Sweet Fiction: Q&A with Carol Guess

Today’s Q&A is with Carol Guess, contributor of fiction (co-author Kelly Magee)  to the inaugural issue of Sugared Water. Their collaborative piece is titled “The Storm Grower.”

Carol Guess is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including Darling Endangered and Doll Studies: Forensics. Forthcoming books include How to Feel Confident With Your Special Talents (poems co-written with Daniela Olszewska) and With Animal (stories co-written with Kelly Magee). She teaches at Western Washington University, and keeps a blog here: www.carolguess.blogspot.com.

a little taste of “The Storm Grower” from SW#001:

The garden is in the backyard. Hurricane, tornado, blizzard. Betty grows them in rows, strung up on the fence with twine. People come to her with their demands, and she gives them shoots and cuttings and bulbs: a hurricane eye in a Styrofoam cup. “Keep it moist,” she tells them, or, “Plenty of light.” They walk from her house carefully, down the front porch steps cradling weather. They use the storms for insurance claims, to get rid of unsightly properties, to deal with termite problems or annoying neighbors. “Watch the size on this one,” she says of a super cell in a glass dome. “Could get out of control.”

They come to her with needs and cash, and she sends them away with solutions.

One day a child rings the bell.

SW: What are you currently reading?
CG: I’m focused on legal cases and journalism aimed at freeing nonhuman animals from captivity.

SW: What are you working on now?
CG: I just started a new poetry collection about a woman in an eating disorder treatment center.

SW: What writers/works have inspired you?
CG: Too many to list! But current favorites include Allison Benis White, Shane McCrae, and Richard Siken.

SW: Where do you seek inspiration?
CG: Often from visual art, especially photography and painting.

SW: Would you talk a bit about your writing process?
CG: Writing gives me pleasure. It’s not a struggle; it’s the joy in my day. As a prolific writer, it’s important to me not to write the same book twice. I’m constantly seeking new subject matter, new forms, and new ways of collaborating with other artists. I like to feel challenged and pushed.

SW: With what are you obsessed?
CG: Nonhuman animals, including my four domestic companion animals and the wild birds living in the trees around my house. I’m also obsessed with seeking freedom for animals in inhumane captivity, and would love to find creative, artistic ways to contribute to this movement. Ideas welcome!

Carol Guess | blog | SW#001

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