Contributor Spotlight: Brandi Homan

Brandi Homan’s poems “Don’t Go Into That Barn” and “Mr. Fourth of July” appear in Midwestern Gothic Issue 3, out now.

How long have you been writing?
I began to write in earnest around age 26, but have always enjoyed writing.

What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I like to say I was “raised in Iowa and grew up in Chicago.” I lived in Iowa from age four to 21 and in Chicago from age 21 to 33.

How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
Due to the large amount of time I lived there, the Midwest has influenced every aspect of my writing… from knowledge base to world view to subjects to speech patterns/rhythms to diction to colleagues/influences to audience, even. And so on.

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?
This is a great question, and one that I might not have the best answer for. I think those other places already have regional identities in general that lend themselves easily to romanticization… the South with its history, sweet tea, debutantes, melancholy willow trees, etc., and the West Coast with its, well, California. Maybe it’s difficult to romanticize corn, pigs, and a Midwestern work ethic?

How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
I am a big fan of promotion, mainly because I think a lot of writers don’t think that it’s their responsibility or are too shy/uncertain to promote themselves. So I try to use any means at my disposal to promote other writers/friends/myself, because if we don’t do it, who will?

Favorite book?
This is a horrible question to ask a writer! Let’s see… Fiction = Jesus’ Son. Young Adult = A Wrinkle in Time. Poetry = Maximum Gaga by Lara Glenum. Anais Nin’s diaries. Gossipy literary biographies. Trash by Dorothy Allison, Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Nine Stories by Salinger, Berryman’s The Dream Songs, anything by Hemingway/Vonnegut/Maggie Nelson/Olena Kalytiak Davis/Daniela Olszewska, Still Life with Woodpecker, Pride and Prejudice, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

Favorite food?
Macaroni and cheese. Or mashed potatoes. Really, anything with carbohydrates.

If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
Frank O’Hara, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Dorothy Parker. I think we’d have a scandalous good time.

Where can we find more information about you?… but mostly it’s just stuff that I find interesting or amusing!

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