Interview with Ian Haight

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

Ian Haight’s collection of poetry, Celadon, won Unicorn Press’ First Book Prize and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2017. He is the editor of Zen Questions and Answers from Korea, and with T’ae-yong Hŏ, he is the co-translator of Borderland Roads: Selected Poems of Kyun Hŏ and Magnolia and Lotus: Selected Poems of Hyesimfinalist for ALTA’s Stryk Prize—all from White Pine Press. Other awards include Ninth Letter’s Literary Award in Translation, and grants from the Daesan Foundation, the Korea Literary Translation Institute, and the Baroboin Buddhist Foundation. Several of Ian’s poems were published in Issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review in February 2016. More information can be found at ianhaight.com.

# # #

3288 Review: When did you first start writing? Was there a particular event or inspiration?

Ian Haight: I started writing at a young age. One of the first “big” events was winning a Michigan Young Authors prize for a story I wrote with a friend. It was some crazy adventure story that had the protagonist zipping from Mauritania to the Dachau concentration camp in WWII Germany. I just remember it was pretty long too; I think I did most of the writing and a couple of illustrations, while my friend did most of the illustrations and some of the writing. Anyhow it topped out at over 20 pages I think, which as a 3rd or 4th grader I was pretty proud of. Looking back, that was probably the first public affirmation that I could do something with writing.
Continue reading →

Interview with Michael Farrell Smith

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

Mike Smith of Albuquerque is also Michael Farrell Smith. He is against Fascism, neofascism, white supremacy, corporate greed, crimes against the Earth, inequality, injustice, and all war. Chapters/essays from his forthcoming memoir, Shadows of Clouds on the Mountains, have been published in many notable literary journals; he is represented by Nat Kimber, of The Rights Factory, of Toronto and New York.

# # #

3288 Review: How did you get your start writing? Has it always been essays and creative nonfiction?

Mike Smith: I have an essay up at the New Delta Review right now that gets into this (“101 Jokes for Epileptic Children“), but I suppose for me it all began with reading. For me, reading widely and seeing the almost-infinite range of what can be done with writing just made me want to try it myself. I also grew up in a fairly repressive religion, that I have no fondness for today, that encouraged everyone to keep a journal.

As a kid I wrote books about my pets, as a teenager I wrote ridiculous things to make my friends laugh, and as a young adult I wrote long letters and personal accounts of my travels and adventures. It’s always been something I’ve gravitated toward. Personally, I believe free will is an illusion and that I myself had nothing to do with me ending up a writer. Probably my parents told me I should be a writer when I was really young and impressionable.

For a while, as an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico, I felt I was on track to write popular history books—I wanted to be like Hampton Sides or Sally Denton or Simon Winchester—I had books all planned out, a popular weekly history newspaper column, and regular articles in many Southwestern periodicals. Then the worst depression of my life attacked me out of nowhere, for maybe two years, and after that I basically had to restart my career and make all-new friends and completely reinvent myself as a human being, and as a writer.

Since then, and since grad school, I’ve focused more on memoir, writing the experimental memoir essays that will eventually be the chapters of my autobiography, Shadows of Clouds on the Mountains, a book I’ve been working on since 2010 and working on almost every day since early 2012. I think I still have two more years on it, which is horrible, but whatever, the time it takes is the time it takes. It can’t be rushed.

I honestly hope to make it a masterpiece, something I will be wholly satisfied with, and I am putting everything I am into it. Eleven of its chapters have already been published as standalone essays in literary journals, including in The 3288 Review and Booth and Tin House and Bacopa—three pieces received Pushcart nomination, and another got me a New York literary agent, as well as a Notable mention in Best American Essays 2015.

I want to create something that reads like a Bollywood movie—I love Bollywood—by which I mean changing tones and mediums and approaches as the stories demand. Like a really good mixtape of only good songs, with perfect transitions. I want to create a work that’s an extension of my ever-changing self. I want to destroy the lines between my life and my art.

