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10 Questions for Valerie Sayers

- By Franchesca Viaud

"I tell Rudy that we really really need a new mattress and watch his mouth twist—he's never thrilled about buying anything, much less a mattress that might take as long to pay off as a new car. The old one was supposed to last twenty years, and Rudy's hell-bent on getting every last night. But honeybun, my aching back and the yellowing receipt agree: the twenty years are up."
—from "I Don't Need It, I Just Want It," Volume 64, Issue 3 (Fall 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Like most writers, I’ve been at it a lifetime, but the first consequential work I produced came when a high school teacher assigned Light in August and then asked us to write in a Faulknerian voice. I don...


10 Questions for D.K. Lawhorn

- By Franchesca Viaud

"Caught between Sister Eustace’s fingers, my ear is close to ripping off as she drags me through the schoolhouse and toward the steps that lead to the Mother Superior’s room. This is the only part of the morning that hasn’t gone to plan. I focus on the comforting weight of the silver dinner knife tucked into the waistband of my skirt. Its cold length digs against my hip bone and reassures me. My trip upstairs won’t end like the others. All those girls who have gone before me. I will come back down. I will slay the monster waiting up there. I will kill the Mother Superior, ear or no ear."
—from "Mother Tongue" by D.K. Lawhorn, Volume 64, Issue 3 (Fall 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote...


(Almost) 10 Questions for Michael Bazzett

- By Edward Clifford

There is thought behind those eyes, said my head
when it saw itself in the Polaroid held in my hand.

My face was being eaten by the glow that dissolved
my forehead into a luminous window because I was

overexposed. This is no metaphor.
—From "Exposure," Volume 64, Issue 2 (Summer 2023)

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
My poetic family tree would definitely have a Polish branch, where Wislawa Szymborska and Zbigniew Herbert would roost, with dark jackets and glinting eyes and the intelligence of crows. And there would be a dusty evergreen Portuguese branch where José Saramago & Fernando Pessoa would settle into the dusk. And I've always loved Borges and Simic, too.



10 Questions for Lisa Fay Coutley

- By Franchesca Viaud

When Buddha said silence is an empty
space & space is the home of the awakened

mind, he hadn't yet crossed his legs
& held his spine both firm & calm

in the smoke-filled avocado kitchen
of my small girlhood.
—from "Cuffing Season" by Lisa Fay Coutley, Volume 64, Issue 2 (Summer 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first poem that comes to mind is not the first ever but the first I revised for many hours in that way I came to know as really working a piece. A few years before that, the dysfunction of my life brought me to the page, which led me to return to school as a young, single mother, and this poem, “Small Girl,” which...


10 Questions for Mónica Gomery

- By Franchesca Viaud

Today, summer is over.
Today, everybody is ready
for autumn's crimson sleight 
of hand. Everybody wants to peel
off a green dress, flirt with the bitter
temperature, get into a fight. 
—from "Rosh Hashanah" by Mónica Gomery, Volume 64, Issue 2 (Summer 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I wrote constantly as a kid. As soon as I could put letters together, I was exhilarated to give it a try as often as possible. My mother is a visual artist, and she encouraged my brother and me to make art of all kinds. One of her best moves was buying us these blank hardcover books– the pages were unlined and open, even the covers were blank, so I could write the book, give it a...

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