1. Position at Centre?
American lit professor.
2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Georgetown, Ky. A little horse-country town of 7000 then, pre-Toyota.
3. What are your hobbies?
Playing guitars, growing sunflowers and reading history.
4. What is your dream vacation?
A week of food and music in New Orleans.
5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
I’m a big fan of my friend Steve Powell’s psychedelic glass.
6. Favorite novel or poem?
Faulkner’s “Absalom, Absalom!” is my favorite novel and Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is my favorite poem.
7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
Football was my first love back in the day. My coach used to shout endearments to me like, “Lucas, you’re slower than the steam off manure.”
8. Favorite TV show?
“Justified,” currently. Of all time: “Deadwood.”
9. Favorite album?
“The Band” by The Band—the brown album—with Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde,” The Beatles “Rubber Soul” and Tom Waits “Rain Dogs” close behind.
10. Favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. No complications except when to push away from the table.
11. Favorite food?
12. Most prized possession?
My old Martin guitar.
13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Jelly Roll Morton, Professor Longhair and Dr. John—with a piano in the room.
14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Getting fearless and imaginative answers to my questions.
15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
Winning Weezie Meisenheimer’s switchblade playing eight-ball and realizing it would be best to let him keep it.
16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
I’d be a landscape architect. Sort of what I’m doing now. Planting trees for the future.
17. Educational experience that’s been most helpful to you?
Enrolling once upon a time at a liberal arts college you may have heard of in Danville, Ky.
18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
Huck Finn on the raft, if that’s an acceptable answer. He was barefoot.
19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
Either Breck or the Sinking Spring. The ghosts.
20. Advice you’d give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
What Thoreau said: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
20 Questions with Professor of English Mark Lucas
1. Position at Centre?