I can think of no other way to approach the creation of great art than with deadly seriousness. Even when I’m joking in my art, I’m serious. Even when I’m joking, I am trying to say something, I am always trying to say something, and that something is just one stolen quote, a howl from The Void itself.

As for “Has it always been essays and creative nonfiction?,” no, not always, and even now it’s not, though nonfiction is my truest love. I think I’m becoming something of a nonfiction prose snob. Pretty sure. Like, I involuntarily look down on poets and their eighty-page books of mostly white space. Their books are like my chapters—and my book has over thirty chapters, some of them more-than-ten-thousand words long. Suck it, poets. You have it easy.

Anyway, I love the challenge of finding the story and the plot and the motifs and the themes of true events, and I find it fascinating and startling that it can always, always, be done. I think we are always unconsciously creating our experiences in the world, we are writing our lives according to our preferences and our obsessions, so it’s no wonder these elements can always be found and then placed into a compelling nonfiction narrative.

Real life is so messy and profuse—there are so many thousands of details that when we sit down to write about it, just through the simple processes of selection and omission, the whole world can be revealed as full of intricate connections and meaningful revelations. And that’s not false—it’s perceptive, it’s penetrating. Approaching my own life in search of its story and meaning feels to me a bit like how Sigmund Freud and his crowd approached dreams—there must be meaning there—there must—there must—and they were usually right. Or, at least, they often found what they were looking for—or found something—and usually something interesting.

Fiction is fun too, though, as is poetry. I actually love poetry, and I love screenwriting

The next few books I have planned though are all nonfiction, and again, the book I’m working on takes pretty much all of my available writing time—those exhausted hours at the end of the day when, honestly I would usually rather just sleep or watch a movie or contemplate suicide.

What I would really love would be to get well-established as a writer and then alternate writing books with making movies. There is so much that film can do that books can’t, and vice versa. Someday. I’ve already shot a documentary, just recently, with my girlfriend Mauro Woody, who makes music as Lady Uranium. We just need to edit it into shape. She’s a musician, I’m a writer, and we filmed each other talking or performing or just living, a few minutes a day, just using our phones, for an entire year. In it, our stories as struggling writer and musician will intertwine; whichever of us is not on screen is the cameraperson; and I think it’s going to be really cool and innovative. We haven’t even begun to edit it though. We have a lot of footage. Some great stuff too—getting tear-gassed at a protest against police lethality; the excavation of the Atari landfill down in Alamogordo (look it up); and some of Mauro’s witchiest, wildest, best performances. We’re calling it This Will Be Our Year, after the Zombies’ song, and wow, did that title get ironic fast. So much went wrong during that year. We barely survived it. I won’t go into that now.

I just want to get at The Real. I just want to explore that, whatever that is. I want to recognize and explore how it is to be. What it feels like, and how it can be meaningful and beautiful and worthwhile. Someday, and I’m being serious and literal here when I say this, I may quit writing altogether and just devote my life to stacking rocks up in a big pile in some remote someplace somewhere. Once my kids are grown, of course. I think it could be a meditative, revealing experience, those years of rock stacking, and I think I would get a lot out of it. That may be my final work. Continue reading →

Interview with Amy Nemecek

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

Amy Nemecek has always dreamed of a walking holiday through the English countryside. She and her husband live in northern Michigan and have one son. Amy is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and her poems and essays have found homes in Indiana Voice Journal, Mothers Always Write, Vines Leaves Literary Journal, Topology Magazine, Foliate Oak and Snapdragon. She blogs at beloveddelight.wordpress.com. She can also be found on Twitter @Beloved_Delight. Her poem “Aslan Makes a Door in the Air” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review.

# # #

3288 Review: How and when did you get your start writing? What was the catalyst?

Amy Nemecek: I’ve always loved stories and language. My parents were not writers, but they consistently read to me and also enjoyed telling a good story, so I was always surrounded by that influence. I have early memories of scribbling stories on notebook paper while my older siblings did their homework. This was before I knew how to spell or read, before I even knew the alphabet, so my words were just squiggly lines. But I knew those squiggles meant something, and I would “read” the stories to my family.

