An Interview with Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is a renowned author, poet, and professor of English at Brooklyn College. His works have earned him the MacArthur Genius Grant, the National Book Award, and the Believer Book Award.

His latest novel, The Topeka School, has been met with acclaim both nationally and internationally. In this exclusive interview, Ben Lerner shares his thoughts on writing, his inspirations, and what it takes to create a successful piece of literature.

He reflects on his journey as a writer, his experiences in academia, and the importance of finding one’s own voice.

From his personal struggles to his awe-inspiring successes, Ben Lerner continues to be an inspiration to readers and writers alike. This is a rare opportunity to hear from one of the most influential authors of our time.

Ben Lerner’s Journey as a Writer

Ben Lerner wrote his first poem at the age of fourteen. Despite his early interest in writing, he initially pursued a career in visual art. He earned both a BFA and MFA in studio art from Yale University.

While he was pursuing his degree, he also took creative writing classes where he was able to develop his literary skills. After earning his master’s degree, he worked as a studio assistant for several artists.

Eventually, he was able to find a job as an adjunct art professor, which allowed him to transition to a career in writing. As a full-time writer, he now has the time and space to fully develop his craft.

Ben Lerner’s Experiences in Academia

Like many contemporary authors, Lerner has a background in academia. He has taught at several universities, including Columbia and Rutgers. His experience as an educator has greatly influenced his writing.

Specifically, it has helped him create an accessible, engaging style that is easily understood by all readers. In many of his published works, he includes notes and commentary that further explain the content and context of his writings.

He believes that all writing should be accessible to all readers, regardless of their background and knowledge.

Ben Lerner on Finding One’s Own Voice

While Lerner has written in a variety of styles and genres, he has always maintained a distinct voice. In his opinion, it is important for writers to develop their own voice and style.

It is one of the only ways to truly connect with an audience and make an impact. By discovering and cultivating his own voice, Lerner has become a successful author and gained a loyal following.

Ben Lerner on the Creative Process

Lerner has said that, while he admires certain aspects of all writing, he has never felt comfortable attempting to imitate another author’s style. Instead, he prefers to follow his own creative process and develop his own technique.

Within this process, he follows his own instincts and focuses on his own voice. He has said that this focus and freedom allows him to create the best possible work.

Ben Lerner’s Thoughts on Writing

Lerner has said that he has always approached his own writing as a creative and joyful process. He has always strived to create a joyful experience for both himself and his readers.

He has also said that he hopes his readers experience the joy of language and creativity present in his works. It is this joyous approach that has made his work so popular and successful.

Ben Lerner’s Advice for Aspiring Writers

Lerner has said that the best way to become a successful writer is to read as much as possible.

He has also said that aspiring writers should find a space and time to write every day. In order to be a successful writer, one must make writing a priority. It is important to carve out time in one’s daily schedule to fully immerse oneself in the writing process.

Ben Lerner’s Reflections on Success

Lerner has said that he has struggled with feeling successful throughout his career. Despite his notable accomplishments, he has often felt uncomfortable claiming the title of “successful author.”

He has said that he struggles with this discomfort because he believes that it is important for writers to remember that they are human beings. Additionally, he has said that writers should not become too caught up in commercial success and sales figures.


Throughout his career, Lerner has explored a variety of styles and genres. He has written poetry, plays, novels, and non-fiction works. Regardless of his subject matter, he has maintained a distinct voice and style.

This has allowed him to connect with his readers and make an impact on the literary community. He has become an influential voice in modern literature and an inspiration to aspiring writers.

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