Bijan Stephen will be reading at the  Difficult to Name Reading Series  on April 9 at Study Hall.

Bijan Stephen will be reading at the Difficult to Name Reading Series on April 9 at Study Hall.

I was sort of nervous to rejoin social media and start the reading series back up, but then I saw you at Study Hall a few weeks ago and you made me feel very at ease, just by being yourself. Do people often say that you are a calming presence?

I am not exactly sure how to answer this, but no! You're the first. Welcome back. 

In addition to your work as associate editor at New Republic, you write consistently great pieces for other publications, most recently Pitchfork, The New York Times and Web Safe 2k16, just to name a few. The Web Safe 2k16 essay was especially powerful in just a few paragraphs. How did you approach writing that piece and keeping it so dense?

Thank you! I think the density came from the constraint—each piece in the series can only be 216 words long. It's hard to say something real in that few words, which means you can only really a) attempt to capture a feeling, or b) gesture at a larger idea. I tried to do both, and while I'm not sure I succeeded, it was fun to give it a shot!

You read an excellent piece about Eileen Myles' Inferno last summer at I Did My Best, a reading series you co-host with Alanna Okun. I thought it would be really cool to just have a conversation with you and Eileen Myles at Study Hall, maybe. Have people come and attend. Maybe Kyle Chayka could moderate it. Or maybe just you and Eileen talking, no moderator. This is like that book The Secret, I'll just put it out into the universe. Wouldn't that be cool?

Thanks! Glad you liked it. I'd be down if Eileen Myles would be down, for sure. 

What can people expect from your reading?

I'm not sure yet. Words read aloud, definitely.