When I was ten years old, I had to compose a story for school. I poured myself into the assignment, and my teacher recommended I attend the Young Authors program then held at Calvin College. Chris Van Allsburg was the featured guest that year, so hearing him speak and being around people who saw me as a writer was formative in helping me realize this could be a real vocation and calling.

I continued to write as I grew, but it wasn’t until college that I began to consider letters more seriously as a lifelong pursuit. Dr. Judith Fabisch, my English professor and mentor at Cornerstone University, encouraged me to continue writing poetry and helped me find my voice and hone my craft. I still ask her to read my work before I send it out into the world.

Continue reading →

Interview with Hannah Ford

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

Hannah Ford grew up in Coldwater, Michigan, surrounded by cornfields and books. She graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan with a major in Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA in fiction at the University of South Carolina. After obtaining her MFA, she intends to continue writing, pursue her doctorate in prose, and ultimately teach at the collegiate level. She has been published in Saw Palm, Lipstickparty Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Opus. More of her work can be found at fordcommahannah.com. Ford’s essay “The Buried Sawmill” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review; her story “Sound Disappears” appeared in issue 1.4, and her story “De Capo” was printed in issue 2.1

# # #

3288 Review: When did you first become interested in writing? Was there a specific person or event which served as a catalyst?

Hannah Ford: I’ve always been interested in writing, because writing goes hand and hand with reading. My parents literally taught me to walk by holding a book across the room from me, and since then I was—and still am—a voracious reader. In younger school years, I remember being the only student actually excited for essay day, one of the few who couldn’t wait to turn in a book report or begin another. Nonfiction literature analysis lit me up—but then I took a creative writing course in college. My first CW class was Creative Writing Nonfiction: the Personal Memoir. In all honesty, it was all of the training that I had that specifically prepared me to write this particular essay. I enjoyed the memoir class more than I had expected; learning the craft of writing challenged both my creative and my academic sides, and this discovery was the reason that I switched my major to a Writing Emphasis instead of a Literature emphasis. Since beginning my amateur writing career, nothing else satisfies or invigorates me the way that putting a pen to paper, slaving over a particular descriptive sentence, or crafting a complex, dynamic character does.

After that first CW course, the rest of my classes were in Fiction. I recently accepted an offer of admission from the University of South Carolina; come August, I will be pursuing my MFA in Creative Writing—Fiction, as well as serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

3288 Review: Your essay “The Buried Sawmill” transposes some west Michigan history with some deeply personal events from your own life. What was your experience writing it, and how did it evolve during the writing?

Hannah Ford: I began this essay not knowing where it would take me—I wanted to explore man’s role in nature, but I had little else in mind for direction. My first draft was, no doubt, a jumbled mess of half-finished ideas, and out of my first attempts rose three strong themes: the persistence of nature, my father’s soul-altering experience in the outdoors, and my own redemptive experience. One theme was grounded in a concrete location with a history, one was grounded in the past, and one was my individual growth. I then separated these three ideas and wrote individual essays; to meld them into this completed braid essay, I literally cut the pages of the essays apart and sorted out the paragraphs as I felt they flowed.

The three themes coincided because they were all, in some way, my own (experience); whether writing about the dunes I had walked, the struggles I had worked through, or the relationships I had seen redeemed, this essay is my story. It evolved, ultimately, in recognizing that and in allowing myself to be the thread throughout each part of the braid.

3288 Review: Your write in a variety of styles and topics—essay, creative nonfiction, short stories, etcetera. Who are your influences right now? Who are you reading?

Hannah Ford: I’m currently reading Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead; I just finished The Orphan Master’s Son and The Screwtape Letters, as well as a collection of short stories. I suppose that answers your question better than any explanation could: I write in a variety of styles and topics because, clearly, I read in a variety of styles and topics.

