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Interview with Mary Buchinger

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Mary Buchinger is the author of Aerialist (Gold Wake Press, 2015; shortlisted for the May Swenson Poetry Award, the OSU Press/The Journal Wheeler Prize, and the Perugia Press Prize) and Roomful of Sparrows (Finishing Line Press, 2008). Her poems have appeared in AGNI, Booth, Border Crossing, Caesura, Cortland Review, DIAGRAM, Existere (Canada), Fifth Wednesday, New Madrid, Nimrod, PANK, SAND (Germany), Salamander, Silk Road Review, Slice Magazine, The Massachusetts Review, Versal (The Netherlands), and elsewhere; she was invited to read at the Library of Congress, received the Daniel Varoujan and the Firman Houghton Awards from the New England Poetry Club, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Originally from rural Michigan, Buchinger served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador and holds a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from Boston University; she is Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies at MCPHS University in Boston, Massachusetts. Several of her poems appeared in issue 1.2 of The 3288 Review.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Mary Buchinger: The first time print held meaning for me was reading The Fire Cat by Esther Averill (author and illustrator—I love the drawings!). The main character is a cat, Pickles, who has big paws and gets into trouble until Mrs. Goodkind adopts him and realizes that he needs to do big things with his big paws. She takes him to the Fire House where, with persistence and determination, he learns to slide down the fire pole, and also becomes a brave rescuer of cats caught in trees—the same little cats he used to bully around. The idea that Pickles was not inherently naughty but only needed the right circumstances in order for him to truly shine was important to me—still is. I read this book on the living room couch with my mother, who’d wait for me to say “Pickles” whenever his name appeared, so I would scan the text and be ready for my turn to ‘read.’ The intimacy with my mother, whom I shared with five older siblings, the fantastic art—including a drawing from Pickle’s perspective of climbing up a tall ladder with a proud Mrs. Goodkind waving from far below, the protagonist (growing up on a farm, cats were among my dearest companions), and the idea of someone who is acting badly being truly good at heart—all colluded to make me fall in love with words and reading and books. Writing for me was learned hand in glove with reading. My older brothers all worked on their homework at the kitchen table and I did too, long before I entered kindergarten.

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Interview with Garrett Hoffman

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Garrett Hoffman is a 24 year old writer from New Jersey. He has been writing for over eight years. His poem “Drink of Life” was published in issue 23 of Instigatorzine, and “Science Lesson” was published in the Fall 2015 issue of Sheepshead Review. His poem “Moist Earth” appeared in our third issue.

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3288 Review: Your author bio says you have been writing for over eight years. How did you get started?

Garrett Hoffman: I knew I was going to be a writer when I was ten years old, it’s always what I’ve wanted to do but I didn’t know how that would take shape. What got me started seriously writing over eight years ago is a funny story. I had just gotten home from wrestling practice, this being my sophomore year of high school, and the sky had looked particularly beautiful. The sun was just setting and the colors were transitioning from orange to blue. When I got home I hopped on the computer and opened up AIM. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. I started a conversation with my cousin Paige, just talking about random stuff. Now back then, for whatever reason, I lied all the time! Almost constantly. During a lull in that chat I told her I wrote poetry, no idea why. Naturally she immediately asked to see some of my work. I told her to give me ten minutes. On the spot I wrote about the first thing that I could think of. That sky. I’ve been writing poetry ever since. Continue reading →

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Interview With Carl Boon

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Carl Boon lives and works in İzmir, Turkey. Recent or forthcoming poems appear in Neat, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, Kentucky Review, and many other magazines. Two of his poems appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review.

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3288 Review: How and when did you first start writing poetry? Was there a particular event or person which acted as a catalyst?

Carl Boon: I started writing poems in college to impress a girl who ended up rejecting me, anyway. Around that same time, a fellow named Brett Fitzpatrick from Buffalo showed me “Howl” by Allen Ginsberg. I never knew such a thing existed; I didn’t know a poem could look like that, do like that. So I was writing these miserable love poems to LuAnne and at the same time these Howl-ish poems about being 18 in Granville, Ohio, I suppose. A certain poetry professor at Denison, Ann Townsend, put me on the right path by making me take writing seriously.

