AUTHOR PHOTO CROPPED Alexandria Peary

 

You hold graduate degrees in creative writing and composition-rhetoric: what’s that like?

I like to participate in as many different conversations about writing as possible so I can slip in and out (like simultaneously attending several interesting dinner parties in the same building).  I’m a fundamentally shy person with an extroverted sense of will. If that implies I stand in the margins for easy exit, for a quick egress, yes, that is the case. Probably, it has allowed me to do types of writing a more pinned-down person wouldn’t be able to get away with (in part because I am not fully initiated into one particular field and don’t always observe the rules and conventions). I’ve been able to research cool topics like a nineteenth-century etiquette author who snuck advice to wannabe women writers between pages on skirt lengths and silverware. Or an “autobiography” of a rejected manuscript in which the main character, a sentimental novel, recounts its treatment at the hands of an editor.

Toss in some wavy lines, an equal sign, and a squiggle,
then a lilac log, boulders with faces, a few phrases
like rock walls, twin marks from wagon wheels on granite.
The tell-tale lilacs give away the cellar hole:
magnetic lilacs, like nineteenth-century girls
in pinafores and blossom sprays, stationed
beside their no-longer houses. They look about to sing.
Banana curls. Purple ribbons tying their waists.