Exploring the art of prose


Tag: Fragmentation

Interview: Agata Izabela Brewer

Image is the book cover for THE HUNGER BOOK by Agata Izabela Brewer; title card for the new interview with Jodie Sadowsky.

  In The Hunger Book: A Memoir from Communist Poland, Agata Izabela Brewer probes potent memories and delicacies from her Polish childhood in a home of maternal neglect and alcohol abuse. Expertly written and researched, with historical threads of Communism…

Read More

Split Ends by Rowan McCandless

Image shows two pairs of open scissors taped to a white background; title card for Hybrid Writing Contest first-place winner, "Split Ends," by Rowan McCandless.

  When my mother died, I inherited a sizeable goldenrod-coloured envelope; inside, I discovered birthday cards given to me from family members throughout my childhood, handmade get-well cards crafted by classmates upon the occasion of having one of several surgeries…

Read More

Author’s Note

In “What I Do and Don’t Remember from the Days and Nights of Endlessly Smoking Crack and Shooting Heroin,” I wanted to give the reader addiction. I wanted to transmit it like an STD. I am aware of my magical thinking as it pertains to writing, and so I settled for the lesser hope of writing about my addiction in an experiential way. I wouldn’t expect a reader to have firsthand knowledge of the world this essay inhabits and so I attempt to impart it through structure: a list.

I’m nearly finished writing a memoir-in-essays and for the sake of the collection, I needed to introduce the reader to addiction. I needed to build a world that I could call back on in later essays. Obviously, this essay isn’t about recovery nor does it explore my using relationship with Haley. Instead, I was attempting to siphon my experiences, create a highlights reel, something detailed but crackling enough for a reader to leave the piece with an emotional experience, a movie in their mind, a sort of transference.

“How do I give the reader addiction?” I asked my gut. Understandably, these are my memories and they span a decade of time. From a craft perspective, I knew momentum would be important, and the list-like structure accomplishes that goal. Also, the list allows a sense of place and time to be captured through a collage of dynamic details and scenes. It’s not like I sat down and calculated all of these particulars before writing. I simply asked the questions and began to remember my own addiction.


CHRISTIAN BODNEY lives in New York City. He/they is an MFA candidate in creative writing at New York University. He is currently nearing the completion of a collection of experimental essays/memoirs. He has work appearing in Hobart, Ninth Letter, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Sonora Review. Find him on Instagram @sisyphus.is.happy.