Contributor Spotlight: David Hamilton

April 24th, 2015

me w seaDavid Hamilton’s piece “Mother’s Bell” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 16, out now.

(Photo credit: Rebecca Clouse)

How long have you been writing?
At least 40 years, or say 50.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I was born in Illinois, grew up in Missouri, then after eleven years on the east coast and in Colombia, I lived in Michigan for several years before moving to Iowa, where I am still.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
That’s hard to say and impossible to be sure of. Friends from the coasts have often thought there was something a little different about me, something they couldn’t quite grasp. Something perhaps about horizons being of more moment than peaks. I’ll let it go at that.

Why do you believe there has never really been a regionalist push for Midwestern writing in the past like there has with the South or even the West Coast?
Perhaps because, if horizons are our thing, they extend to any coast, and beyond, and we don’t find ourselves excluded, whereas those settled down on the coasts can’t imagine being anywhere else.

How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
So far I’m passive. Sometimes a bit of it happens, and not by my doing. I’ve yet to be an engineer of it. Not that I mightn’t, or shouldn’t.

Favorite book?
Oh, there are so many. Let’s start with The Canterbury Tales.

Favorite food?
My wife’s saffron rice, my grilled trout, veggies grilled just before the trout—zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, asparagus—and a chilled, dry white wine. In the summer of course, on our back porch.

If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
Emily Dickinson, Geoffrey Chaucer, Gabriel García Márquez, C. P. Cavafy, Elizabeth Bishop.

Where can we find more information about you?
There’s a site called “Pieced Work” on which I have been a participant, http://piecedwork.com/david-hamilton/. It is created and directed by an Australian writer, Clare Carlin. Or there’s a recent essay in december (Vol. 25.2) from which you can infer much, as you could from another that will be out this month or next in The Chaucer Review.

Issue 19: Nonfiction is back

We are so pleased to announce that after a (long!) two year hiatus, we’re bringing back something we love dearly: Issue 19 (Fall 2015) will be dedicated solely to nonfiction!

While we love fiction and poetry, we’re so excited to see your nonfiction pieces—we feel it’s another fantastic way to gain some perspective on the region. Also like fiction and poetry, we’re looking for pieces that embody the Midwest—good, bad or ugly—pieces that represent the people or places here, your own experiences, things you’ve seen or witnessed—all in the name of helping to catalog the region in a way never done before.

Submissions will be open May 1 – May 31, and we’re looking for creative nonfiction, essays, and anything and everything in-between.

Check out our previous nonfiction issue, Issue 11 (Fall 2013).

For more details about what we’re looking for, check out our Submissions page.

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Contributor Spotlight: Linda Niehoff

Linda NiehoffLinda Niehoff‘s story “The Tiny Woods” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 17, out now.

What’s your connection to the Midwest, and how has the region influenced your writing?
I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life (never farther than 20 minutes from where I was born and raised). My parents came from California and Chicago to live in a small Kansas town. And while Chicago is still the Midwest, it’s so much different than where I’m from. I think growing up that way has given me the unique perspective of being both a native and an outsider. I see the things I love, but I also know why they are special because I was raised by people that were noticing all the differences. I can’t help but write about those things. Every year, we drive through Western Kansas on the way to vacation in Colorado. It’s all grain elevators, water towers, and church steeples—bread, water, and God. Some people hate it, but I love it. I start filling in the details with characters and stories. Every year I drive it, my mind fills up with words.

What do you think is the most compelling aspect of the Midwest?
All that space. It’s different for people living in large cities. But in Kansas, even in the larger cities, it doesn’t take long to get somewhere that’s way out in the open. You can stare into the horizon and see what forever looks like. I took for granted that everyone could see to the end of the earth until I started traveling other places.

How do your experiences or memories of specific places—such as where you grew up, or a place you’ve visited that you can’t get out of your head—play a role in your writing?
Memory is everything to me. So is nostalgia. I get haunted by things. Every single story is me trying to keep something alive that is gone.

