I came late to writing nonfiction and doing photography with intent to publish. I quickly realized, I wanted to tell stories combining my words and photos. I’ve had more success submitting nonfiction pieces with embedded photos—a handful or a bunch—than with calling them photo essays.
Ever since Alexander Chee shared his thoughts on Point of Telling during a GrubStreet conference session, I keep thinking about it. Essentially, Point of Telling refers to the narrator’s temporal relationship to the events in the story—the answer to the question “From where and when is the story being told?” there was no escaping the rabbit hole of related questions: What do the events of the story mean now, as the narrator is relating them?
Although I primarily write poems, my natural inclination is to understand the world through narratives. What narrative offers is a consistent structure that “makes sense” to me and that I return to often while generating material prior to writing. Stories possess a familiar structure: a beginning, a middle, and an end, regardless of how we enter or exit, this seems to be true.
My primary emotion as a writer is guilt. I am guilty when I don’t write and when I have written, but not enough. When I have written, but written badly. When I meant to write but got caught up doing something else. I am guilty when I have no ideas and when I have so many ideas I can’t write them all and also when I have one idea, but can’t figure out how to write it.
My prose poem “Food Chain,” published in Typehouse Issue 15, begins with a line guaranteed to put a reader to sleep: “I was out walking my dog.” What was I thinking? Blame it on James Tate.
me I read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, I was too young to really understand its commentary on war, trauma, and violence. Rather than analyzing the work’s thematic ambitions, as my English assignment required, I could not stop thinking about what the book did in terms of craft.
All my life my father, my birth-father that is, was a secret. Growing up, whenever I’d inquire, my mother would tell me I wasn’t old enough yet to know. Once I was an adult I heightened the asking. Finally, I threatened to never return home. “Okay, okay,” she said as she flipped through her Roledex and dialed his number. Just like that.
Our new issue is in the processes of being shipped to us, and we are excited! Featuring work by Martina Litty, Denise Coville, Jenna Heller, Addison Rizer, Stephen O’Donnell, AnnElise Hatjakes, Joshua Storrs, Soramimi Hanarejima, Elizabeth Fergason, Chaya Nautiyal Murali, Jim Ross, Kym Cunningham, Rita Rouvalis Chapman, Pat Daneman, M.C.… Read More »Issue 19 now available for preorder!