Author Archives: Carol Reid

Dan Chaon

The stories in this collection were written over a span of a decade but the connections are strong and clear. What was it about these nightmare tales that kept you coming back to write more?

I knew early on that I eventually wanted to publish a collection of ghost stories. I came up with the idea after I published “The Bees” in 2003, and so every once in a while I’d try my hand at a piece, in between working on a novel.

But honestly, I didn’t realize how strong the connections were until I sat down to put all the stories together and see if I had enough for a collection. Then I was actually a bit alarmed to notice how many repetitions and recurring images there were—wow, I thought, I sure am obsessive! Continue reading

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Featured Writer: Matt Dennison

Reading a Matt Dennison poem is often like seeing a new star appear in the sky—so much energy and light, even in the darkest pieces. Tell us about the creative process from your point of view.

“I write a little every day, without hope, without despair..”
—Isak Dinesen

One way to begin is to stick your hands in the memory lake, feel around until you touch something gliding past, feel for it again, wait until you have some kind of a grip, then start pulling—some pieces pull straight out, close to being fully formed; others will need a huge amount of straightening once on dry land.  Either way, if it’s covered with music it’s the real thing and a place to begin. Continue reading

Featured Writer, Interviews | Carl Sandburg, Goethe, Matt Dennison | 15 Comments

Interview: Andrew Kozma

The critical event that generated this collection was the death of your father. Were you and he able to share language and poetry in your childhood and/or as adults together?

Both my parents are big readers, but my tastes run closer to my mom’s than my dad’s. As he grew older, his reading turned more and more towards religious philosophy, the mystics of various religions that, in the most basic way, all seem to be saying the same thing about the greater force that we call God. In short, a subject that I find almost inherently uninteresting.

But he had a chance to read my poetry and fiction before he died. Though I assume he must have read some of my writing, the only proof of his exposure to what I’d written comes from his attending plays I’d written. A year and a half before he died, my parents attended my undergraduate senior thesis, a series of four interlinked plays. Afterwards, they said that they realized, while watching them, that writing was actually something I could successfully create my life around. Which, I guess, meant that they could see how people who weren’t my parents could be moved by what I wrote. Continue reading

Interviews | Andrew Kozma, Bioshock, City of Regret, Taos | 1 Comment

Interview: Nathaniel Bellows

There’s strong sense of place and landscape in your work–wondering about the title of your poetry collection, Why Speak? Does the landscape sometimes speak for you?

At the risk of sounding strange, I guess I would say that the landscape has always spoken to me. I was lucky enough to grow up in a pretty rural environment—or at least with access to various remote landscapes—and as a result, the presence of the natural world often takes center stage in my work. I live in New York City now, and it’s only been relatively recently that I’ve started to write about the urban landscape; but even then, I find I apply a pastoral sensibility to it—focusing on the trees along the street rather than the street itself, etc. Often the pieces of art I admire most have a secure, realized environment as a foundational element. The British writer Penelope Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors and the critic Michael Hoffman said of her work: “In Mrs. Fitzgerald’s novels, you can breathe the air and taste the water.” That notion of palpable “realness” is what I’m always striving for in my work. Continue reading

Interviews | "On This Day", Nan Stories, Nathaniel Bellows, Why Speak | 2 Comments

Interview: Wendy Brown

Your work goes from one extreme to the other, from the sprawling, color-soaked Blue Chair series to the scrappy pen and ink cartoons which have brought you fame and fortune, or at least a few medals and rent money. Which came first?

I’ve been drawing, painting all my life – since before kindergarten. So I don’t know – I’ve always cartooned, always painted and drawn in some form or other. But it wasn’t till I moved to Powell River that I had the financial freedom (deliberate poverty) to devote most of my time to painting. I worked in advertising and publishing in Toronto as art director, cartoonist and illustrator for decades. So I guess, professionally at least, cartooning came first. Actually, when I started painting full time, it was difficult keeping the glib line of cartooning out of the painting while still doing kind of impressionist work.
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