Inklette Magazine is thrilled to announce its Pushcart nominees! Read on to know more about them and what inspired their work.
‘Pack’ by Bryanna Licciardi (ISSUE III)
Inspiration behind Pack: When I first came across the story of Dr. Guthrie, what struck me most was how heroic he was depicted, and that his experiments were seen as inspirational. Not once did it mention, anywhere in this story, the pain and panic those dogs must have felt while being mutilated in the name of science. It struck me that Dr. Guthrie’s name has gone down in history, and yet those dogs have been left nameless. I figured they deserved a name. I figured I could give them that much.
BRYANNA LICCIARDI has received her MFA in poetry and is currently pursuing a PhD in Literacy Studies. Her work appears in such journals as Poetry Quarterly, BlazeVOX, 491 Magazine, Dos Passos, Adirondack Review and Cleaver Magazine. You can visit her profile on P&W or www.bryannalicciardi.com for more about her work.
‘Stillborn’ by Meghan Bliss (ISSUE II)
Inspiration behind Stillborn: Stillborn was not inspired by personal events and therefore happened somewhat by accident. However, I’ve known a few women who have dealt with miscarriages, and the poem evolved from the overall experience of loss that pervades every life, whether it’s the loss of a child, a friend, a marriage, a dream, good health, or even innocence. The writing process itself was simple. The opening line happened when I wasn’t looking for it, so I let it take me from there. I don’t think I can write about the loss of a child accurately, as I haven’t experienced it myself. But I wanted to provide whatever voice I could on behalf of every woman who has ever lost a child, and therefore feels like she has lost part of herself.
MEGHAN BLISS is a freelance writer, editor, and blogger from New Bern, North Carolina. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published in Rust+Moth, Naugatuck River Review, A Poetry Congeries, and Mary Jane’s Farm, among others. Her chapbook, The Little Universe, was published by dancing girl press in 2015. She is currently writing two novels and offering weekly writing, editing, and publishing tips to women at TheLadyinRead.com. She, her handsome husband, and their fur-child, Black Sabbath the cat, are expecting their first human child next summer.
‘Feathers‘ by Barbara Lane (Issue III)
Inspiration behind Feathers: Feathers was inspired by some of my favorite childhood memories, the many great stories my Dad gave to me, and a lot of blood and sweat. Much of the non-mythological narrative is true, but the mythology itself has a way of breathing life into the nonfiction. I’ve been drawn to the story of Dædlus and Icarus for as long as I can remember; when I started to work on my MFA thesis, I decided to figure out why. The writing process was beautiful and agonizing—as it should be. A lot of fantastically generous friends and colleagues read it way too many times and shared their honest thoughts. Draft after draft after draft. Eventually, I wrote my way into the realization that my Dad gave me so much as a child and that all of those “feathers” had led me to a life far removed from the labyrinthine faith of my childhood—which, in the essay, takes the shape of Icarus’ perceived death. First, the essay was a 12-page essay for a workshop class. Then it became a 7-page essay for the Narrow Chimney Reading Series in Flagstaff, AZ. Next, it was a three-page essay for another workshop. And now it is what it is. I’ve read it many times since it was published at Inklette, frustrated with the many ways that I could still revise it, but I suppose those are good ideas for new essays.
BARBARA LANE lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she teaches English, enjoys local craft beer, writes about feathers, and hikes a lot. She earned her MFA at Northern Arizona University in 2016 and served as the 2015-2016 nonfiction editor for Thin Air Magazine. Her work has also appeared at Art House America and Queen Mobs Teahouse.
‘And They Lived’ by Sophie Panzer (Issue III)
Inspiration behind And They Lived: I started writing the piece that turned into And They Lived as a response to Don Delillo’s short story, Coming Sun. Mon. Tues. I loved the idea of varying setting and small sensory details in order to convey how different events could have the same emotional resonance. It was like a choose-your-own-adventure story where all the choices ultimately led to the same place but also provided room to explore different possibilities. Using this technique to tell the story of a millennial couple was my attempt to both mock and celebrate some aspects of contemporary young adulthood.
SOPHIE PANZER is a history major at McGill University. She attended the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and won a national medal in journalism from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her work has appeared in carte blanche, Germ Magazine, and YARN (Young Adult Review Network). She enjoys long walks with dogs, friendly arguments, and reading aloud.
‘Lovers Haunt’ by S. Winters (Issue II)
Inspiration behind Lovers Haunt: Lovers Haunt was written in response to my own experiences as well as a few women close to me. Initially it had been intended as an explanation, but ended up a convoluted riddle of truths. Skye resides in the Hub City of Vancouver Island.
S. WINTERS, pulled by the motion still symbols evoke, can usually be found among the old growth giants of Vancouver Island working on her novel. Her work can be found in The Portal, Vancouver Island University’s literary magazine.