Friday, April 19, 2013

News roundup

What's been going on around here? Excellent question. First, I have a brand new flash story, Freshening, published today in Flash Flood, alongside a veritable deluge of excellent flash fictions! Second, some poetry - two published in the new issue of Obsessed with Pipework (such a great name, eh?), and another accepted for publication in the second issue of the excellent new mag, Butcher's Dog, whose first issue knocked my socks off, so that's immensely thrilling. Third, news coming soon about two new writing competitions I am involved in, places to send your wonderful words.

Finally, I have been beautifully interviewed by wonderful author Ramola D in the second issue of the brand new writers-interviewing-writers-and-filmakers online journal the Delphi Quarterly. It's the greatest honour for a writer, in my opinion, when anyone who is not your mother engages deeply with your words, really reads them closely, and Ramola's questions made it clear that she has done this. They allowed me to express something about my writing I don't think I have express before, even to myself. Here is an extract:

RD: Like the fictions of Clarice Lispector or Lydia Davis or Janet Kaufman, these vignettes seem to slant in to a character’s depths—the surreal focus on the moment, the sort of free-floatingness of the character nevertheless slices into the psyche of self in relationship or self alone with insight. Do you set out to use time in close-focus while aiming to mine psychological depth, or how do you approach that kind of excavation of character?

TH: I am incredibly honored to have my fictions mentioned alongside Clarice Lispector and Lydia Davis—and must seek out Janet Kaufman’s work! I really don’t set out with any aims at all, I just try and get something down the way I hear it in my head. I often write very fast, which for me seems to dampen down my inhibitions and allows me to write in a more surreal fashion. If it works, if something actually emerges from this that speaks to even one other person, I consider that a miracle.

RD: In the delicacy of the language and the almost-constant use of present tense, and compelling syntax too, I seem to hear echoes of Helene Cixous, Marguerite Duras—are you drawn to language-centered writers like those, do you look to translations or to other languages to shake up syntax or rhythm, to experiment with language?

TH: Interestingly, I have never read anything by those two writers, but I feel that yes, I am quite obsessed with writers who have a deep love for language, that is vital for me. I am increasingly drawn to writers like Gertrude Stein and Samuel Beckett, who use language for something other than its accepted meaning, for its rhythms, for some other kinds of significance. I adore reading fiction in translation—the short stories of Georges-Olivier Chateareynaud and Cees Noteboom, for example—I hate being so English-centered, I wish I could read in other languages...

There are also interviews with Gretchen E. Henderson, who writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, writer and writing coach Minal Hajratwala, and writer and publisher Dan Cafaro of Atticus Books. Read them all here - and have a lovely weekend!

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