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Interview with Darryl Love

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Darryl Love is a self taught artist. Supported and encouraged by his family from a young age, his creative education includes being mentored by a tattoo artist, studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, and classes at Kendall College of Art and Design. He cites many influences, including horror movies, comics, heavy metal music, popular art, cartoons, insane asylums, Hieronymus Bosch, Salvador Dali, Joel Peter Witkin, Dante’s Inferno, and video games. Several of his ArtPrize entries have appeared on the covers of local newspapers and on TV; most notably Rorschach in 2013. He worked as a set designer, and acted in the TV commercials for Nights of Fear Haunted Houses where he “scared the owners with his twisted creations in the asylum”. He designed Dark Knight Rises promotional shirts with Design by Humans and Warner Brothers; a poster for Monster Piece Theater (unreleased); a poster and promotional t-shirts for the movie AmeriKan Violence; and promotional art for L.A.’s Shriekfest. He was contacted to work for Red Rock Entertainment in 2014. He has designed images for ECW/WWE legends Sabu and Genie, and has photography on display in Como, Italy. He is currently working on promotional designs for Woodstock 50, and dreams of working with occasional correspondent Rob Zombie.

Love’s work can be seen on his website, on  Facebook,  at TalentHouse, and at TeePublic.

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3288 Review: How did you get started as an artist? Was there a specific influence, either a person or an event?

Darryl Love: My dad once drew me a picture of The Incredible Hulk. It was mind blowing as a kid. Ever since then I wanted to be an artist!

When Mortal Kombat 3 came out, I was 7 or 9 years old. I bought a strategy guide which I still have, and I redrew a lot of the characters from that book. Teachers didn’t like it when I drew the ‘Fatalities’.

My parents divorced, and I moved from California to Michigan where I didn’t know anyone. I kept to myself and drew all the time. Doodled in class. I was a weird nutcase. I even exaggerated the twitches and jitters so people would leave me alone. Then I had a friend in middle school who saw me drawing the Undertaker. We became best friends and he played White Zombie’s La Sexorcisto: Devil Music vol. 1 and Astro Creep: 2000; Korn’s Life is Peachy; Seasons in the Abyss and Reign in Blood by Slayer; and Megadeth and Metallica. I had never heard anything like it before I could feel it—crazy and intense. I loved it! At the time, Slayer was way too intense for me. Now that I’m older I can dig it, and listen to them almost religiously—in particular “The Final Six”.

In high school I kind of got lost in the stupid high school life, and lost myself. My life during this time was hell. My aunt really supported my art. She was killed. God rest her soul. I had to seek therapy. Months later, my therapist had died. Three weeks later my girlfriend cheated on me. I was suicidal, but I used the pain to paint more and, remember my therapist’s advice. It is very healing. I keep hoping, and I’ve learned to live with “it”.

Rob Zombie is a very inspiring guy. We’ve met a few times, and his live shows are the best! I’m more inspired every time I leave a show. I am good at visualizing noise and music so I can see songs in my head.

Meeting WWE’s Torrie Wilson at my first Comic Con was like heaven! She is so beautiful! I was nervous to talk to girls before I met her. She was very nice and super cool. Since then it’s been easier to talk to girls. They inspire me too! Yeah, there’s a lot of things that inspire me. Continue reading →

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Interview with Matthew Olson-Roy

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Matthew Olson-Roy grew up in Ludington, Michigan where he learned that bears sleep under sand dunes, asparagus has a queen, fudgies have a season, and hands make good maps. He spent many years studying the works of famous authors at universities in Michigan, Washington, and abroad until they gave him a Ph.D. and asked him to make something of himself. Along the way he picked up nine languages, served as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Stockholm, Sweden, and taught Swedish, English, and World Literature to college students eager to learn about meatballs and Pippi Longstockings. He lives with his family in Luxembourg, where he is writing a series of children’s books inspired by local tales of dragons, giants, witches, werewolves, and elves. “Our Monstrous Family”, published in issue 1.2 of The 3288 Review, is his first work of published fiction. Read more about Matthew Olson-Roy at his website.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Matthew Olson-Roy: Maybe I should credit the independent bookstore in the town where I grew up, the ironically named Read Mor, with my love of reading, and consequently my interest in writing, or at the very least the importance of copy editing. On its shelves I found one fantasy world after another by authors such as Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, and J.R.R. Tolkien. And if you hadn’t already noticed from that list, I always had to read a series because I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving behind the characters whose lives had touched me in some way.

