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Interviews

10 Questions for Faylita Hicks

- By Franchesca Viaud

In a quiet hall, beneath a church in Chicago's West Side, too many of us stand in a circle and wait for introductions. Some with our headphones on, our fingers crossed. Others with our eyes on the trays of food. The radio on my hip burrs. Pitches. Hums. Condenses—until I can hear clearly an enunciated whisper clapping through.

Hello. My name is—, and I want to thank you all for being brave enough to be with us today. Brave—as in willing to be seen in the sanctified light some have been burdened with this morning. To be noticed for what we are—are all previously incarcerated or detained. We hope that you'll share, but if not—the walls sway or the people have been swaying or the room is turning counter-clockwise and we are all...


Interviews

10 Questions for Stefanie Kirby

- By Franchesca Viaud

Equal parts energy and mass, bodies are held
together by light. You learn how light
pollutes, dependent on its ability to scatter.
The womb gets lighter with every daughter
you have and every daughter you don't have.
Those daughters weigh stones hand over
fist before building them into your womb
like a ballast or fallen wall.
—from "I Ask My Daughter to Consider Her Body," Volume 64, Issue 4 (Winter 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I started as a storyteller. Before I could write any words myself, I dictated a story I titled Der Bergsteiger (The Mountain Climber) to my mom, who added all of the words beneath my illustrations. That book is still at my...


Interviews

10 Questions for Deesha Philyaw

- By Franchesca Viaud

The man who is about to ask you to marry him grabs the check from the little tin tray and slides the three fortune cookies toward you.
"All yours," he says.
     You grin and he grins back. Three years together, and you have your rituals, your routines. When you have pizza, he eats the crusts you leave behind; when you have Chinese, you claim the fortune cookies he thinks are silly. 
     You crack open the first cookie and read the fortune inside. It says, A decade from now, the man sitting across from you is going to choke you. 
     You squint at the tiny piece of paper and read it again. Then you glance up at the man sitting across from you, the man you plan to spend the rest of your...


Interviews

Naming Stars: An Interview with Andrés N. Ordorica

- By J Brooke

As someone who has dealt with immense loss and lives with long-term grief, I cannot say I relish books exploring the topic. Five years after losing our twenty-four-year-old trans son, I am less triggered by storylines dealing with dying young, than I am bored by them. My grief, the steady rhythmic bassline of my days, thankfully offers no surprises; the gray ache never evaporates, but it also rarely spikes. Articles, poems, and books abound painting bright lights extinguished prematurely. And while often beautiful examples of writing, these works do little to color in my gray. Those living with grief probably know what I’m referring to—those who don’t, consider yourselves lucky. Reading ...


Interviews

10 Questions for Aliyeh Ataei

- By Franchesca Viaud

She was considered beautiful in the eyes of the common man, but she believed her womanly seduction outweighed her beauty. Yet she would feel guilty as soon as she turned on her charm. First she would pretend she had done nothing wrong, but then she would be gripped by the cardinal sin of being a woman, seeing herself as the prime suspect in all the romantic entanglements in her life. As soon as she was arrested at her father-in-law's in Birjand, the first and most definitive thing she uttered were the words "I am innocent." 
—from "Ten Minutes," Volume 64, Issue 4 (Winter 2023)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
The first story I ever wrote was about three men sitting down to play cards, with a...


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