I’ve been deeply influenced by the writing of Nicole Krauss, Louise Erdrich, Tim O’Brien, Elizabeth Strauss, and E.J. Levy. I cannot limit my influences to just those names, but I’ll spare you the complete and lengthy list. How lucky we are to have so many brilliant contemporaries—I’ll never have enough time to discover them all.

I’d be remiss if I neglected my most notable influence, Susanna Childress. My writing would be remedial, unrefined, un-encouraged without the hours and eons she invested in me while I studied at Hope College.

3288 Review: Your short story “Sound Disappears” uses a wide variety of musical terms and notations to provide nuance to the narrative. How did this come about? Are you also a musician?

Hannah Ford: I’ve played piano since I was ten, and out of that appreciation for piano came the main character in “Sound Disappears.” I’m not nearly as talented as the protagonist, but I do have enough knowledge to love the language of music. It’s a particular joy to take an interest of my own and flesh it out into a complete character, one consumed by that interest and complex in her own right. That’s one of the best parts of writing—developing a fictional person who is rooted, in some way, in truth.

3288 Review: Has any of your writing led you in an unexpected direction? How did you respond?

Hannah Ford: My writing has often led me in unexpected directions—and it’s these stories, poems, narratives that are the truest. In fiction: It’s happened more than once that I’ve written a story and, usually prompted by outside input, have then re-written the story from a different perspective, a different time in the main character’s life, etc. These restructured second (or third or fourth or fifth) drafts end up as the final finished draft, because they’re written when I know my character as I would know a friend, having spent time with them. One of my favorite pieces (“De Capo”—issue 2.1) was written about a minor character in “Sound Disappears” (issue 1.3). I didn’t intend to write “De Capo,” but when I finished “Sound Disappears,” that particular minor character had become so familiar and real to me that I had to flesh him out in his own story. That story, too, went through multiple drastic revisions, all leading in unexpected directions.

In nonfiction: I wouldn’t necessarily say that my nonfiction goes in an “unexpected” direction; I’d say it often goes in an unexpectedly vulnerable direction. In “Buried Sawmill,” for example, I didn’t intend the research aspect of the piece; when I was revising, a professor mentioned the mill near Saugatuck, and after researching it the theme that emerged fit almost seamlessly with the rest of the essay. What surprised me more, however, were the sections where I wrote candidly about personal struggles. I had intended the piece as a reflective nature piece, but it became a self-reflective and nature-related piece. I can’t help but color creative nonfiction with my own life experiences and perspectives; the experiences and perspectives that emerge, though, aren’t always what I intended to divulge (which is why I submit far more fiction pieces for publication than I do nonfiction).

3288 Review: Are you going to continue to explore the world of “Sound Disappears” and “De Capo?” Have you considered expanding these stories into a full novel?

Hannah Ford: Yes, I’m planning to continue to write interrelated stories that are linked to “Sounds Disappears” and “De Capo.” That will likely be my thesis at the University of South Carolina: a full-length manuscript of linked short stories, centered around the characters I’ve written about in “Sound Disappears” and “De Capo.” I’ve written a few other pieces connected to those characters; they’re not quite publishable, yet, but they’re on their way.

I’m excited to see where this set of linked shorts takes me. As I mentioned, even within these two pieces I was taken in a direction I hadn’t planned. I’m looking forward to further developing other characters within the world I’ve begun to form.

3288 Review: What are you working on now? Anything scheduled for publication in the months ahead?

Hannah Ford:  I just had a fiction piece published at Lipstick Party Mag (online) entitled “How to Raise Her,” and they’ve recently accepted a nonfiction piece that will be published at some point in the next month or so. I’ve been writing rather sporadically this summer—mostly fiction, some poetry. A handful of the stories have some potential to be developed and published, but most were just practice and writing for the sake of writing.

