I met Kristen Millares Young at AWP’s annual writing conference earlier this year. I sidled up, thrust my advance copy of Subduction in front of her to sign, and she said, “It’s about fucked up people trying to find their way.” Without yet reading a word, I was hooked.
In my earliest memory, I’m seven, old according to most people. I was awake in the middle of the night with fire in my lungs. It was before the divorce, before all the moving—and I was having an asthma attack.
In an authoritarian country where nobody bothers to read the news because it won’t reflect the truth, a queer small business owner isn’t trying to resist. She just wants to exist.
Thu is a sought after sugar momma, entrepreneur and lesbian who is well-known around a swanky expat neighborhood in Ho Chi Minh City—Vietnam’s notorious Saigon.
Jessi Jezewska Stevens and I met in the halls of Columbia University’s MFA writing program. It was a moment of monumental life shift, one that can be confusing and terrifying but full of growth. It was a moment not unlike what Percy is confronting in Stevens’s debut novel, The Exhibition of Persephone Q (FSG)...
I’d been asleep for hours, curled around my sister’s yellow blanket when a muffled call pushed its way into my brain.
“Siobhan? Siobhan?” My father’s words came to me as though I were underwater. “Where’s your sis—” I rolled over.
“Krissy?” My father’s face loomed over me, confused
I heard him before I saw him—Marpha’s town crier. His voice was low, booming, and it carried his slow articulation through the streets of Marpha until they hit me where I sat in the sunshine. Then I saw him, walking with his hands secured behind his back, yelling as he went. Announcements, someone told me.
I run. Miles and miles and miles stretch out in front of me like the unraveling of a life. I run. Through woods and parks, along beaches, paths, and asphalt. At first I couldn’t do it alone. Running was too many miles and all that quiet. I enlisted my boyfriend’s help and we ran together. His breathing matched mine. Traversing the Sierra Nevada mountains where he lived. Winding through the New York City streets where I lived.
Erica Trabold is a Portland writer and teacher who grew up in Stromsburg, the Swedish capital of Nebraska. Her debut collection of lyric essays, Five Plots (Seneca Review Books, 2018) explores place and the concept of “home,” among other themes.
After a football-playing classmate raped me, everyone in town acted like it was all my own fault. The worst part is that I started to believe them.
The Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Resort has long played host to a variety of artists who have sought space to cultivate their creativity.
But now, the lodge is gearing up for a week-long artist residency takeover that encapsulates the lodge’s very essence and purpose.
Q: What do you like most about teaching Building a Scene?
A: My brain thinks cinematically. When I picture my stories, I envision them on film. What scene would the film open up with? What angles capture the best light? What fabulous actress is going to play me? What fabulous villain will play my mother? Etc., etc., etc. This class gives me an opportunity to sink deeper into that space with some of my favorite kinds of people—writers. Stories are better in writing than on film because we get to play every role, the director, casting director, producer, director of photographer, stunt double, and so on.
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