Contributor Spotlight: Roxane Gay

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Roxane Gay’s story “Down to Bone” appears in
Midwestern Gothic 1.

How long have you been writing?
I have been writing as long as I can remember and seriously since I was in high school.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I was born in Nebraska and have lived in the Midwest, off and on, for most of my life.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
The Midwest has definitely helped me to create a sense of place in my writing. Most of my stories take place in the Midwest because I spent a great deal of time here during my so-called formative years. I love how complex life in the Midwest can be and how so many Midwesterners have these quiet surfaces and these wild lives that run deep that you can’t see if you don’t know what to look for.

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?
A lot of people assume that the Midwest lacks a distinct culture and as such have yet to recognize the richness of writing that is uniquely Midwestern.

How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
Social media is a great tool to promote writing provided you don’t get obnoxious about it.  I do use Facebook and Twitter and I blog mostly to connect with people and talk about fun things but I also use these tools to share my writing when it is published here and there. You don’t need to use social media as a writer but it can be a valuable tool when used in moderation.

Favorite book?
Little House on the Prairie

Favorite food?

If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
I wouldn’t mind chatting with Edith Wharton.

Where can we find more information about you?

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