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.
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.”
Recently, writer Jessica Piazza opened a conversation regarding payment in the literary world, specifically regarding poetry (head over to her site poetryhasvalue.com to see writers and editors weigh in.) She was kind enough to invite me to share my views. I sent her my post below; it is as much a statement on payment as it is my views on the role of editors in advocating for new writing.
What Comes Next: A Statement on Payment
I hold two separate stances on the idea of payment that create a whole ideology. First, payment for my work means little to me as a poet. Second, payment for your work means a great deal to me as an editor. (more…)