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Interviews

Poetry Connects People: an Interview with Beth Williams by Jonah Meyer, Poetry Editor

“An early teacher of mine suggested keeping a jar of words and lines that haven’t landed yet. The jar on my desk is overflowing.”‍   Why do you write poetry?  Poetry is a way for me to get worries out of my head—a way to confront what bothers me. Each time I finish a poem, […]

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An Interview with Fernanda Morales Tovar, by Michelle Quick, Art Editor

“My paintings…invite the view to interact with the works on their own terms, based on the encounters, memories or experiences…promoting a sense of shared humanity,‎” Fernanda Morales Tovar, Issue 73 Featured Artist   One of the first things I noticed about this series is that while the setting in these paintings may be crucial to […]

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An Interview with Madelaine Zadik by Andrew Miller, Mud Season Review, Creative Nonfiction Editor

“…although we cannot escape grief, grief and joy do not contradict each other. They can coexist, and thus we do not need to fear grief.”   The first paragraph of your essay suggests a “nature-nurture” question: How much has your life been structured by your mother’s emotional state while pregnant compared to your upbringing? Both […]

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Interviews

One Man’s Water Story: an Interview with Jim Marino, by Paul Chuks, Fiction Reader

‍ “Every writer has one dog story in them and one water-imagery story in them, and this is my water story,” Jim Marino, author of “Becoming Water”   Talk about your story and what inspired it?  I tried writing an earlier story about this narrator, the story he tells Piper about running away from home […]

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Creating Writing Rooted in Autobiography

An Interview with Brad Shurmantine by Andrew Miller, Mud Season Review, Creative Nonfiction Editor This story is about my mother’s heroism. If I had been a teenager, I would have been telling her what to do and getting us all killed. “Mom! Chill! It’ll blow over!” –Brad Shurmantine At the beginning of “Inconceivable,” you and […]

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Learning to See the World in New Ways

An Interview with Valentina Luna by Ashley Hajimirsadeghi, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Mud Season Review I try to see color for what it really is, like a detective finding out all the details that come from a unique mixture. I experiment with mixing colors to evoke certain feelings and emotions. It’s not all about recreating what we see, […]

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Interviews

To Write Truthfully

An Interview with William Hawkins By Joseph Linscott, Fiction Reader  What is necessary, in a character, for a character to be dwelling on a comment made at a dinner in front of a writer? A shameless person wouldn’t be thinking about it. Anxieties are often manifestations of a desire to move in time, to “correct” […]

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Fumbling and Experimenting With Language: The Unpredictability of Poetry

An Interview With Sherry Shahan by Jonah Meyer, Poetry Editor Having a molecule of an idea and watching it morph into a creature I no longer recognize. I’m an avid scribbler—everything from quirky lines heard in a song to snippets of an overheard conversation and odd images that randomly pop into my head. –Sherry Shahan […]

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Finding A Turning Point in Life and Documenting It

An Interview with Jill Quist by Leah Sackett, Mud Season Review “I was going to change my identity from being a good girl to being a bad girl. Bad girls got in trouble. Bad girls were infinitely more popular. Bad girls had boyfriends.”  –Jill Quist What was the required amount of time and distance from […]

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Poetry as Medicine: The Healing Capacities of Writing

An Interview With Poet T.W. Sia by Jonah Meyer, Poetry Editor  “To me, poems became the most concentrated reflections of our most prickly stories—the kind that we beg someone will be generous enough to listen to, but also the kind that makes us fear our own vulnerability.” –T.W. Sia   Thank you, T.W., for taking […]

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Mortality, Writing Obsessions, and Keeping Going Day by Day

An Interview with DS Levy By Fiction Editor, Ann Fisher Also, teaching has made me a better reader and, I hope, a better writer, because I have to think about “how” the story works and then articulate that “how-ness” to other writers. I’ve always said, “If you want to learn, teach.” –DS Levy “Wild” touches […]

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Interviews

Spontaneity and Storytelling in Art as a Medium

Interview with Lee Willett By Co-Editor-in-Chief Ashley Hajimirsadeghi “My ultimate ambition is to inspire individuals to engage with nature, appreciating its inherent beauty and fostering a deeper connection with their surroundings through my work.” –Lee Willett Each of these pieces combines different elements: landscape photographs, object photographs, distance, time, etc. Tell us a little about […]

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Self-Worth, Life as a Doll, and Dwelling on Agency

An Interview with Megan Baffoe by Fiction Editor Madeline DeLuca “You must have conviction in your own humanity if you are to survive.”  What gave you the idea to write this story? I was dwelling a lot on the concept of agency, and who gets to claim it. When someone seeks to control others, they […]

