Andrew Martin attended the Workshop in playwriting in 2002.
I’m back in Charlottesville, primarily because my girlfriend is in medical school at UVA.
I’m teaching classes at Piedmont Virginia Community College and at Writer House in downtown Charlottesville. I enjoy hanging out with my students and talking to them about writing. I don’t enjoy grading them.
I’ve gotten very into the novels of Penelope Fitzgerald. They’re short and elegant, but thick with characters and ideas. My favorite so far is The Beginning of Spring, about Russia a few years before the revolution. Pairs well with Reds. I’ve been listening to the new D’Angelo album Black Messiah. So far it seems almost as good as Voodoo, which is pretty major.
I’m working on a story collection and a novel, which may merge at some point. Maybe the novel will turn into a few non-consecutive stories that will fit into the collection? Or maybe I’ll admit that all the stories are about the same guy and pretend it’s a novel? Whatever it is, it’s what I’ve been working on for the last few years, so I suppose it represents just about everything in the larger body of “accomplishments.”
I’m proud of the short story “Cool for America” that I published in The Paris Review and of some essays I’ve written, especially a couple that I did for a website called Open Letters Monthly, about Beckett and the Notorious BIG, respectively.
It had a huge influence on my life. It made me realize for the first time how many interesting, talented people there were in the world, and how hard you had to work to feel like you’d earned your place in their company. My suitemates introduced me to all the cool music that I listened to for the next decade of my life; I met the girl I ended up dating for most of college. It was all pretty formative.
Stick with it, even if it’s not the primary thing you do. Every time I meet someone who “used to” read and write seriously I get bummed out. Make it a priority to keep up with interesting books and give at least a little bit of time to poetry/fiction/essays/playwriting. We need good people on this.