Please join the January Wilde Readings featuring authors Lisa Lynn Biggar and Tara Elliott on Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 7 pm on Zoom! This event will be hosted by Ann Bracken, Linda Joy Burke, and Laura Shovan.
Register in advance for this webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/…/reg…/WN_q_stx5aXRqS6X8jXGPmc0A
For details about the event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1188834605044789
Get to know the featured authors Lisa and Tara below!
Who is the person in your life (past or present) that shows up most often in your writing?
LLB: My grandmother, my dad’s mom, who had a dairy farm in northeast, PA with my grandfather. I spent most of my summers there growing up, and my grandmother and I were incredibly close. I’d help her with all the barn chores, bailing hay, weeding the vegetable garden. . . I just completed a novella-in-flash titled Unpasteurized in which she is the thread that binds, just like she held all our family together all those years. She had five boys and a girl who died when she was only 10 hours old. She always said I was that lost baby.
TE: My parents. I lost my dad when I was 24 to cancer and my mother in 2019 to dementia. Writing has allowed me to grieve their loss.
Where is your favorite place to write?
LLB: I have a beautiful writing studio upstairs in my home that my husband built for me. But that has become more of my Zoom studio. I do a lot of Zoom tutoring for The Gunston School, a private high school in Centreville, and also for Chesapeake College. If I spend too much time up there I get a bit claustrophobic, so now I tend to write more downstairs on the couch in my living room with a view of my wooded back yard, or in the car (as a passenger).
TE: Outside–either late at night or before the world awakens. I need nature and the silence to see what rises to the surface.
Do you have any consistent pre-writing rituals?
LLB: I read a few paragraphs of Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. I love his lyrical writing with those seemingly endless sentences.
TE: No, but I keep the following on my desk to remind me of things that have become important to my writing… A core of stone from when I visited a gold mine in Colorado. A piece of cotton that Le Hinton gave me when I attended his reading for his book, “Sing Silence. A river stone given to me my a dear friend who is no longer with us. Bits of sea shells worn smooth by the ocean. A pinecone. All of these natural objects remind me to go deeper than I think is necessary, that interconnection is vital, and that revision is what makes things beautiful, even when broken. The spiral found in the end of the pinecone reminds me of the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence–a pattern found in nature that resurfaces again and again in my poems.
Who always gets a first read?
LLB: My husband, Don, who is my biggest fan and greatest critic, and my writing friend, Dan Crawley. Dan is considered a master of flash fiction and has a novella-in-flash out published by Ad Hoc Fiction, Straight Down the Road, which I highly recommend. He also has an exceptional short story collection out published by Cowboy Jamboree Press, The Wind, It Swirls.
TE: My desk drawer. I’ve learned that separating myself from my writing helps me to clearly see what needs to be revised.
What is a book you’ve read more than twice (and would read again)?
LLB: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. The interlude where the house is personified especially mesmerizes me.
TE: I return again and again to many books but “The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton”, edited by Kevin Young and Michael Glaser, is one that I regularly revisit. Lucille was my professor at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in the early 90’s. Every time I encounter her poems, I seem to find something new that I didn’t notice earlier, whether its the way she ended a line, a sound, an image, a connection, or a message I was not ready to receive. Although she passed away in 2010, to say that she is still teaching is an understatement.
What is the most memorable reading you have attended?
LLB: Oh so many, but I would have to say Dorothy Allison at a book festival in Flagstaff, AZ. She read from her recently published book then, Bastard Out of Carolina. Her words were so raw, and she was so authentic of a person. She laid it out bare.
TE: Li-Young Lee. Lee’s reading was incredibly intimate and spiritual, something I try to emulate in my own readings.
Lisa Lynn Biggar received her MFA in Fiction from Vermont College and is currently marketing a short story cycle set on the eastern shore of Maryland. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals including Main Street Rag, Bluestem Magazine, The Minnesota Review, Kentucky Review, The Delmarva Review and Superstition Review. She’s the fiction editor for Little Patuxent Review and co-owns and operates a cut flower farm in Maryland with her husband and three cats.
Tara A. Elliott’s poems have appeared in TAOS Journal of International Poetry & Art, The American Journal of Poetry, and Ninth Letter, among others. President of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, she is also the founder and director of Salisbury Poetry Week and co-chair of the annual Bay to Ocean Writers Conference. A recent winner of Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Award, she has work forthcoming in Cimarron Review.