By the time I became eligible for the Young Authors and Illustrators contest in sixth grade, I realized that I too had a story to tell. My book was called—spoiler alert—Milo and Blooper Break the Spell. After the contest, I started a sequel, of course, but never finished it. I never got around to naming it either, but I’m sure its title would have been something equally revealing like Blooper Dies in the End. Subtlety and the art of suspense are skills I apparently developed later in life.

While I continued to read fiction, and even spent many years in grad school studying to become a literary scholar, I left the writing of fiction behind until a trip home to Michigan for Christmas in 2010. Hidden in the basement among old boxes of books, my mom had found the original drafts of those sixth grade stories. For the next few nights I read them to my children before bed. When we reached the start of the ninth chapter of the sequel, there was only one word at the top of the page. “Milo…” Well, hell hath no fury like the wrath of two children whose storytelling has just been cut short, so I had to promise my little monsters that I would finish the sequel for them. That’s when I reimagined Milo into a character in my first novel, and I’ve been writing ever since. Continue reading →

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Interview with Amy Carpenter-Leugs

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Amy Carpenter-Leugs has written poems and nonfiction appearing in Voices, Peninsula Poets, Parabola, and catapult magazines. Amy is also the author of three children’s books dealing with issues of poverty and difference, all published by UCOM Open Door Press. A former English teacher, Amy now speaks and writes about life learning through conferences and online forums.  Amy lives in the literary city of Grand Rapids, MI with her husband Michael, their three sons, and the wildlife of Plaster Creek. More links to her writing can be found at amycarpenterleugs.webs.com. Her poem “Tucking Pants Into Socks” appeared in our Autumn 2015 issue.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Amy Carpenter-Leugs: I’ve always written, even as a child (which sometimes got me into trouble with my classmates). As an adult, though, I’ve come to writing a little differently than many others. Though I’ve occasionally submitted stories, poems, and plays over the years, the most meaningful experience of writing I’ve had—my training ground in many ways—has been related to my parenting.

In 2003, after the birth of my youngest son, our family decided to explore a radically different path of education: unschooling. That means we homeschool without a curriculum—we learn from life and through our children’s interests. To do this, I needed support from others who were making similar choices. I didn’t know anyone in person when we first started, so I joined online forums about unschooling. Over the years, I wrote my way into a path that felt freer from the constant demands of society. As Charles Bukowski wrote in “The Bar Stool”:

I was avoiding
becoming ensnared
in a common
manner of
living.
I truly believed
that this was
important to me
when everything
else was
not.

Of course, he wrote it about drinking his life away, but there is a shared sensibility.

Writing within the unschooling community gave me the tools and the companionship I needed to help our family live so differently. Between playing Pokemon and nursing the baby I was reading, not just unschooling books, but on all sorts of topics from evolution to Hinduism, and it all made its way into my written posts in surprising ways.

On the forums, I was always writing within a conversation—adding perspective and then listening. So I was finding my own voice as part of listening to others. Many of the others were “just regular parents” like me, and yet they had really interesting things to say, and they each said it in their own way.  It was another step away from the more academic side of writing and toward something that felt of real, mysterious life.

We were also writing about the perspective of children—how the world must look to them, how they work to keep hold of themselves within its demands—and that has shaped my writing enormously.

Like many, I feel I’m being constantly remade as a writer. Earlier this year I took some poetry workshops with Phillip Sterling, and that started an interest in the sound-craft of poetry, on tightening and loosening the lines, on exploring them as another quiet path away from the boisterous world. So that’s where “Tucking Pants into Socks,” came from—that work in the last year. Continue reading →

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Interview with John Grey

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Owen Wister Review and Louisiana Literature. His poems “And the Answer Is…” and “Carolyn Drowned” appeared in the Autumn 2015 issue of The 3288 Review.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

John Grey: I started scribbling words on blanks pieces of paper (and some not so blank) from as far back as I remember. And my interest in the written word (by others at least) stems from the first time I started reading. My birthdays and Christmas, from the beginning, were more about accumulating books than toys. i did start trying to write poems and songs and even a few small plays in my teens and then by my twenties became much more serious about it. Continue reading →

