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    Interview with Emily Hedrick

    by Emily Hedrick

    NOTE: This interview emerged from questions I sent to Emily Hedrick in July 2018. Full disclosure: I also edited her True Confessions of a God Killer, a fascinating "allegorical memoir" which is described further below, for the DreamSeeker series of Cascadia Publishing House, whose editor, Michael King, also receives a shout-out from Emily. –Jeff Gundy

    JG: For those who may not have read True Confessions of a God Killer, can you describe the book and how you came to write it?

    EH: During my first year of college I was caught up in a unique spiritual crisis: my belief in ...

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    Interview with William Squirrell

    by William Squirrell

    This interview with William Squirrell, author and founder and editor of Big Echo: Critical SF was conducted via email by Jeff Gundy in July 2018. (NB: William Squirrell is a pen name.)

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    Review of "Heartseeker" by Melinda Beatty

    by Britt Kaufmann

    Heartseeker by Melinda Beatty

    Hardcover | $16.99
    Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
    Jun 05, 2018| 336 Pages| Middle Grade (8-12)| ISBN9781524740009

    By Britt Kaufmann

    Full Disclaimer/Disclosure: I am biased and will be inserting myself into this review entirely too much for it to be a proper academic essay, but I'm no academic. I am foremost a reader, though I am also a poet, teacher, and a mom who read chapter books out loud to her kids when they were little.

    I am biased, first of all, because I remember Melinda Spohn (Beatty ...

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    Five or Six Things You Should Know about "Amish Vampires in Space" [Spoilers everywhere]

    by Kirsten Beachy

    Amish Vampires in Space—the truly inspired title is the best thing about this book. Surely you at least took a peek at it on Amazon when it came out and the cover got passed around on social media in 2014. It is 481 pages long and laboriously crafted, so unless you are a forgiving speed-reader or intend to study Amish Vampires for research purposes, you may wish to content yourself with my takeaways.

    1. Plotishness: Jebediah and Sarah Miller are members of an isolationist Amish colony planet, but Jebediah uses forbidden technology to summon help when their solar system becomes ...
  • 0 read more The Body as Document: Some Thoughts on My Tattoo

    The Body as Document: Some Thoughts on My Tattoo

    by Daniel Shank Cruz

    As soon as I walked out of the tattoo parlor on 10 July 2018 I posted the above photograph on Facebook (i.e., documenting my documenting, and when this essay goes online I will share the link on Facebook, continuing the documentation spiral) along with the caption "New tattoo! I've been thinking about getting one for a while, and living under a government that wants to silence me as a queer person of color made me decide to get a design that makes both of those parts of myself explicitly visible."[1]

    The tattoo resulted from an experience earlier ...

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    Dirk Willems

    by Julia Spicher Kasdorf

    Erasure is a modernist poetry technique, a playful variation of found poetry that has been around for at least a century. Typically, poets work by erasing or redacting words from a significant text to uncover a new text. An article by Rachel Stone in The New Republic (23 October 2017), available on-line, observes "The Trump Era Boom in Erasure Poetry."

    The erasure only makes sense in relation to the original—to celebrate, subvert, efface, complicate, or extend its meaning. Jen Bervin, for instance, has published an entire collection of poems based on sonnets by Shakespeare called Nets. Sometimes the original text ...

  • 0 read more On Documents, Documentation, Writing and Experience

    On Documents, Documentation, Writing and Experience

    by Raylene Hinz-Penner

    How does that "relationship" work, I wonder—between documentation and experience? Why do these terms feel adversarial to me in 2018? A document is an innocent text, is it not—a neutral source waiting to be used by an imaginative writer? A document is precisely the "prod" or "primer" which has often sent me into story! But documentation has become a kind of dirty, authoritarian word.

    I. The Document

    (Etymology: "document" as noun; the Latin root word includes such meanings as "to show, teach, or cause to know")

    1. A document can serve to recover experience a writer cannot otherwise know; the historical ...

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    Excerpt: Time and Memory

    by Joyce Munro

    Author's introduction:

    I found her in her husband's estate papers where an "X" indicates she could not write her name in English cursive. Yet she paid off his liens, loans, and doctor bills in the early months of 1871, and had $600 left over to build another life for herself.

    A decade earlier her father-in-law deeded a house and subdivision of his land to Sarah M. Moyer, but the tax collector the following year, 1862, drew a line through her name. Perhaps Jacob C. wanted to protect Jacob F. from losing everything should a suit be filed against ...

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    Grandpa's Day Timers, As We Left They Sang, Plans to Prosper

    by Angeline Schellenberg

    I regard these found pieces from my elegy manuscript, Field of Light/Field of Stone, as a collaboration with my ancestors. In the case of the memoir ("As We Left They Sang") and interview ("Plans to Prosper"), I have set their prose to music, in a sense, by carefully selecting phrases and placing them next to one another. My grandparents' voices are very present in the work.

    With the poems using memoir and interview, the objectives of author and subject match: to create something that will make our family history known. In the case of the day timers, by combining ...

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    Introduction: Documentary Writing and Mennonite/s Writing

    by Julia Spicher Kasdorf

    For about a decade now, I have been interested in documentary poetry, occasionally teaching it in special topics courses and trying to write it myself. It has taken me a long time to recognize how deeply the concerns of this literary practice touch my own reasons for writing—and how clearly they correlate with values I find common among some authors and books associated with the loose enterprise we sometimes call "Mennonite/s writing."

    Documentary poetry applies the values of contemporary verse—voice, concision, visual imagery, emotional urgency, inventive form—to topics we expect to encounter in the news, such as issues of ...