Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Interview

"Who is American? How do we decide, and who decides?" an interview with E.M. Tran

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

SFM: Why are you drawn to the genre of nonfiction? What about its history or form speaks to you? What compels you to write about truth, history, and your own experience?

"I began each day by wrestling a tiger": an Interview with Steven Church

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

One with the Tiger, Steven Church’s fifth book of nonfiction, is a book-length essay both animal and human, a hybrid text that confronts readers with power and earnestness through subject and craft. Inspired by the story of David Villalobos, a young man who jumped into the tiger pen at the Bronx Zoo, Church takes a leap of his own—to explore animal instinct alongside human wildness, to trace that wavering line between predator and prey, civilized and savage. Weaving reflections on animal violence and human fear with extensive research about everything from Charla Nash to the Werner Herzog documentary, Grizzly Man, the book is Montaignian in approach, taking up the classic essay’s attempt to understand the self by following the mind, form mirroring intellectual endeavor.

Evil and Joy and That Other Mushy Part In-Between: An Interview with Kiese Laymon

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

The deadline for our Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest is August 1st. The winner will receive a prize of $250 and publication in our Spring 2017 issue. Read below to get a sense of what contest judge Kiese Laymon is looking for. Click here to submit.


Your recent essays address Mississippi House Bill 1523, the conversation surrounding Bill Cosby and sexual assault, the hopes you have for your daughter, Mississippi football, and the church shootings in Charleston. In one essay you write that you are “concerned about any and all things relating to my body, your body, our feelings, power, sexual history, sexual imagination and intimacy.” What drives these concerns? What sets an essay in motion? How or why does the genre facilitate these conversations?

Life and Literature: Q&A with Writer Bernardine Evaristo, Women Published in 2014 to Read Now

By Cameron Steele

2015 is well under way but it feels like an appropriate time to reflect on one of my least beloved holidays. I’ll say it now: I am not a huge New Year’s Eve fan. I can attribute this to:

A)    a string of lackluster NYE moments (stuck in a broken-down boat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay with my family, for example, or stuck in an Alabama newsroom covering the first homicide of 2012), and, more importantly,

B)    the reality that I’d rather be at home reading a good book when the ball drops than anything else.

"I just want to be in love with everything."

An Interview with CNF Contest Winner Natlie Vestin

Former Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi interviewed CNF Contest Winner Natalie Vestin on her essay, "How To Own a Building" in November 2012.

Natalie Vestin, a writer and health researcher based in St. Paul, won Prairie Schooner's first Creative Nonfiction Contest. We're re-releasing this interview as a preview to her essay, which appears in the Spring 2013 Issue of Prairie Schooner.

 

This essay goes so many different places, literally and metaphorically: Minnesota, Hiroshima, Hamburg, New York City; anecdotes and abstract reflections, past and present meditations. I’m curious about your composition process. Did you know you were going to bring together these disparate elements in the way you did? From where did the form of the essay emerge?

Dangerous Boundaries and the Enemy of Insularity

An Interview with Poet T.R. Hummer

This interview is the fourth in the Crooked Letter Interview Series hosted by Prairie Schooner's Southern Correspondent, James Madison Redd

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Eight Questions for Justin Taylor

PS Web Editor Theodore Wheeler interviews Taylor about self-awareness, his strategies for writing about place, and the greatness of Saul Bellow.
Justin Taylor

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Justin Taylor is the author of the story collection Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever and the novel The Gospel of Anarchy. He teaches at the Pratt Institute and at New York University. He collects cover songs, standards, and photos of text at askforgiveness.tumblr.com. His own work is collected at justindtaylor.net.

A Couple Questions for Stephen Ajay

Claire Harlan-Orsi interviews the PS Spring 2012 Contributor

Stephen Ajay has published two books of poetry: ABRACADABRA and The Whales Are Burning from New Rivers Press. His poems have appeared in the Paris Review, The Progressive, ZYZZYVA, Ploughshares, Poetry Northwest, Michigan Quarterly Review and the Christian Science Monitor. He has been a writer in residence at the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Djerassi Foundation and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at the California College of the Arts.

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"Having Come This Way Before" gives me a powerful sense of the pathos of transitional moments. What inspired this poem?

P(rivate)S(paces) w/ Eric Weinstein

in which Prairie Schooner contributors give us a glimpse into their writing spaces and sensibilities.
Eric Weinstein

Eric Weinstein’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Best New Poets 2009 anthology, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Ploughshares, and others. He was named a finalist for both the Poetry Foundation’s 2011 Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the 2011 National Poetry Series. He lives in New York City.

Three Questions for Katie Wudel

Claire Harlan-Orsi interviews the PS Spring 2012 Contributor on her short story, "Bad Aim," and other writing matters

Katie Wudel’s short fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Rumpus, Monkeybicycle, and other publications. A recent writer in residence at Hedgebrook, Katie has taught creative writing at San Francisco’s School of the Arts and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Writer’s Workshop. Her story “Tongueless” was listed among Wigleaf’s Top [Very] Short Fictions of 2011. You can find out more about Katie by visiting www.katiewudel.com.

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You use third person point of view, but Harry's unique (acerbic, vocal) way of seeing things really comes through in the narration. How did you decide on this perspective, and how did you develop Harry's voice?

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