Emma Bolden’s hybrid pieces “A Portrait of the Body in Facts” and “Love, N.1” are part of Issue 74 of the Bellingham Review. Subscribe or purchase a single issue through our Submittable page here.
What would you like to share with our readers about the work you contributed to the Bellingham Review?
I confess: I’m a sucker for those “Ten Incredible Facts About A Thing” articles ubiquitous in the online world. I’m especially susceptible to articles full of fascinating facts about the body, largely because they always fail at fully describing how fascinatingly strange our own bodies—and the lives we live in them—can be. “A Portrait of the Body in Facts” and “Love, N.1” are attempts at describing the strangeness of being human, both in terms of the experience of living in a body and of the most oft-exalted experience of the body: love.
Tell us about your writing life.
I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Even before I learned how to put pen to paper, I’d learned that creating a narrative to describe an experience is an important path to understanding that experience. I’ve used storytelling as a way to understand just about every experience in my life, from the loss of my crayons to a classmate’s thieving hands to the loss of my own ability to have children. For me, evolving as a writer and as a person are inextricably linked, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
What writing advice has stayed with you?
I am terribly plagued by self-doubt, so I have to keep reminding myself of an Alabama mantra: “Cain’t never could.”
What are you reading right now?
Emma Cline’s The Girls
What project(s) are you working on now, or next?
I’m working on a series of poems about my complicated relationship with the Deep South.
Anything else our readers might want to know about you?
I have a cat named Gertrude Stein.
Where can our readers connect with you online?
EMMA BOLDEN is the author of medi(t)ations (Noctuary Press, 2016) and Maleficae (GenPop Books, 2013). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry and The Best Small Fictions. She received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA and serves as the Senior Reviews Editor for Tupelo Quarterly.
Featured Image: “Anatomical engraving of skulls” from the Medical Archive collections at the University of Liverpool