Sweet Connections: Paul Haney

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: Paul Haney
Title of Piece(s) Published in Sweet: “Downriver”
Issue(s): 8.3

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Paul lives in the Greater Boston area where he teaches writing, literature, and journalism at a few different colleges. His husband and I recently bought a fixer-upper in Salem—spooky! You can learn more about Paul by visiting his website.

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

Since “Downriver,” I’ve had work published in Slate, Boston Globe Magazine, Cincinnati Review, Hobart, and other such places, like the Potomac Review which nominated my essay, “Our Album Now” for a Pushcart Prize. I also earned my MFA in Nonfiction from Emerson College, along with the college’s Dean’s Award in part for editing Redivider. And I became both a research associate at the official Bob Dylan Archive and Co-Editor of the Dylan Review. So, a few things I guess.

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

Yeah! I’m writing a work of narrative nonfiction titled Bob Dylan Approximately: Tales of a Next-Generation Dylanologist, and just recently signed with Willenfield Literary Agency. The book comprises a narrative journey toward a next-generation Dylanology, one that leaves behind biographical fandom for close reading along with social and environmental consciousness.

Who is your favorite author?

Does Bob Dylan count? Seriously though, check out Chronicles, Volume One.

What is your favorite poem/essay/book?

At the moment, Bob Dylan’s “Pay in Blood.” Brian Doyle’s “Joyas Voladoras” is pretty b.a. James Baldwin’s “Notes of a Native Son”.

What inspires you to write?

Several things: language, its subtleties, complexities, and simplicities; community and the desire to converse with—to become literate to—other thoughtful people; history and its mandate to record and make sense of what’s going on.

What is your favorite sweet?

My husband, Peter, makes some great cakes. But I gotta say, a yellow bag of peanut M&M’s after a long day of teaching, purchased from the newsstand in North Station and gobbled on the commuter rail just before a public-transit powernap, really hits the spot.

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

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