It’s been an oddly warm winter, something I was grateful for as I left bikini-weather Tampa to stay with family in Alabama. I brought along an ambitious reading list for my winter break. I was quickly reminded that no one else was on a break, and my frustrations at the loud Apple TV weren’t well received. So I caved. I got caught up in a series with my sister, and while the show’s revenge motif doesn’t apply, I was fascinated by the characters moving within an elite circle in the Hamptons. It may not be a fair comparison (writers don’t tend to vacation in seaside mansions), but I like imagining all of the writers I adore all together at a glamorous party (AWP or Burke’s Parlor perhaps?). I want nothing more than to put on a dazzling party dress and join them. So I hide out in the only coffee shop in my small town, church-owned and connected to Fred’s dollar store, with my stack of books because I want to know them all.
But the whole of a person can never be contained within a book, only a representation, a persona. So we read interviews, follow writers on Twitter, searching for that connection.
At Sweet we’re starting an interview series. We’ll be publishing unusual interviews, not the stereotypical kinds, something along the lines of what our CNF reader, Alysia Sawchyn has dubbed, “writers tactfully swooning over their favorite authors.” While I can’t guarantee tact on my end, this issue kicks off the interview series with America’s Most Respected Obscure Memoirist, Dinty W. Moore. As Moore playfully notes in Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals, the writer’s work never ends. Even after publishing a memoir, there are “lengthy interviews to be posted on blogs no one ever reads.” With that in mind, we’ll keep the interviews brief, as long as you promise to read them.
Reading back through the essays in this issue, savoring the musicality of sadness and daily living, I fell again for Renée E. D’Aoust’s “Gratitude is my Terrain: Maybe”, for the true fragmentation of memory, for the poetry of it. In a sample of her daily list, I found that she has reviewed Sarah Einstein’s Mot: A Memoir. Einstein’s sleek hardcover sat beside my computer, having just been read.
As a new year begins, I hope we’re all able to read a little more, to make connections. In this issue, Aileen Hunt writes, “Something catches in my throat, and I’m not sure if it’s fear or gratitude.” I’ve had a similar experience caught on a loop since I set out on this writing/editing life. Only now, as I slip on my party dress, I think it is gratitude.
-Karissa Womack, Interview Editor