Discuss your writing process—inspirations, ideal environments, how you deal with writer’s block.
My ideal writing place would be tiny little motels in unknown towns all along an interstate. But that’s not very practical. For many years I’ve written every morning in a spiral notebook. It’s the beginning of every story I write and the place I come back to when I’m stuck. Mostly it’s diary-ish. I collect minutes and hours and days that I want to remember—especially if they feel like a spark for something bigger. I record places and descriptions. But I also use it as a place to talk to myself and work out story problems. I move to a different notebook for drafting fiction though I’ve sometimes accidentally written entire drafts in that first notebook. From there I start typing up fragments into Scrivener and arranging them into stories. But I constantly go back to my original notebook where I talk to the pale blue lines and retell the story over and over and over, working out kinks and searching for that silver thread of poetry.

How can you tell when a piece of writing is finished?
The writing is finished when it only makes me cringe a little. When I can read through the whole thing without saying to myself, “No wait. Not that. That’s not what I meant.” When I start tinkering with a comma or a single word or moving a paragraph up to the top and then back down to the bottom. That’s when I know it’s time.

Who is your favorite author (fiction writer or poet), and what draws you to their work?
Last year I fell fast and hard for Leesa Cross-Smith’s short fiction. I devoured everything I could find of hers online and then bought her debut short story collection, Every Kiss a War. Something about the way she writes—even though her themes are vastly different from mine—makes me want to pick up a pen. I will always and forever be drawn to small towns, slamming screen doors, long trails of cigarette smoke, rumbly trucks and gravel roads and her work embodies all of that for me. On the other end of the spectrum, I also love manor houses and ghostly things. Deanna Raybourn and Alan Bradley are the writers I turn to for that. (Sorry that’s actually three writers, but they all tied with each other.)

What’s next for you?
I’m really in a short story groove right now. I love flash fiction. I love tiny moments that are over just as they begin but light up the whole world in that brief second. I do have several skeletal drafts of novels I wouldn’t mind getting back to, but for now, I’d like to exhaust my short story ideas.

Where can we find more information about you?
I blog sporadically at www.thewrittenpicture.typepad.com and am on twitter: @lindaniehoff. Thanks for having me!

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Contributor Spotlight: Joey Dean Hale

unnamedJoey Dean Hale’s story “The Laborer” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 15, out now.

(Author photo copyright Kristin Hale.)

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing weird little stories and songs since I was a kid. And I wrote for our high school paper—The Wolves’ Howl.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I grew up in Clay County in southern Illinois, worked on our farm, worked construction, played music, went to college at SIU in Carbondale, and now I live in the St. Louis area—still out in the country though.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
The people, the weather, the outdoor activities and landscape. The farms and the towns. The whole Midwest mentality. I suppose that has all influenced me—both positively and negatively. And a lot of my fiction is influenced by actual events. For example, the Greg Arbeiter stories, such as “The Laborer” which you published, are based on my past jobs, etc… And my story “Huck and Tom in Southern Illinois circa 1983,” which you can find on the Fried Chicken & Coffee website (12/11/2012), is a postmodern take on Twain’s characters based on me and my buddy Tim Thompson.

Why do you believe there has never really been a regionalist push for Midwestern writing in the past like there has with the South or even the West Coast?
I think a lot of people outside the Midwest aren’t interested because they assume the stories will all be about watching the corn grow or something, but actually the Midwest is a large and diverse place and the art—fiction, poetry, music, etc.—is also very diverse.

How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
I usually post recent publications and upcoming gigs on facebook. I’m not sure how effective that is, but it’s an easy way to promote yourself and your friends.

Favorite book?
As a kid—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Now—it’s a tough call but probably Joe by Larry Brown.

Favorite food?
My mom’s blackberry cobbler, served in a bowl with milk poured over it.

If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
I’d like to have several more drinks with Kent Haruf. A great author and one of my favorite people.

Where can we find more information about you?
www.facebook.com/joeydeanhale

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Pop-Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle

Come out this Sunday for an afternoon of books, music and day drinking at the Pop-Up Book Fair. We’ll be joining some other fabulous presses like Curbside Splendor, Switchgrass Books, Featherproof and many others. We’d love to see you there!

Pop-Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle
April 19, 2015
​Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western)​
​1:00 – 5:00 pm
Note: Pop Up Book Fair is free when you RSVP. Otherwise, it’s $8 at the door.

