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10 Questions

10 Questions for Paolo Rumiz

- By Greogry Conti

“As she opens her front door, dressed perfectly with just a hint of retro, you see the blue flame of the samovar grumbling behind her down at the end of the hall. The tea, the smoked herring, the small talk meted out with the stately pace of a fairytale, create just the right atmosphere for talking about any theme you like. ‘How’s it going, young man,’ she says, a bit maternally, sizing you up with the Tatar gaze of a countess who has seen it all: wars, love affairs, and who-knows-what-all. Then she leads you by the hand into the labyrinths of history, with the expertise of someone who has been working there forever.” —from “Like Horses Asleep on Their Feet,” translated by Gregory Conti,...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Susannah Sheffer

- By Abby Macgregor

November in our mouths,
the cool stone taste of it.
It is what we say when we say anything.
All through the cemetery
there are pebbles on the graves.
from “Why Write About It,” Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Mark Irwin

- By Abby Macgregor

If I could make language simpler I would.
Language says that each word equals something
else, but that’s not true. If I could make
language simpler, I would make an invisible
equals sign that extends through each of us . . . .
from “Human Pageant,” Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
When I was twelvve years old, I accidentally shot a robin, high in a tree, with a BB gun. I think that I wrote something trying to understand how this happened. I’m sure that the piece was not very good, but I learned then that writing was both a way of thinking and feeling.

What writer(s)...


10 Questions for Elizabeth Harris

- By Kira Archibald

“A blue eye, floating in still water, blood vessels showing in the yellow cornea. A small, white liquid ball gathering on the lower eyelid, ready to spill over at any moment. The eye, under slackened folds of skin, swung wildly and stared into my own. Now that the iris had half disappeared into the corner of the eye and more cornea was showing, the glassy fluid overflowed and ran down beside the large, sharp nose . . . . The pupil was locked onto me.” —from “Just a Minute,” by Monica Pareschi. Translated by Elizabeth Harris. Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you translated
The first book I...


10 Questions for Marty McConnell

- By Abby MacGregor

I come to claim the white boy who yesterday slaughtered nine 
Black worshippers at prayer. Because to deny him is to deny the
ways he and I are the same, deny the hideous lineage that dogs
us and feeds us. Gavel and spit. Rope and bumper and chain. I
claim him but will not say his name. It slips down my throat like
half-gone milk, slick and hard.

—from “The Sacrament of Penance,” Winter 2017 (Vol. 58, Issue 4)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.

When my parents sold the house I grew up in, one of the things Mom found stashed away was some writing from second grade, including a poem...

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