I’m a writer from Denver. I spent some time in my twenties trying to be an academic, working on Gerard Manley Hopkins specifically. An epiphany (yes! they’re real!) drove me to focus on my own fiction. I received my MFA from Syracuse University, and I’ve worked in various libraries over the past several years. Being accepted to Syracuse was not my epiphany, to be clear. I don’t know how that happened. I’m very grateful for it.
I write essays occasionally, but I’ve never been able to force the issue on that front. I’m unoriginal as a reader, and all the writers you’ve heard of and which everyone thinks are good, I also think are good, but especially: Muriel Spark, Penelope Fitzgerald, Leo Tolstoy, Denis Johnson, Ted Chiang, Gene Wolfe, Joy Williams, Frederick Buechner, Charles Portis, Barbara Pym, Les Murray, G.M. Hopkins, P.D. James, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, J.F. Powers, J.L. Carr (bit of an alphabet soup, there), Saul Bellow, Helen Oyeyemi, Daniel Woodrell, Don DeLillo, Shirley Jackson, Ross Macdonald, Susanna Clarke, Annie Dillard, Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Austen, Bulgakov, your mom, your dad–everyone! I’m a lover. Except for Grapes of Wrath. What a trash-heap. I’d probably be more of a hater but my filter is very strong and I no longer bother with books I don’t want to finish unless absolutely necessary.
The below is a poem I think is fun, surprisingly not by Hopkins.
FABLE FOR BLACKBOARD by George Starbuck
Here is the grackle, people.
Here is the fox, folks.
The grackle sits in the bracken. The fox
Here are the fronds, friends,
that cover the fox.
The fronds get in a frenzy. The grackle
Here are the ticks, tykes,
that live in the leaves, loves.
The fox is confounded,
and God is above.