This week, Associate Fiction Editor Ethan Brightbill asked our staff what lesser-known writers they’re reading.
Associate Editor, Nonfiction
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
It’s not the most avant-garde work, but I really love queer writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote. They write a lot about growing up butch in a small town in the Yukon and they do such a great job reaching out to people who may not be familiar with that experience. I like how they examine their struggles from a place of sincerity and, most of all, love. We need writers who are angry and we need writers who play with form, but I appreciate how Coyote’s writing feels like a kitchen table conversation, the kind that makes you want to cry and get just one more cup of coffee not because you need it, but because it means you can stay and listen just a little longer.
Krys Malcolm Belc
Associate Editor, Fiction
My four-year-old, Sean Silas Belc, penned his first experimental micro-essay, “Sean Butt Poop,” soon after learning to sound out words. Since then he’s written some other micro-essays, 2-5 words in length, generally, which I’m encouraging him to compile in a chapbook.
I recently read “Sweet Bitter” by Stephanie Danler. It’s her first novel, and its beauty lies in the sentence structure and word choice. Her other works include creative short non-fiction pieces, which I highly recommend.
Derek Landy!! He writes a sci fi/fantasy series that is totally my guilty pleasure.
Jennifer A. Howard
I can’t get enough of self-help books. I (sincerely) love seeing a prissy, together, actualized person trying to quantify efficient lives for the rest of us. Right now it’s Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, a lovely collection of advice about developing good habits. She’s given me all sorts of satisfying ways to categorize myself (obliger, underbuyer, lark) and tips for getting through the day given who I am. And isn’t that all we want, Hufflepuffs? To feel like we’ve been sorted into the right house?
Associate Editor, Poetry
I’ve been getting into Lorraine Peterson a lot recently. Her theories are becoming very influential not only in my work, but also on my outlook on life.