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10 Questions for Amy Yee

- By Edward Clifford

Inside was an older Asian man of medium height and build. His head was shaved to a salt-and-pepper stubble. Square, silver-rimmed glasses perched on his gentle-looking face. He wore a white tank-top undershirt and a dish towel thrown over one shoulder. The man was busy cleaning up after cooking what smelled like cabbage soup. . . I realized that Mr. S, the guesthouse owner, had shut the kitchen door to block out the smell — and the sight of this man making his lunch.
from “Searching for Walter,” Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I took a creative writing class as an undergrad at Wellesley...


10 Questions for Cynthia White

- By Edward Clifford

As a girl I pictured death the way
I pictured sex, transporting and light

on details. Except he should be
mounted. Mustachioed and dashing.

Now, I hear about a woman—
an acquaintance, my age—

on a shaded path I also walk, whose heart
quit just before the lime-kiln turnoff,
—from “Footpad,” Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I was in the fifth grade when I wrote a description of a gathering snowstorm. I don't know if it was any good, though I enjoyed writing it. My teacher made me read it out loud to our class, usually a mortifying experience, but somehow I found myself paying attention to the sound of the words, how they fit...

10 Questions

(Almost) 10 Questions for Kate Durbin

- By Edward Clifford

What did you want to be when you were young?
A writer and artist.

What inspired you to create these pieces?
Unfriend Me Now is a single-piece video installation, but there are lots of individual clowns in it. MR 's Summer 2019 issue includes stills from that piece. It’s about the fighting on Facebook around the election of Trump, specifically about people declaring that others unfriend them. I was thinking...


10 Questions for Lesley Wheeler

- By Edward Clifford

Edna St.Vincent Millay terminated two pregnancies. The miscarriage she induced in 1922 in England is well documented because Millay confided in multiple people; even her printed letters contain veiled references. An earlier procedure, occuring in the late fall of 1920 in Greenwich Village, seems to be recorded only by biographer Nancy Milford. Norma Millay told Milford her famous sister had "suffered a 'botched abortion,' which left her bleeding and weakened."
—From "The Smell of Tansy through the Dark," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first story I wrote, in second or third grade, was a dire tale of domestic violence. Only a young character who resembled me...


10 Questions for Jennifer Richter

- By Edward Clifford

The old couch cushion tipped you toward him;
hunched and skeletal, he didn't make a dent.
See how that could feel to him like pressure?
(His therapist, gently.) But (her quick glance,
his nod, negotiations with the god)
—From "The Underworld Also Swallows Sons," Volume 61, Issue 1 (Spring 2020)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In elementary school, I wrote what felt to me like an epic poem (in rhymed quatrains) about a hero called Fred.  What was truly “epic”: it won a contest in my northwest Chicago school district, so I was invited to one of the Young Writer’s Workshops that Gwendolyn Brooks hosted as the Poet Laureate of Illinois.  When she recited “We...

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