you to read them in the original Spanish.

If you give good writers a lot of freedom, they’ll go in unexpected directions.

My daddy said, “Son, you’ve been a disappointment to me.” That’s kind of how I feel about Las Vegas. It’s turned into Godzilla city. How did that happen?

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Kristen Peterson

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