Posts Categorized: Interview

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Interview with 2014 1/2 K Prize Winner Amy Woolard

While readying your submission Amy Woolard Headshotto our 2015 1/2 K Prize, read our interview with 2014 winner Amy Woolard. Here she discusses her good friend David Lynch, the absence of poetry in the law, and her experience with returning to writing after a ten-year dry spell.

Amy Woolard is a public policy attorney working on foster care, juvenile justice, poverty, and homelessness issues in Virginia. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Virginia School of Law. Her poems have appeared/are forthcoming in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, Court Green, Fence, The Journal, and Best New Poets 2013, among others, while her essays have run on Slate, Pacific Standard, The Rumpus, Indiewire, and elsewhere. She lives in Charlottesville, Va. You can also find her on Twitter @awoo_, and on her website, www.shift7.me.

What was your inspiration for the character of the girl in “The Girl Next Door to the Girl Next Door”?

I’m going to pass the mic to my good friend David Lynch on this one & hope it doesn’t come off as pompous of me:

“It limits it,” Lynch said, when asked why he’s reluctant to talk about his work in detail. “It stops people from intuiting and thinking on their own. Nothing should be added. Nothing should be subtracted. A film, a book, a painting—it’s done, and this is it. There’s a comfort when your ideas are realized. You’ve worked so that all the elements are working together and it feels complete and correct. Then you say it’s done. Then it goes out into the world but it doesn’t need any more explanation. It is what it is. In cinema, cinema is such a beautiful language—as soon as people finish a film, people want you to turn it into words. It’s kind of a sadness—for me, the words are limiting. Whereas this language is the language that you love. The language of cinema. It’s about love, is what it’s about.”

Seriously: I tend to write about two girls in various scenarios. They’re two actual girls at the same time as they are amalgamations. The poem is just a scene I’m shooting of them. It’s also about love. Read more…

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Interview with 2015 1/2K Prize Judge: Kim Chinquee

kimchinqueeOur 2015 1/2K Prize judge is the phenomenal Kim Chinquee, whose excellent story, “Darling,” will appear in The Indiana Review issue 37.2, Winter 2015. Here she discusses her thoughts on short-short work, dealbreakers, and what she might be looking for in the prize-winning entry.

Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections PRETTY, PISTOL, and OH BABY. Her website is www.kimchinquee.com.

 

1) When and how did you start writing short-short work?

I wrote my first flash fiction piece in 2000, in Mary Robison’s workshop at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. It was my second semester as a graduate student. She had asked the students to bring in something short, so I wrote a piece called “Pure Gold,” which I sent to NOON. It was accepted by Diane Williams, and retitled “The Top Shelf.” I continued writing flash fictions, along with longer work, and seem to have better luck with the flashes.

2) We hear a lot about the challenge of “compressing” in short-short work. Can you speak a bit to how you’ve found this to be the case or not, and to any other challenges you encounter in writing?

My biggest challenge is writing longer work. I’ve become so accustomed to writing short work that my internal editor is sometimes hyperactive.  Lately, I’ve been trying to write more, and then scale back, after I can see the work objectively. I find enjoyment in that.

3) “Choo and Rumble” is at once highly specific and vast in its thematic scope and treatment of time. What are some of your thoughts on the responsibility of short-short work at large, or some myths about it that you want to debunk?

I admire senses and scenery in short-short work. And jumps in time and space. More showing, less telling. Sometimes language play. Breaking limits and boundaries. In short-short work, it’s interesting to break the rules.

4) Do you have any hard and fast “dealbreakers” in writing? Any pet peeves?

Ending the piece by saying it’s a dream. Fiction is already a dream, so it takes the dream out of it when a narrator announces to the reader it’s a dream. On the other hand, I think dreams can make interesting stories, and can sometimes add depth to fiction, as long as the narrator doesn’t point out that the “dream” is a dream.

5) What might you be looking for in the prize-winning entry?

Originality. Interesting language, sensory details, themes. And lots of surprises!

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Interview with Indiana Review Contributor: D. Gilson

dgilsonheadshotD. Gilson’s essay, “On Faggot: an Etymology,” appeared in The Indiana Review issue 35.1 and was selected by John Jeremiah Sullivan as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2014. Here’s an interview with Gilson in which he discusses his piece, touring Anne Hathaway’s cottage, what his essay so easily could have been, and what he pushed it toward instead.

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Interview with IU Creative Writing Faculty: Elizabeth Eslami

We’re proud to have the fantastic Elizabeth Eslami join the Indiana University Creative Writing Program as a Visiting Lecturer. Her collection and novel chilled us; we felt the words cold in our bones. Here Elizabeth answers questions posed her about her writing habits, the deft handling of place in her work, her forthcoming novel, and how she believes in magic.Elizabeth Eslami - photo IU

Elizabeth Eslami is the author of the story collection Hibernate, for which she was awarded the Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, and the acclaimed novel Bone Worship (Pegasus, 2010). Her essays, short stories, and travel writing have been published widely, most recently in The Literary Review, The Sun, and Witness, and her work is featured in the anthologies Tremors: New Fiction By Iranian American Writers and Writing Off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema. She’s a Visiting Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Indiana University.

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