Melissa Matthewson’s creative nonfiction piece, “As Snow Designs” is featured in Issue 71 of the Bellingham Review. What would you like to share with our readers about the work you contributed to the Bellingham Review? “As Snow Designs” actually began in a lecture… Continue Reading
One of my most important writing practices is that I always try to pay attention. I look for images and ideas and language in everything. . . . For me, part of poetry’s purpose is to help make sense of the human condition, and I feel I can do that more effectively in my work if I’m participating in each aspect of my life as much as I can on a sensory level. Continue Reading
In January of 2011, my husband Eric shared with me an article he’d found about a hunter in Belarus who injured a fox and approached it with the butt end of the rifle to finish it off; the fox resisted, somehow got its paw on the trigger, and shot the hunter (not fatally, of course, which is why we know the story) before running off. It somehow got me writing poems about Fox, a shape-shifter who can be fully human or fully animal or a mix, always her choice. Continue Reading
Novelist Ann Tyler says that she reads so that she can live more than one life in more than one place. I write for the same reason. My character Marlene Mae lives a brash, reckless life, quite unlike my own more careful and calculating existence. I thought I was done with Marlene Mae in 2013 when Dancing Girl Press published the chapbook How Marlene Mae Longs for the Truth, but she (and her mother) just keep on re-appearing in new poems, including “Marlene Mae Talks About Denial” and “Marlene Mae’s Mother Turns Seventy-Six and Her Physician Asks If She Is Still Sexually Active.” Continue Reading
The poems “Faith’s Other Shapes” and “Her Risk” explore reinvention, and the impossibility of emotional, physical, and relational wholeness in a culture that values fragmentation and isolation.
Writing is my way of being in the world. I am entirely at ease and fully “dialed in” when I am writing. Forming ideas and arranging them on the page is how I make sense of my surroundings and myself. Because of that, I continue to write—it’s never about the outcome as much as it is about the process, and the discoveries I have about myself while I am composing. Continue Reading
I wrote “Breakfast in a Thin Land” during my sabbatical in Valparaiso, Chile. It lyrically recounts the breakfasts my stepson, Scott, and I had immediately following the sixth worst earthquake ever seismographically registered. Continue Reading
“Coyotes” is set in rural Maine, where I grew up. I originally drafted it in 2007 as part of a short story series centered on a theme that I have returned to many times in my fiction: the pressure of unsaid things. While the family this story describes is fictional, aspects of the plot were inspired by real problems that we had with coyotes in my area when I was a child. Continue Reading