There are two words I think of when I think of my next writer in “To Grow a Whisper,” my series of literary spotlights devoted to (mostly) emerging writers: isolation and comfort.
I distinctly remember an interview with Kendra Fortmeyer over at “The Toast” (RIP) where she talked about vampires, and how it would be “hard and lonely to live forever, even if you’re the most beautiful creature alive.” I think many, if not all, writers understand that line. Writing is our beautiful creature, and here we are with words we try to make live forever. It’s difficult, isolating work, but if we get it right we can help “someone else to feel less lonely for one damned second,” as Fortmeyer says. Her work tackles isolation but, like a friend, is also there to offer comfort and understanding.
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…)