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Interviews

Experimenting with Light, Shadows, Forms, and Reflections:

An Interview with Featured Artist Matthew Fertel By Kristin LaFollette “I am drawn to anything that stands out from its surroundings. Damaged cars, rusty metal, defaced surfaces, trash, blemishes, and other imperfections are all grist for the mill.” -Matthew Fertel You refer to the images in this portfolio as “abstract photographs.” Talk about what this […]

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Starting Anew and Exploring Narratives of Culture

An Interview with Shawn Tran By Creative Nonfiction Associate Editor Lenore Weiss “It must’ve been a difficult decision to make, leaving behind the comfort and familiarity of home to start anew in a foreign land with a different language and culture.” What was your grandmother’s experience while fleeing a war-torn country as you explain in […]

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Interviews

Silence and Stillness: The World at Night Welcomes Free-Writing Flow

An Interview With Featured Poet Ali Gipson by Jonah Meyer, Poetry Editor   With my poetry, I strive to examine myself in terms of whom I have been, currently am, and will be, and how these versions of myself are influenced and impacted by the natural world around me.   Why do you write poetry? […]

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No Need to Choose One Lane: Dazzling Metaphors, Rejection as Accomplishment, and the Intersection of Playwriting and Poetry

An Interview with Bri Craig by Poetry Editor, Jonah Meyer  “Still, I think if you can effectively lay out a moment in time, you can create something that is far more visceral and relatable than trying to stay away from the stories within your own experience.” What are you currently reading? I am currently reading […]

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Collage and the Symbolism of the Unconscious

An Interview with Featured Artist JC Alfier By Art Editor Kristin LaFollette “I look to create with the intention that the elements of the collage become a bit mysterious, reassembled into new narratives, intimate yet anonymous, and suggestive of emotional pathos.” As a collage artist myself, I’m curious: How did you become a collage artist? […]

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What Cannot Be Said Out Loud and Finding the Truth in a Moment

An Interview with Catherine Parnell By Fiction Editor Ann Fisher “In our bay there is no such thing as a secret between us.” In previous work, you note that you often “listen to the music of language” around you to build a story. Was there a word song that sparked “Sisters of the Sacred Well” […]

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Finding Art, Inspiration, and Innovation in an Essay

Interview with Michelle Spokes by Creative Nonfiction Editor Andrew Miller “I’m trying out different versions of the fantasy so it feels right, returning to the beginning of a scene and then varying it. Writing it felt a little like reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book.” “New Girlfriend” is a segmented, primarily chronological essay, with […]

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Merging Genres, Worlds, and Languages

Interview with Helena Paoli By Joseph Linscott “When the genres merge, I see new life.” — Helena Paoli You write in your bio that you are exploring where “literary genres merge.” That word “merge” is so interesting to me. Whereas hybridity and experimental writing makes something else entirely out of these previous forms, you are […]

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Smashing Pumpkins, Richard Brautigan’s Face, Strangers’ Sketches and Musings: Nighttime as Write-Time to Dig Into My Surroundings

An Interview with Casey Harloe By Poetry Editor Jonah Meyer “Experiencing poetry of others makes me emboldened to let my guard down in writing even more, to be more trusting and personal.” –Casey Harloe   Your poems we have published here—which I find outstanding, by the way—obviously appear to have been born from specific autobiographical […]

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The Body as Energy

An Interview with Featured Artist Danielle Benvenuto By Kristin LaFollette “I explore the beauty of the body and celebrate it as a gift to be honored. I think our bodies are the route to higher realms and overall, our general happiness.” -Danielle Benvenuto Your featured portfolio shows two different styles of artwork. Talk about these […]

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The Summit of the Sweet Seventies

An Interview with Barbara Ridley  By CNF Reader C. S. Hadebe “I don’t believe in denying my age…[It] is indeed a privilege…”  –Barbara Ridley  In the words of New York-born writer Gabrielle Zevin: “You don’t choose a book; the book chooses you.” How well do you feel the quote describes your sudden gravitation towards May […]

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Double Hashbrowns, Triple Smothered, Triple Covered: On Roller Skating, Waffle House, and Authentic Insight in Poetry

An Interview with Featured Poet Mandy Shunnarah By Poetry Editor Jonah Meyer The poems are everywhere. I just try to be observant so I’ll notice them when they come knocking and can write them down before they go off to somewhere else. –Mandy Shunnarah What was it like growing up in Alabama as you did, […]