Interview with Beverly A. Jackson

Beverly JacksonBeverly A. Jackson’s short story, A Fish Tale, appears in the Summer 2006 issue of Shimmer. Send her e-mail or check out her web site.

Questions About the Story

Where did the idea come from?
I used to live on the Mad River in the Pacific Northwest, and always loved to watch the fishermen during salmon season—and my fantasies bit like the fish.

How did the story change as you developed it?
It just fell out in a piece, this one.

How is this story like your other work? How is it different?
This is a sort of a half-baked prose poem, I suppose, and I think poetry (my first love) always shows up in my prose in some small way or another. I think the concise imagery in poetry is very helpful in prose.

Questions About Writing

How did you celebrate your first sale?
Well, actually I sat down and wrote a poem which was later published in Pig Iron Malt 2003. I thought it was amusing (and of course you don’t need to print this, but I thought you might get a giggle):

On Being Published
I want to croon tonight, crow & prance
drifting on a raft with violinists.
Arms hoist me, ravens sing
harmony while my hand floats in
cold-water rapids of rapture.
Publish me! More sensuous than sucking
if you hold the wet words in your mouth
and spill them out without swallowing.
Edit red dust, hike across the canyon,
a horse corral by any other name would
smell. Do you love me? Do you LOVE me?
Lie to me, typeset my whore’s heart
in AGaramond italics.

Does your work tend to explore any particular themes?
I think exploring the human condition and relationships between people (or failure of them) consumes a lot of my energy. And then sometimes I just get silly, (so tired of myself.) But my work is usually described as dark. I’m working on a novel in stories that is dark, dark, dark. Alas.

Favorite book you’ve read recently?
Father & Son by Larry Brown.

Random Questions

What is your proudest accomplishment?
For the past five years I’ve been the founder, publisher and Editor in Chief of a wonderful literary journal, Ink Pot, and an independent press, Lit Pot Press, Inc. which produced books of poetry and novellas that were extraordinary. We recently lost our funding and closed the doors, but the outpouring of love from writers and readers makes me proud indeed. It was the best job I ever had, and the best staff. Our last hurrah is at http://www.inkpots.net.

What are some of your hobbies?
Well, I love to paint, and that’s a given. I do portraits and abstracts and collage. But I also love crafty things–nothing for very long, but I have done quilts, papier mache, flower pressing, macramé, needlepoint, all sorts of handy things. I also love to cook for company. The yang of that is I hate housework.

All-time favorite movie?
Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire” followed by “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.” (I wish I’d written that title!)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Young.

Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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