Pop Up Book Fair at the Empty Bottle

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Contributor Spotlight: Sam Slaughter

Sam SlaughterSam Slaughter‘s story “Welcome to Milwaukee” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 17, out now.

What’s your connection to the Midwest, and how has the region influenced your writing? 
My father was born and raised in Stillwater, Minnesota and my family lived there for a while before I was born. I still have family dotting the area around the Twin Cities as well as in Wisconsin. It’s influential because I spent multiple summer vacations driving from New Jersey out to Minnesota and back and so there are a lot of memories attached to the roads and the places of the Midwest. I think, too, that its influential because, even if I wasn’t born there, I’m still of the place in a sense—my father lived a good portion of his life there and so in writing I attempt to connect to that history, even if it isn’t truly mine.

What do you think is the most compelling aspect of the Midwest?
What appeals most to me is the idea that while I’m part of it, I’m also not part of it. My father isn’t very verbose when it comes to telling stories about his childhood/my grandparents, so I’m left with a gap that I’ve spent time filling in with whatever I feel like. In searching for the stories that could be, I’ve found much more there than I ever thought. I’ve also found a lot of connections to other places I’ve lived and I enjoy delving into those to see the sameness and difference that’s possible when separated only by some amount of miles. The landscape itself, too, is appealing because, I think, there’s starkness there, a certain heartiness, that doesn’t exist in a place like suburban New Jersey, where I grew up (or, if it does, I was too busy engaging in the state sport of trying to get the hell out of Jersey to notice). That strength lends itself well to the characters that I typically write about.

How do your experiences or memories of specific places—such as where you grew up, or a place you’ve visited that you can’t get out of your head—play a role in your writing?
Two things come to mind. First, on one trip to Minnesota when I was six or seven, we went to a river or a park or a park with a river. I remember a cave there—nothing big or anything, but there was a stream in it and my father urged me to drink the water from the stream. It was clean and fresh and cool and that always stands out because in my head it is this perfect summation of what a childhood summer should be. It had a little bit of adventure, there was some history (the river used to be where they floated logs to the mill), and my family was there. I’m sure that this memory is different than what happened, but the image I just mentioned is the fiction I remember. I think of that memory because, as I think Flannery O’Connor said—and I’m paraphrasing here—if you make it out of childhood, you have enough material to be a writer for the rest of your life. I use details like that memory often to help shape or add color to a story.

Second, In “Welcome to Milwaukee,” the characters paint those words on a roof. After college I lived in Montana for a year and on one trip back out west, I had a layover in Minneapolis. On the descent, I remember looking out the window and seeing those words painted on top of a house. I think. It could’ve said something else (it may have said Welcome to Minneapolis for all I remember), but I do distinctly remember thinking, “Damn, can you imagine if you painted the wrong city name to screw with people?” That thought stuck with me for the four years it took me to actually write the story. I had it in the back of my head until I realized what I wanted to do with it.

Discuss your writing process — inspirations, ideal environments, how you deal with writer’s block.
I’ll deal with environment first. I’ve learned to write wherever I need to. My writing process is more focused on concentration and focus than location. If I feel it in my gut—if I have the overwhelming urge to get something down—that’s when I do my best writing. Or, rather, I convince myself that’s when I do my best writing. I feel the stories that come out of those spurts are my strongest because I’ve obsessed over little pieces in my head, often, for long periods of time before actual writing. With some stories, if I find myself telling the same story over and over (as if drunk at a party) then I typically turn it into a story somehow as well. Repetition, I guess, is a signal for me that shows I’m in an optimal writing zone.

When I’m not there, though, I force myself. Writing is a job more than it’s a passion for me, because the passionate times are far outweighed by the times when I’d much rather drink bourbon and binge-watch true crime shows on Hulu and Netflix and because of that, there are times when I make myself get up and type. Not write, type. Words, phrases, whatever it is until I find a flow—twenty minutes usually, until my brain realizes I’m not stopping until it gets its act together.

When that doesn’t work, I try two other things. First, I have a couple of books of writing exercises that I dig into. Those are helpful at times for a starting line to dash from. When those don’t, I dive into a box of pieces of paper that I keep in my desk. The pieces of paper are my collection of lines, ideas, et cetera that I have when away from my desk. I try and harvest usable content from that box when I’m stuck.

