The photographer Diane Arbus said, “Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.” In the midst of that confusion is where she stood (I imagine) to take many of her now famous pictures. Some people she photographed made her “feel a mixture of shame and awe.” If you want the literary equivalent of Arbus, let me introduce you to Tasha Coryell, my second offering of “To Grow a Whisper,” a series of literary spotlights devoted to (mostly) emerging writers.
I once said if aliens visited earth, Coryell’s stories would be the ones I’d want them to read in order to (mis)understand who we are. Coryell is a multi-genre writer whose work showcases such smart and idiosyncratic observations on human behavior I’m not sure if they would want to save or destroy us, laugh at or comfort us. Either way, I know they’d read to the very end of every story, every poem, and even every tweet (she tweets @tashaaaaaaa and will make your day so go follow her.) (more…)
I’m excited to present my first addition of “To Grow a Whisper,” a series of literary spotlights devoted to (mostly) emerging writers. I hope in this space you’ll find a kindred spirit, someone whose writing inspires your own literary aspirations.
There are several things I can say with certainty: 1) You will like Lisa Mecham’s website. It reveals itself like sleight of hand and yet never feels like deception. 2) You will like Lisa Mecham’s writing. With one line like the smallest hammer she can find the fault and shatter us. “At times we were happy, I swear it,” she writes in the lyrical, nonfiction piece “Reckoning” over at Midnight Breakfast, and I am instantly there with her, equally in need of the memory of happiness. 3) You will like Lisa Mecham. Go read this interview with her over at Midwestern Gothic. Look at that picture of her as a child. Try to tell me you’re not charmed after that one-two combo.
Lisa is a talented multi-genre writer, the type of writer a reader should seek, but more importantly perhaps is the fact she is the type of reader we should all strive to be. She reads with elation poetry, fiction, nonfiction, even the occasional screenplay. If there is something sumptuous she will share it. And to have someone share with such joy and excitement a piece they admired whether a poem, a movie, a song or story…that is nourishing. In the literary world, like other competitive arenas, many people want a piece of the pie. I’m extremely grateful for people like Lisa who so often turns to the person next to her and says, “Have you tried this? Here, take this bite.”
I have wondered how best to utilize my tiny corner of the internet to best serve the literary community. I have wondered what can such a small voice do. I have wondered how to nurture and grow my voice without becoming a weed that chokes out others.
It occurs to me to point outward, always. It occurs to me a small voice will do the best work by adding itself to an equally small voice, or an even smaller voice. To grow a whisper.
In that spirit I plan to use this corner to be more moon than sun, more reflection than light source. I hope the small voice I have will be enough to showcase some other amazing small voices. I hope the small voice I use is enough to get you to lean in, to listen, and to find a voice you love. I hope you find something here you love. I hope you shout that love from the rooftops.