Interviewing Sara Rauch for Fiction Writers Review

For Short Story Month at Fiction Writers Review, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Sara Rauch about her debut collection What Shines from It. We talked about finding inspiration in the natural world, Shel Silverstein, using visual art to help plot and plan, and the importance of hope.

I think of all those books I read, all those songs I listened to, when I was younger (hell, even now), that helped me understand there was something larger than myself out there in the world, something to look forward to, something to discover, something like solace, something like transcendence. If I can help bring any of those feelings, to anyone, through writing, then I will continue to attempt to do so, for as long as I am able.

You can read the whole interview here. Grateful to the editors of FWR, and for Sara Rauch for her time.

2020 F(r)iction Creative Nonfiction Contest

I’m thrilled to be the judge for F(r)iction’s 2020 creative nonfiction contest, along with uber-talents Charlie Jane Anders (short story), Devin Kelly (poetry), and Alina Stefanescu (flash fiction).

Per F(r)iction’s site:

Our editorial staff favors stories that celebrate the weird, take risks, and are driven by a strong, unique voice.

Submissions are due by March 31, 2020, with a $500 prize at stake.

You can find full particulars on the F(r)iction site. Good luck!

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Pushcart Nomination – “After a Long Day at Work, He Contemplates a Vasectomy (and the Western Interior Seaway)” (Ghost City Review)

Grateful to Ghost City Review for nominating my poem about vasectomies and estranged family relationships for a Pushcart Prize. It’s an incredible cohort to be a part of, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Grateful to Justin Karcher and all the editors at GCR for believing in this piece. You can read it here.

“We Know So Little 012: Common Cuttlefish” at Pidgeonholes

The newest installment of my micro-essay series, We Know So Little, is about the miraculous, astounding cuttlefish, and learning to accept my body, my flaws, who I am.

But, here’s the thing: we won’t call them aliens any longer, implying—because we don’t understand—that they don’t belong here, that they haven’t worked hard to maintain, because, yes, the cuttlefish have found a way, haven’t they? And not knowing can be beautiful, a mystery we don’t need to understand to appreciate, the rhythm of the black waves crashing on the shore, the moon hanging low and yellow, toes digging divots into the wet sand, smiling—finally feeling like yourself, who you’ve always been and always wanted to be.

You can read the whole series here.

“We Know So Little 011: Horse” at Pidgeonholes

The newest installment of my micro-essay series, We Know So Little, is about horses, our inexplicably-linked history with them, and how they’ve served as a source of calm and comfort throughout so many instances of turmoil in my life.

The horse is running at full-speed, the arch of its back unmistakable, hooves raised high, ears perked, mane blowing, slicing through warm wind, scrubland, high desert, jungle. You’re twenty, no thirty, no sixteen; you’re single, no married, no dating: the horse responds to your touch with spasms of its remarkable muscle, by blowing its lips, letting out an imposing roar. It responds to you, the two of you together, this dance along the horizon, the edge of a lake where a marbled sky overhead promises rain, where thunderous green storms promise relief.

Describe a horse running forever.

No: describe how we got there.

You can read the whole series here.

New poem at Hobart

I have a new poem at Hobart called “Ode to the Moon Trees” about trees grown from seeds shot into space in 1971, largely forgotten now:

Back on earth, shock and awe: planted,
the seeds germinate; there’s no discernable
difference in their make-up. So they’re given 
away as gifts by the President, planted
on college campuses, in city centers, 
affixed with plaques to mark their terrible
cosmic journey.

I’ve long wanted to be published in Hobart, so this is a dream. I’m grateful to the editors there for publishing this poem.

“We Know So Little 010: Monk Parakeet” at Pidgeonholes

The newest installment of my micro-essay series, We Know So Little, is about feral populations of Monk Parakeets spread throughout the USA (and what it means to be called “wild”).

(And you do, you do, fight the urge when you’re in the pet store buying dog food to buy the birds, too, to set them free, to let them find their kin and nest and live long, live well with them.)



You can read the whole series here.

2019 Best of the Net Nomination – “Blue Raspberry” (The Boiler)

Grateful that my essay “Blue Raspberry”—about working for years at Abercrombie & Fitch and my own bodily insecurities—was nominated for the Best of the Net by The Boiler!

What an incredible cohort to be nominated with. A huge thanks to Sebastian Paramo for being so gracious and nominating this piece.

You can read “Blue Raspberry” online here.

“Advanced Studies in Cryptozoology” at 7×7

Grateful beyond measure to have collaborated my art with David Armstrong’s beautiful words on a piece for 7×7 called “Advanced Studies in Cryptozoology.”

If you’re not familiar, 7×7 is a collaborative journal, pairing artists and writers, asking them to create back-and-forth narratives. In our case, I started with a drawing (at random), and David continued the narrative. Where he left off, I took it in another direction with another piece of art. And so on. It was an incredibly fresh way to tell a story, and I’m so happy with how the piece came out.

A few of my illustrations from the project are below. Click here to read the whole story.