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10 Questions for Xavier Navarro Aquino

- By Edward Clifford

Abuela doesn’t want to die. She’s still holding on to life for the stubbornness of it. And on one of the worst days to head down the mountainside, Ma and Pa decided to drag Diego and me to see her.
—from "A Death Foretold," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I wrote a lot of bad love poetry in my adolescence. My first piece of fiction came much later. It was a terribly written story about a priest and his friend in some made-up town in Ohio. Mind you I’d never been or known a thing about that state. If I recall correctly, the priest slept with his friend’s wife. After writing that trash, I’d like to think the only way to go is up.  



10 Questions for Brian Turner

- By Edward Clifford

Here is a portion of the silence we walk upon, where the stony shore of the Atlantic curls breakers of salt onto a shelf of the lithospheric dead. At our feet, ammonites in their obsidian-colored whorls.
—from "The Jurassic Coast," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
As a child, I wrote a poem about the fog in winter, known as Tule fog in the San Joaquin Valley. The poem is blurry in memory, but it was a persona poem from the point of view of the fog itself. I wouldn’t have known what a persona poem was at the time, but the alive-ness of the world was very present in the poem—as the fog had its own intentions, its own volition, with a mood that lingers with me...


10 Questions for Vanessa Place

- By Edward Clifford

August besieged California with a heat
unseen in generations.
I watched as towering plumes of smoke
billowed from distant hills in all directions
and air tankers crisscrossed the skies.
—from "The Fire Sermon," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
Stendiamo un velo pietoso.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
Influence is a conceit, best left to the conceited. There are writers and works I admire, that did and do inspire, but I don’t know if they left thumbprints so much as the scent of possibility. Possibility is better than genealogy, don’t you think?

What other professions...


10 Questions for Alex Kuo

- By Edward Clifford

Pyne’s count could be extrapolated further: a hundred cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per second. Such strikes account for about 10 percent of the annual wildfires in the United States, and since 1982, there has been an alarming rise in the total number, directly linked to the increasing temperatures due to climate change.
—from "That First Wildfire," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
It was probably during an early summer weekend morning in 1959 at a US Forest Service blister rust work camp, BRC 253 on Meadow Creek, near Clarkia, Idaho, more than sixty years ago after my sophomore year in college in central Illinois. It was after breakfast, and my three tent mates were...


10 Questions for Alexis Orgera

- By Edward Clifford

A tanker
capsized off
the Georgia coast,

4,000 Hyundais
to their murky

—From "The Book of Other," Volume 62, Issue 4 (Winter 2021)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I can do more than tell you about it. Here it is:


Fuzzy football
in the sand.
Shave the beard
and bite the chin.

In the ninth grade, my English class included a semester of poetry, and that was the beginning for me. We read widely from Xeroxed pages, wrote our own poems, and made handmade poetry anthologies. I’d tried to write some stories before then, but I was more a reader. My favorite...

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