Sweet Connections: Jacqueline Doyle

Each week we will be connecting with our contributors showing where they have been, where they are now, and what’s up for the future.

 Name: Jacqueline Doyle
Title of Piece Published in Sweet: Little Colored Pills
Issue:  11.2

Doyle Photo

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Jacqueline lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she teaches at California State University East Bay. Summer is generally a relaxing and productive time for teachers, but Jacqueline and her husband both had jury duty, and both were chosen for trials. They are also having work done on the largest room in their small house, so the contents of many bookcases are stacked everywhere you turn. Right now, you would find her in a state of chaos. You can learn more about Jacqueline by visiting her website.

What are some major accomplishments you have had since your Sweet publication?

I won a creative nonfiction contest at The Sunlight Press with a flash essay connected to my publication in Sweet. I’ve also had lyric essays and flash published in The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Juked, The Collagist, and Ghost Proposal, and accepted for publication in Little Fiction/Big Truths, F(r)iction, CRAFT Literary Magazine, the Minnesota Review, Pithead Chapel, and Passages North. My flash chapbook The Missing Girl (Black Lawrence Press) is over a year old, but I just had another review in Bellingham Review and an interview in Heavy Feather Review. I’m thrilled that the book continues to attract new readers.

Can you tell us about a current/ongoing project that you’re excited about?

Coming out as bipolar in “Little Colored Pills” was a major step for me, and inspired a longer project-in-progress that is part nonfiction, part fiction, part memoir: an exploration of my story and my bipolar aunt’s story within the expanded context of women and the history of the treatment of mental illness. The Lunatics’ Ball combines a lot of very disparate materials and kinds of writing and I’m still not sure what shape it will take. The title flash is coming out in F(r)iction next month; I’ve published two of the historical flash in The Collagist and a flash fiction in Connotation Press; a short hybrid essay will be published in Passages North next spring.

Who is your favorite author?

Years ago, I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on the significance of modernist writers’ competing versions of Edgar Allan Poe. I’ve been thinking about Poe again lately, a bipolar author who fascinated me long before I was diagnosed. Two writers that I recently rediscovered were Shirley Jackson and Jayne Anne Phillips.

What is your favorite poem/essay/book?

I’m sure I read Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House before, but when I reread it last year I was blown away. I also loved rereading Jayne Anne Phillips’ Black Tickets. My favorite books are always changing.

What inspires you to write?

Breaking silences. Recovering lost voices. I started writing late in life, so I feel greater urgency than I might have if I’d started earlier. I feel like there’s a lot to say, and not enough time for it.

What is your favorite sweet?

My favorite recent dessert was a tres leches cake at a party for Cristina Garcia’s upcoming play, adapted from her novel The Lady Matador’s Hotel. Amazing and delicious! (The dessert and the book.) Here’s a Cuban-style recipe: https://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cake/tres-leches-three-milks-cake-cuban-style.html

 Thank you, Jacqueline, for taking the time to reconnect with us.  We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future!

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