How can you tell when a piece of writing is finished?
I get to a point where, after three or four (or seven or ten) revisions, that I’m only moving things around in a piece—a comma here, a preposition there, whatever—and that’s one of the indicators that a piece is done or close to done. A second way I can tell is I get a feeling in my gut that essentially makes me think “Yes, I’m ready with this one.” That could be because I think its done or I just want it out of my sight, but either way, I usually go through with a pen, correct some little things and send it off to see what happens. After about ten rejections I’ll go back and look at it to see if it really was done. With so many magazines and journals out there, I feel its better when I feel something is done to see if others do, too. If it’s not done, I go back. But sometimes I get lucky.

Who is your favorite author (fiction writer or poet), and what draws you to their work?
Picking a favorite overall is hard, but Ron Rash is one of my top five for sure. His short stories are some of the most powerful and damning I’ve read in the past decade. I think the Internet parlance is that his stuff “hits you right in the feels” and I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment. He’s brilliant and his stories are accessible and if I keep talking about it I’ll very quickly cross the line into mega fan boy-dom. I would love to share a glass of bourbon with him and just talk books for a night.

What’s next for you?
My debut chapbook, When You Cross That Line, comes out in May. I’m currently working on putting together another chapbook called God in Neon and in April I will be a resident at the Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I will work on my second novel. I have a lot of projects going on and it’ll be like throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks. I’m okay with it.

Where can we find more information about you?
I’m on Facebook, Twitter @slaughterwrites, and I have a website, www.samslaughterthewriter.com. I can be gotten at through any of those and seeing as I spend all day in front of a computer as a copywriter, I’m pretty good with replying.

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Interview: Rebecca Adams Wright

small-004Midwestern Gothic staffer Jamie Monville talked with author Rebecca Adams Wright about her collection The Thing About Great White Sharks, the essence of the Midwest, speculative fiction, and more.

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Jamie Monville: What’s your connection to the Midwest?

Rebecca Adams Wright: I was born and raised in Michigan, attended college and graduate school at the University of Michigan, and decided to stick around the Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti area.  Now I’m married and raising a daughter here.

JM: In what ways do you feel that the Midwest has influenced your writing?

RAW: Midwestern essence winds around me like a vine.  I’m sure that our landscape and culture have permeated my work in a million different ways, many of which I may never become aware.   One influence I do see in my work: if I’m not careful, my protagonists become so affable.  I blame the Midwest for that.  Curse our cultural politeness!  There is sincerity in the outlook of my characters, too, which I think has leached out of my own Midwestern experience.  For a long time sincerity was so uncool.  But I’ve learned to embrace it in the right context.

JM: What draws you to write the genre of science fiction and fantasy?

RAW: My own stories feel most authentic when they push the boundaries of our everyday lives.  Forcing my protagonists to engage with fantastic circumstances of some kind—ghosts, alien invasions, talking flowers, life in the far future—is a technique that allows me to add so many layers of complexity to their stories.  Weaving a speculative element into an otherwise conventional story makes us confront the routine or the mundane in whole new ways.  And an almost fully speculative story, bursting with fantasy or science that nobody has explored yet, prompts the imagination to ask all sorts of questions about what we are, where we’re headed, and how we live.  Our perception of reality is a spectrum, full of absurdity and tricks, rooted in pattern.  Speculative fiction shakes me out of my patterns.  Writing in these genres stokes my sense of wonder and encourages me to take risks.

JM: You have said that “your stories begin with people,” often unconventional ones in unlikely circumstances, that you cannot get out of your head. Where do these people come from? And do you imagine these characters and their situation simultaneously? Or is it a person you imagine and then create their situation?

RAW: I wish I knew where they come from so I could stock up!  Usually a person and a situation arrive simultaneously.  For instance, when I wrote my short story “Storybag,” it was because I couldn’t shake this image of a traveling salesman opening an uncanny sample case.  I didn’t know anything else at that point except that this certain unlikely man was going to find a very particular and upsetting something in his bag.  After a while, the rest of the details filtered in.  Ed, my protagonist, delivered them to me one at a time.