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Interview with Chris Dungey

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Chris Dungey is a retired auto worker living in Lapeer, MI. He spends his days mountain biking, feeding two wood stoves, singing in a Presbyterian choir, watching English football, camping at sports-car races, and spending too much time in Starbucks. He has over 50 story credits. He has been published recently in Marathon Literary Review, whimperbang, Madcap Review, Literary Commune (UK), Door is a Jar, and Aethlon (Wright State University), and has work forthcoming in Sediments Literary Arts. His short story “Slice” appeared in our second issue in November 2015.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Chris Dungey: I actually began writing journalism in high school, Imlay City Community High School in Lapeer County. There was a student newspaper, printed locally at the shop of the Imlay City Times. We tried to publish every two or three weeks. We did our own layout, chose and measured print for headlines, sold ads. Any visit to the shop exposed one to the loud clatter of the old Linotype machine and the ink-stained veteran newsies who worked there. I did not dabble in fiction until I was in college at St. Clair County Community College. But the impetus to write, the seminal event, would have to have been reading Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” in eighth grade. I am someone who cannot simply enjoy a thing without attempting to emulate it. With regards to that particular classic, I’ve probably fallen well short. Continue reading →

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Interview with Chila Woychik

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

German-born author and editor Chila Woychik is at home hiking in adjacent woods or regarding coyote calls at night. Her literary efforts have been acknowledged by Emrys Journal (forthcoming), Pithead Chapel, Stoneboat, Prick of the Spindle, and others. She occupies the near-space of another human and keeps numerous animals, including sheep and ducks, just outside her windows. Her lyric essay “A Place Called Place: Surrounds” appeared in our Autumn 2015 issue.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

Chila Woychik: As a child, I learned both German and English, having been born to a German mother and American father. Even though the bilingualism of everyday life changed for me once we reached America, my parents still spoke to each other in German on occasion, and from that, I believe, I glimpsed the nuances and beauty of spoken language. My childhood books were a dictionary and a set of encyclopedias, beyond what we received from our small town Illinois schools, and I relished each new section, each new word, as I moved through the entire set. I wrote my first poem in third grade; it was about spring, of course, and probably birds. In high school, I took every English, “office,” and writing class I could and loved every single one of them, in large part due to our fantastic teacher, Elaine Lowry. Then I set aside creative diversity for a while but took it up again at 34 after surgery on a herniated back disc. Again another long lull in serious creative pursuits.  It wasn’t until 2013 that I discovered the literary journal market, so I’m definitely a late-emerging writer to this scene. The thing, person, who nudged me to finally and irrevocably cultivate literary writing was Annie Dillard’s book Holy the Firm. I read it and something died inside, while something else sprang wonderfully to life, something far far better. Continue reading →

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Interview with E.E. King

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

E.E. King is a performer, writer, biologist and painter. Ray Bradbury calls her stories “marvelously inventive, wildly funny and deeply thought provoking. I cannot recommend them highly enough.” Her books include Dirk Quigby’s Guide to the Afterlife, Real Conversations with Imaginary Friends and Another Happy Ending. She has won numerous awards and been published widely. She has worked with children in Bosnia, crocodiles in Mexico, frogs in Puerto Rico, egrets in Bali, mushrooms in Montana, archaeologists in Spain and butterflies in South Central Los Angeles. Her short story “The Grammarian’s Grimoire” was published in our Autumn 2015 issue.

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3288 Review: How and when did you start writing? Was there a specific event or moment which sparked your interest in the written word?

E.E. King: I wrote when I was very young, but left the pen, and computer, to pursue ballet, theater, painting and biology. About 2002 when I began writing seriously, daily. I was extraordinarily fortunate to have Ray Bradbury as my champion and mentor. He had been in my father’s writing group and I visited him weekly for many years until his death. His greeting was always, “Have you written today?” I can still hear him saying; “I am your Rabbi and your Priest. This is your temple. Now go forth and WRITE!” I have always been a vociferous reader, and I was lucky to have grown up being read to and told stories. I began by writing a children’s book—a story and novel. Then I wrote stories—hundreds of stories—before moving on novels. Continue reading →