An Interview With Sarah Jean Alexander

Jeremy Boyd: What are your rules for (not) smoking weed?

Sarah Jean Alexander: This was one of my birthday resolutions. I made rules around smoking when I’m home, because usually I’ll just stay in afterwards and binge and watch TV. My rules are that I can smoke weed before leaving the apartment, like if I’m running errands or going shopping or going to the movies etc. I can also smoke weed before I go to bed. So far I haven’t smoked at all.


JB: Best books you've read lately?

SJA: Another resolution I made was to read more, because I haven’t read very much in the past… 2 years? The last book I read was Bandit by Molly Brodak. It’s a memoir(?) about her life growing up, her father (who robbed banks when she was young), her mother. She’s so thoughtful and unflinching in her prose, it was really beautiful and great. When I finished, I felt stronger.

I received a lot of books for my birthday that I’m excited to read: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Motherhood by Sheila Heti, Tampa by Alissa Nutting, Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose.


JB: What was your motivation for doing another edition of Wildlives? Did it still feel "alive"?

SJA: By the time Wildlives came out, most of the poems were 2-3 years old and I already felt pretty disconnected from it. I was still proud of it, but it was hard for me to read from it because it felt distant. Republishing it with a bunch of new poems was a way for me to feel close to it again. I don’t remember if it was my idea or Mark’s (my publisher/editor at Big Lucks), but it was probably theirs! I love the new edition. The cover feels really nice, it is soft.


JB: Should I make a Medium account? Do you journal?

SJA: I recommend Medium. The format looks so nice, which makes you feel good as you’re writing a post. I don’t journal. I write a lot of notes in my phone.


JB: Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?

SJA: I’m afraid of everything. I’m afraid of ghosts. I don’t know if I believe in them but I think I do.


JB: Any recipes you would share? (I'm thinking of assembling a cookbook made from other writer's contributions)

SJA: I make a lot of quick kimchi, especially with vegetables I don’t like that much (celery, kimchi). They’re easy to make and really delicious with rice. I don’t have measurements, but I basically julienne the carrots, chop up the celery into inch-long chunks and add: salt, gochugaru (Korean chili flakes), garlic powder, agave (or sugar), garlic powder, rice wine vinegar, scallions, sesame seeds. If I’m eating it right away, I add some sesame oil.

JB: Do you have any good stories about recess/playgrounds from your childhood?

SJA: I went to Pershing Hill Elementary school for a few months of 5th grade in Ft. Meade, Maryland. There was a boy that looked like a tiny bill gates who had two tiny blonde girls that would follow him around. I’d liken it to something similar to like… play boy bunnies following around Hef, lol. Anyway, he would always ask the girls if they wanted biscuits, and hold out something in his hand. I can’t remember what he was actually holding… like, cookies… quarters? Anyway, the girls loved it.

Sarah Jean Alexander is a writer from Baltimore, MD. She has been published in Lenny Letter, HOBART, Illuminati Girl Gang, Keep This Bag Away From Children, Black Candies, and other online and print journals. Find Sarah Jean on Twitter @sarahjeanalex. 


Jeremy Boyd is a poet, student, substitute teacher & soccer coach living in Frederick, Maryland. His work has previously appeared in Metatron's online blog Omega, Vagabond City Lit, and Alien Mouth. You can reach out to him through email at or on Instagram and Twitter @sp1it.