Wright-Thethingaboutgreatwhitesharks-17621-CV-FT_finalcoverJM: Your collection The Thing About Great White Sharks and Other Stories often juxtaposes humor with pain. When you’re writing a story how do you navigate those two contrasting, but often oddly complementary extremes?

RAW: Humor is such a natural defensive response.  We’re all aware of when we’re laughing so we don’t cry, and we talk all the time about “black comedy” and “gallows humor.”   I think humor plays a similar defensive role in fiction.  Satire, especially, keeps violence and anger and grief just palatable enough that we won’t turn away. My most humorous stories are almost always the darkest, probably for that blade-dulling effect.   It’s a balancing act for sure.  The writer needs to be sure the humor is appropriate to the situation, keep a story funny enough to avoid melodrama or simplified pathos without overwhelming the emotion behind the comedy.  I think about this balance while in the process of revision.  Not so much while I’m drafting, because humor has to bubble up naturally.  Force it onto the page, think about it too much, and you’ve already failed.

JM: Your collection also features several stories about animals and the ways in which they interact with humans and vice versa. What about this dynamic interests you?

RAW: Animals play so many roles in fiction—they stand for our attitudes toward the natural world and allow us to examine the role instinct plays in our own lives.  There’s something immediate and compelling about them, too, perhaps because they lack verbal communication and so can easily become blank slates for our own perceptions and fears.  The way we treat animals, individually and as a society, says a lot about our species.  There is an absurd element to The Thing About Great White Sharks that I really enjoyed exploring through many characters who are working feverishly to connect with or control sometimes feral or otherwise bizarre animals.

JM: What’s one thing you wished you’d known when you first began writing?

RAW: That writing takes a long time, so much longer than you think, but that there will never—never—be a time that the words aren’t worth the wait.  Even my biggest failures have taught me something about craft, or storytelling, or writing discipline.  I also wish someone had told me that meeting your initial goals for your work or your career will not mean that you’ve made it and you’re done—the glow of accomplishment fades and the goals progress with you.  That might sound depressing initially, but it’s actually the most exciting thing in the world.  There’s always another fence to jump and another story to tell.  You will never run out of ways to improve.

JM: Which writer has most influenced your style?

RAW: There’s no way I can give you just one!  But a quick list of writers who have made an impact on my voice, style, and storytelling would have to include Ray Bradbury, Kelly Link, Karen Russell, George Saunders, and Neil Gaiman.

JM: What’s next for you?

RAW: I’m currently at work on a novel about a teen dad who discovers that his son is maybe not exactly human.  It’s an idea I’ve been rolling around for a while, and I’m looking forward to turning my full attention to the story.  I think this one is headed to some weird places and I can’t wait to see where we end up.

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Rebecca Adams Wright is the author of The Thing About Great White Sharks and Other Stories, which received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly and was labeled “terrific” by Entertainment Weekly.  She is a graduate of the Clarion Workshop and has an MFA from the University of Michigan.  Rebecca has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize, So to Speak magazine’s 2009 fiction contest, and a late-night Emily Dickinson poetry challenge.   Her short stories have appeared in Day One, The Account, and Daily Science Fiction.

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Contributor Spotlight: Rachel Proctor May

Rachel Proctor MayRachel Proctor May’s piece “Moon Landing” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 15, out now.

What’s your connection to the Midwest, and how has the region influenced your writing?
I grew up in a small town outside Madison, Wisconsin and literally did not leave the Midwest until I was 19. Now I’m almost never back. I still set almost all my stories in what I expect is now a heavily imagined Midwest. Also, I have 27 metaphors for snow.

What do you think is the most compelling aspect of the Midwest?
The lack of pretention and the non-confrontational social mores. It’s this weird mix of “take me as I am” and hyper-judgmental-ness that lends itself well to secrets and things left unsaid.

How do your experiences or memories of specific places—such as where you grew up, or a place you’ve visited that you can’t get out of your head—play a role in your writing?
My father grew up as one of six children on a dairy farm. None of the kids kept farming so by the time I was climbing my grandmother’s crabapple trees and throwing myself into hay piles in the barn, the farm was already an artifact. Once my grandmother finally decided to move into a senior facility, the goal became to sell the land to developers. This is when we press “play” on the Big Bad Developer narrative…except the fact of the matter is that many of my relatives really needed the money. Watching the demise of the farm left me with a clear picture of how our sense of place, and specifically, what we value about a place, is mediated through our fortunes and failures. I find it’s a good check on the temptation to fall into stereotype.

