As an Art and Public Policy professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Finley is eager to teach her students the power of creative expression. Finley’s creative work has won the Guggenheim Fellowship and was awarded two Obies (Off-Broadway Theater Awards). She and her art have been seen all over the globe, performing everywhere from New York City to London, and lining the walls of major institutions, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Finley is also an author of several books, including Shock Treatment, A Different Kind of Intimacy, and her latest, Grabbing Pussy, which mocks Donald Trump’s infamous “locker talk banter.”

In this book, Finley focuses on the nation’s most powerful public figures, their violent sexual impulses, and the impact these desires have on society. This book also proves big things come in small packages. At just one hundred and sixty-two pages, this bright pink book is packed with a mix of poetry, prose, word searches, and everything in between. Part anger-filled, part comedic relief, Finley lures us down an addictive rabbit hole of political canter while poking fun at the powerful men that can’t seem to control their psychosexual impulses.

I spoke with the author recently about Grabbing Pussy, politics and feminism, and why humor is important to her.
The Rumpus: Your latest book, Grabbing Pussy, is packed with letters, poetry, prose, and word games, all circling around politics. Can you talk about your thought process behind the book and its experimental format?

Karen Finley: I started writing before the election in 2015. I began investigating neoliberalism and was very upset with what what happening with police brutality and Black Lives Matter, and within society’s response to whiteness. And then I was thinking about feminism and the apologies of the female in general. We always have to apologize for our existence.

Read the full interview here.

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