Behind the Words: Cathy Ulrich

Posted by on Jan 14, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Cathy Ulrich

Cathy Ulrich is a prolific writer and an incredible member of the literary community. She was published in Spry in 2015, and if memory serves me correctly, she’s been working with us as an editorial reader since that publication. Every issue, we offer our staff the opportunity to take a break — we’re an all volunteer team — and every issue, I watch my inbox with anxiety until Cathy responds…always with a note about how happy she’s be to continue working with us. And only then I can let out a sigh of relief. She is a quick reader, a detailed reader, and a dedicated reader. She encourages stories that may need small edits instead of immediately...

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Behind the Words: Deborah Crook

Posted by on Jan 11, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Deborah Crook

Deborah Crooks is a writer and performing singer-songwriter living in Alameda, California. She’s released a number or records under her own name and with the band Bay Station. Previous publications include No Depression, Kitchen Sink and in the anthology “The Thinking Girl’s Guide to Enlightenment” (Seal Press). Here, we discuss her issue 11 flash piece, “Animal Time.” Cathy Ulrich: This is such a great opening: “It was our last day of the week of no thinking.” I know I personally have trouble shutting off my mind and just being. Was this week an escape for this couple? Or a struggle? Deborah Crooks: It was an escape, but that’s the catch isn’t it?...

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Behind the Words: Fred Shaw

Posted by on Jan 7, 2022 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Fred Shaw

Fred Shaw’s poem “Bully” deals with the causes and effects of cruelty. An honest and trenchant look into the mind and experience of a speaker who preys on the weak “as if it were a rite of passage,” Shaw’s poem appeared in the third Issue of Spry. He was kind enough to offer some insight into the poem’s origins as well as his writing process, the literary scene in Pittsburgh, and what honesty in poetry looks like to him.  Marcus Whalbring: One thing I think about as I’m reading through “Bully” and your other poems in your book Scraping Away is the relationship between poetry and personal memory. The voice of these poems suggests the...

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Behind the Words: Sheila Luna

Posted by on Jun 10, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Behind the Words: Sheila Luna

Writer Sheila Luna’s work “Unbalanced” graced issue 9 of our magazine. This piece pivots around a narrator attempting to navigate life with her aging parents. Here, Luna and issue 10 contributor, Grace Campbell, talk about how to approach broad themes inside the tiny space of flash. Grace Campbell: This piece spans a great deal of time. How did you reconcile the necessary compressions to represent a breadth of time in such a small piece? Sheila Luna: In writing my essay, Unbalanced, I decided that it wasn’t necessary to explain to the reader how much time had passed to tell my story. Instead, I used repetition to string the memories together to give...

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ABCs of Poetry: Z is for Zoetrope

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on ABCs of Poetry: Z is for Zoetrope

“Stop worrying about what the poem means and just listen to the damn poem.”                                                                 U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith One. If you are looking for sound for your poems, you can do worse than the letter Z: Zephyrus, Zeppelins, zeppoles, zithers, hazmat, Zip Cars and zero. Or zilch. When adding zing with Z’s you have the opportunity for zeitgeist, zebras, ziplines, puzzles, seizures, caesuras, or you can write an homage to the day when Thoreau met Zorro and they discussed Zora Neale Hurston. Z seems to be inexorably linked with onomatopoeia, so simply by using z words, you can get...

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