Discuss your writing process—inspirations, ideal environments, how you deal with writer’s block.
I have two kids so my ideal writing environment is anywhere that there are no small voices saying “Mama.” Even before I had kids, though, non-computer time was always a huge part of my writing process. I like to have watched a scene a few times in my head before I pin it down with words. So I’ll often play ideas out while I walk the dog or grocery shop or cook. So for writer’s block. . . I cook dinner.

How can you tell when a piece of writing is finished?
When I find some other project more compelling.

Who is your favorite author (fiction writer or poet), and what draws you to their work?
Barbara Kingsolver. She has this incredible ability to convey a sense of place without it feeling overly researched or showy.

What’s next for you?
I’ve been on a poetry kick lately.

Where can we find more information about you?
I’m generally a woman of mystery, although I sometimes get twitty @groundupcities.

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Contributor Spotlight: Mary McMyne

marymcmyneMary McMyne’s piece “Moon Landing” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 15, out now.

How long have you been writing?
As long as I have been reading.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I moved to Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan in 2011 to take a professorship teaching English and creative writing at Lake Superior State University. Before that I lived in Louisiana, where I was born, and the NYC-area. During the past few years, I’ve been inspired by the extreme climate and rugged wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: the tangled woods, the vast expanse of Lake Superior, the unreal blue of Lake Huron. I’ve enjoyed exploring local lakes and islands, picking wild berries, and getting lost on hiking trails. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other writers and poets from the area through participating in local readings, publishing in the anthology The Way North, and serving as co-editor for Lake State’s international literary journal, Border Crossing.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
The emptiness, the wide open spaces, the bitter cold—so much about this landscape was foreign to me when I first moved here, compared to south Louisiana and New York City. The remoteness of this area and the vast wilderness that surrounds Sault Sainte Marie initially reminded me of the historic Black Forest in Germany and helped inspire me to begin rereading the fairy tales that informed my chapbook, Wolf Skin (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). I’ve only recently begun to write about this area realistically because it’s taken me several years to soak up the atmosphere and process it, and what I do write still often treats this landscape – in winter, especially – as an unfamiliar setting, comparing my neighborhood during a snowstorm to a moonscape, for example, or the frozen Lake Superior to a vast and mythic sea.

Why do you believe there has never really been a regionalist push for Midwestern writing in the past like there has with the South or even the West Coast?
I’m not entirely sure, but I’m glad there has been more of one recently. I attended an intriguing panel on the subject of Midwestern Gothic writing at AWP in 2012, and I’ve enjoyed learning about the connections among Midwestern writers’ work through MG. I’m interested in the associations between the idea of the Southern Gothic and the idea of the Midwestern Gothic, just like I’m interested in the associations between Southern and Midwestern manners. There is something still and deep and mythic about both places, but I think the myths are different.

Where can we find more information about you?
marymcmyne.com
@marymcmyne on Twitter
www.facebook.com/mcmyne

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Behind the Cover: David J. Thompson

David J. Thompson, whose photo graces the cover of Issue 17 (Spring 2015), was kind enough to chat with us about how he was able to capture this photo, and what it means to him.

So Indiana

David: This past Thanksgiving, I was driving west on Route 50 down in southern Indiana on my way to Vincennes. Especially at that time of year, the little towns along the way seem rather lifeless and almost abandoned, far from any Interstate prosperity. I came upon this neglected basketball court on the edge of some such town whose name I didn’t record and have now forgotten, and I stopped immediately to take pictures. The autumn sky and the bare trees are key factors in my shot of this country hoop and backboard, but I also hope that the unseen element of Indiana’s storied basketball history, especially Hoosiers-style small town basketball, only adds to the photo’s appeal.

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DSCF1978David J. Thompson is a former prep school teacher and coach. He most recently lived in the Detroit area for 16 years and has been traveling since October 2013. His interests include jazz and minor league baseball. Please visit his photo website at ninemilephoto.com.

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