Interview with Nick LaRocca

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

Nick LaRocca‘s stories and essays have recently been featured in Valley Voices, Per Contra’s, The Flagler Review, Outside In Magazine, Steel Toe Review, South85, and the Milo Review, as well as Rush Hour: Bad Boys (Delacorte Press), Mason’s Road, and the Beloit Fiction Journal. His short story “Gestures” (Lowestoft Chronicle) was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize for Fiction. He is the recipient of the Robert Wright Prize for Writing Excellence and an Associate Professor of English at Palm Beach State College. He lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his wonderful wife and daughter. His story “The Placenta Test” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review in early 2016.

# # #

3288 Review: How did you get your start writing? Was there a particular person or event which served as a catalyst?

Nick LaRocca: I’d always written, I guess, even back in high school, so I had a sense that writing was something I wanted to do. I never wrote anything that was any good, but I wrote and I enjoyed the feeling I got when I wrote, which is still a wonderful, supercharged rollick. When I was in college—a music major—I took a creative writing class. You don’t end up in too many things; some of life is random, we know that, and some of life is intentional, and much is in the middle, and I think that’s where I was when I stepped into this class. We had an exercise in the course: picture someone from your high school yearbook and write a description of that person in that picture—only of the picture, and only a physical description. I don’t know that I have the discipline these days to pull off what I did then, though back then I was more interested in proving myself than I am now, which is a different story entirely, but I wrote what was, it was determined by my instructor, a very good description. After that class—immediately after the class—the instructor, a graduate student whose first name was Bruce, pulled aside a young lady who’d also done good work and me. He asked us what we were interested in, and he told us very seriously that we should consider studying writing. A year later, I was in a class with Harry Crews, and to make a long story short—I’m going to write an essay about that time in my life one day, maybe this summer—he took one of my stories and went and read it to his graduate students as an example of how to write. He did that. He actually read it out loud to them. At least, that was what he told us sophomores the next time we met. Then he told me I could go all the way with this thing if I wanted to. Maybe I can and maybe I can’t—I think I can, but it’s been a long road to get anywhere, which is what that essay will be about—but if I can, and if I ever do, and if I can ever say I have, that’s where it started. We’ll see.
Continue reading →

Interview with Howard Winn

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

Howard Winn’s fiction and poetry, has been published recently by such journals as Dalhousie Review, Taj Mahal Review (India), Galway Review (Ireland), Antigonish Review, Main Street Rag, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Tole Review, The Long Story, New Verse News, and Wisconsin Review. He has been recommended for the Pushcart Poetry Award three times. He received his B.A. from Vassar College, his M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University, and completed his doctoral work at New York University. He has been a social worker in California and is currently a faculty member of SUNY-Dutchess as Professor of English. Winn’s poetry appeared in Issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review in early 2016. 

# # #

3288 Review: You have a writing career that stretches into the decades. How and when did you get your start? Was there an event or person which served as a catalyst?

Howard Winn: I wrote stories and poems in my high school college prep English classes with the encouragement of English teachers, although I was enrolled in the pre-engineering curriculum and planned a career as an Electrical Engineer because in my adolescence it seemed that was what young college-bound males did with their lives, so I applied to colleges like Dartmouth, MIT, and Clarkson, I choose Dartmouth, but World War II intervened and I took delayed admission. College was on hold and I was drafted into the Army Air Corps, which first sent me to technical military schools because of my math and science background, and then assigned me to teach Air Crew personnel in those schools. I wrote nothing but letters home.

I finished out the war in the Western Pacific Theater of Operations, assigned to the bomb group that included the B-29s that carried the A-bombs. The war ended and I came home, disgusted with the engineering technology which my experience told me was being used to make instruments of killing.

Although Dartmouth was ready to take me, I was accepted as a WWII veteran with the G.I. Bill college provisions by Vassar College, my mother’s alma mater, where I could major in English with a creative writing senior thesis. I was fortunate to have English faculty who encouraged my writing, most particularly Dr. Ida Treat Bergeret, who published widely in such magazines as The New Yorker. It was under her guidance that I first published both poetry and fiction in a number of “little” literary journals. She was one of my instructors who suggested that the Stanford University Creative Writing Program should be my next step. Here I was fortunate to have both Wallace Stegner and Yvor Winters as teachers, who also encouraged me to continue writing, as did John Ciardi who was my instructor in a summer session at Middlebury while I was still an undergraduate at Vassar. I could also mention Oscar Cargill in the N. Y. U. graduate program later.

