Brevity, the staple for flash nonfiction writing, puts forth another fascinating issue, with authors I couldn’t wait to read.
A. Papatya Bucak’s “An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work” is excellently crafted and an important read. Each paragraph starts with “my work” in which she then goes on to explain what it is, what it means to her, starting with “My work is to write this sentence and revise it into that sentence.” But really, it is so much more than that. And later in the essay, her work “is to tell you this”:
Years ago I was on the subway in Manhattan, and we stopped between stations, and the staticky voice came on the speaker and said there would be a delay of twenty minutes, and cursing ripped through the car, as if a tribe of the homeless mad had just swept into our presence. But then a young woman across from me took out a small pile of paper, and she started folding red origami swans, and each time she finished one, she handed it to one of us.
My work is my origami swans.
Joey Franklin’s “Girl Fight” is a remembrance of childhood embarrassment and guilt, about judging people based on society’s view of what a datable girl is or of how a young boy should act.
Amy Monticello’s piece, too, is about shame. She states right off the bat that she “stole another woman’s boyfriend once.” But through the story, and her life, she holds onto a kitchen table from this “friend,” a token to remember her shame but also a token of hope: “it will always be the table we shared as a new family, a reason for hope despite all I’ve done to eschew it, despite all I’ve done for love.”
More excellent pieces come from Heather Sellers, Sarah Beth Childers, Gary Fincke, Alison Townsend, Craig Reinbold, and more.