My story, “The Deer,” appears in the new issue of Arts & Letters. Big thanks to the readers and to judge Kate Christensen for selecting the story. I’m also grateful that the editors nominated the story for a Pushcart Prize. You can find the whole story in issue 33, but here’s the first page:
My story, “The Bone Oven,” was runner-up in Yemassee Journal‘s fiction contest. Big thanks to the editors, readers, and to contest judge Claire Vaye Watkins.
I had such a great time at the Eckleburg Reading series in Frederick, Maryland. We had poetry from Lauren Hilger and Mark Jones, music from Limestone Connection, and other readings from our open mic participants.
Big thanks to Eckleburg Editor Rae Bryant for inviting me and for recording video.
Thanks to the editors at Yemassee for doing this interview with me. I talk about throwing away drafts as a revision strategy, Arkansas as a mythical landscape, and watching other people play video games on the internet.
Back in July, my story “Saint Josiah the Loveless” was published in Chicago Tribune‘s Printers Row Magazine. The story was a finalist for the annual Nelson Algren prize.
The magazine is available digitally to Chicago Tribune subscribers.
My story, “The Carpenter and the Beast of Teeth,” appears in the latest issue of Territory.
There are a lot of great writers in this issue, and the editors are doing some exciting things with design. Check out Kelly Luce’s sad, beautiful story, “Cross-Section, West Texas,” about a woman whose dentist finds an old love infecting her tooth.
This morning, I had an essay in The New York Times‘ Lives column. The essay appears in the magazine insert and also online.
Huge thanks to the editors for believing in the essay and offering great edits. Also, a big thank you to Melinda Josie for the great piano illustration.
I’ve never had so many people read my work before, which is exciting! But I’ve also never gotten incoherent hate-mail from strangers before, which is less exciting.
I imagine that people like Roxane Gay and Arthur Chu, who write really well about difficult and controversial things, must get a lot of unfriendly mail. I have so much respect for what they do.
Thanks to everyone who chimed in to offer congratulations or to let me know that they enjoyed the essay. It means a lot.
My story, “The Punk Rock Parking Lot Cremation of John Purdie,” is out now in the most recent issue of Redivider. Big thanks to the editors for taking it!
The story is about a high school punk band. Whenever they play music together, the world starts to unravel around them.
You can find out more at the Redivider website.
I’m really pleased that Judge Kate Christensen selected my story, “The Deer,” as this year’s Winner of the $1,000 Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction. “The Deer” will appear in the Fall 2016 issue.
Here are Christensen’s incredibly kind comments on my story:
“The Deer”… is breathtaking and original and gorgeous. Striking, unerring, weird. I was so glad the writer didn’t tip his or her hand, ever: the reality of the story is unbroken. I read it holding my breath.
Another thing. “The Deer” is a riveting fable in its own right, but it also leaves me with a larger sense of a profound human struggle, something universal and shared having to do with our lost connection to our animal natures, our need to dominate and domesticate, because we can’t go back, we can’t regain what we gave up to be human. The narrator is implicated in both sides of the struggle and is therefore tragic in an elemental way I recognize from mythology. Trying to analyze it makes me want to go back to the story. That to me is the sign of a story that’s working on many levels.
Congratulations to the other winners and finalists!
This spring, I was also a finalist for the 2016 Yemassee Writing Prize, judged by Claire Vaye Watkins, and for the 2016 Nelson Algren Literary Award.
My story, “Our City on the Roach’s Back,” just went live at Miracle Monocle. It’s even weirder—and grosser—than it sounds.