Continue reading →

Interview with Carly Plank

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

Carly Plank is a graduate teaching assistant at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is working towards her Master’s degree in Creative Writing. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Aquinas College in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her creative nonfiction has been published in 34th Parallel and her entertainment journalism has appeared in Revue Magazine. She is currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction as her thesis project. Carly’s short story “Voir Dire” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review.

# # #

3288 Review: How did you get your start as a writer? Was there a particular event which started you down this road?

Carly Plank: Since fourth grade, I have kept a daily journal, which might be why, when I write fiction, I often gravitate toward realistic fiction. I actually majored in biology at Aquinas College, and I enrolled in a creative nonfiction workshop during my junior year because one of my good friends, Rachael Steil, had recommended the professor. I was very fortunate that my first workshop experience involved generous classmates and an encouraging professor, Dr. Brent Chesley. The entire English department at Aquinas is so supportive. I took more classes with Dr. Chesley and with poet and current Emeritus faculty Miriam Pederson, and they helped me with the process of applying to master’s programs in creative writing. So overall, I have to say that the collaborative atmosphere within the writing program at Aquinas College guided my decision to minor in creative writing there and continue on to the Master’s of Creative Writing program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Continue reading →

Interview with Addy Evenson

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

Addy Evenson studies acting at the University of Washington. She performs music and models for print in the Seattle area. Her fiction has been published in various literary magazines in the U.S. and U.K., such as Prime Mincer, Bourbon Penn, and The Comix Reader. Her story “Maquillage” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review.

# # #

3288 Review: When did you first start writing? What was your inspiration to put pen to paper?

Addy Evenson: I started writing fiction as soon as I could write at all. I preferred imaginary worlds to schoolwork. In the first grade, I went to a private school, on Prince Edward Island. I had a very stern teacher there. I was a little troublemaker in class, and always getting caught. She called me up to her desk after school one day. I remember feeling afraid. She brought out an assignment I had turned in. It was supposed to be academic, but I had turned it into a narrative, all about talking animals. Instead of scolding me, she asked, “Did you have help with this,” and I said, “No,” and she told me, “Whatever you do, you have to promise me you won’t stop writing. You’re going to be a writer one day.” I held on to those words. And I pursued it.
Continue reading →

Interview with Rob Hartzell

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

Rob Hartzell is a graduate of the University of Alabama MFA program. He lives and works in Morrow, OH. His work has appeared most recently in the Upender, Milkfist, Typehouse and Streams of Consciousness. His story “Leaving Babylon” appeared in issue 1.3 of The 3288 Review. You can find him and more of his published work at robhartzell.wordpress.com.

# # #

3288 Review: How did you get your start writing? What started you on this path?

Rob Hartzell: It seems like I’ve been taking stabs at writing since I was at least 12 or so, from the stories I’d try to write after devouring the latest sci-fi anthology I’d picked up at the local library, to the song lyrics I wrote for the prog-inflected thrash-metal band I was never able to join, to the nigh-obligatory high-school dark poetry phase. But one of the first successes I had at writing was when I wrote an essay in my senior year at Dayton Christian High School, disproving a chapter in a text that was used in our first-semester Bible class. I would have gotten an A for it, if I hadn’t turned it in some two weeks or so late, and both my English and Bible teachers made positive mention of it in class. It taught me the power of writing as resistance, and that was at least a decade or more before I found out that they actually stopped using that text because of my essay.

I went on to write for my college’s newspaper — I even edited the school’s student magazine — but that moment at Dayton Christian was defining for me: to be able to stand up to the school authorities and say “No,” and get away with it? That experience was a taste of something like power, but also something like acceptance, something I don’t think I quite experienced again until I started doing readings of parts of “Leaving Babylon” as a fiction student.

Continue reading →

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.

# # #

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 →