Last Word: Stephen Elliott

Text by Patrick Knowles

There are few things in this world more painstakingly tedious than covering a political campaign and more than a few accounts of political junkies overdosing in the shadows of the muck raking machine. When acclaimed Chicago-born author, Stephen Elliott set out to follow the Red and Blue dust trails in 2004, he inadvertently picked up a Hunter S. Thompson fix for detail and an introspective detachment of Didion. While he might have set out to illuminate the mechanics of the political process in his novel, Looking Forward To It: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The American Electoral Process, what he found traveling between states was nothing short of a humanistic account of the lost voice of this country. SOMA caught up with Elliott who is also the founder of the Progressive Reading Series and the executive director of LitPAC to ask, “What did you learn about America while on the campaign trail and what three things are totally necessary for traveling?