Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Erica Quinn

I met Erica for the first time on a long day in Brooklyn in 2008 when I fell instantly in love and proceeded to spend the rest of the day following her around like a puppy.  Like all the days we've spent together since, it was lovely.  I'm very excited to be featuring her as our first 2014 Writer Wednesday!  If you're interested in being interviewed, please shoot me an email.

Erica says: What you can't see in this picture is that Roy and a pizza are sitting next to me.

Who are you? Hello! My name is Erica. I am a photographer and poet. I also write a blog about cats.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? I have a couple of things cooking... here is my sad girl cat blog.... and here is my online portfolio.

The cat blog, Well Tailored Suit, is a blog about feelings thinly disguised as a blog about cats. But all of the things I make-- poems, pictures, videos, and musings on felines-- are in the same neighborhood. I am consistently thinking and making work about inter-generational heritage, local and personal history, and the importance of place. I'm super interested in the narrative arcs that a physical location can hold-- the layering of these stories is where my interests lie.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? Oh goodness. Well, three years ago I graduated from college and was accepted into the MFA program that I later attended BUT FIRST I deferred for a year, skipped town and moved to New Zealand with my bearded companion, where I worked at a museum. I was in the midst of a bit of a life crisis-- I had so many elements for Happiness, but I was still lying awake at night, listening to the wind blow. Simultaneously I had been seeing cats in great numbers throughout the small city-- smushy-faced ones, rolly gutter ones, shy ones, gregarious ones, and so forth. On one such windy night when the aforementioned bearded companion was sleeping I crept out of bed and took a tentative first sip of cat blogging. It felt good.

Why do you write? I just have all these ideas and thoughts and feelings kind of boiling inside of me-- writing has provided a great way to get these out into the air, and to make sense of a network of experiences and associations.

Your writing inspires me. [Thank youuuuuuu, you too obviously.] Who inspires you? I love Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, Sherwood Anderson-- and Janisse Ray's Ecology of a Cracker Childhood is amazing. Also I just read Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex and it's got the greatest kissing scenes. I'm really into non-linear narrative structures and story cycles, so I am open to anyone but especially people doing those things. More personally, I've had the good fortune to work with two exceptional writers groups-- Aughwick Poets and Writers out of Huntingdon, PA and a group in New York City-- the founding members of which-- Roy Holm, Matt Lehman and you, the great Kristin Maffei-- have been enormously inspiring and insightful. I always must remind myself how tremendously lucky I am to be surrounded by the humans who surround me.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I'm in the middle of a partial exploration of America-- which turns out to be quite a big place! I would love to have the time and gas money to just drive all over the whole thing, linger, investigate, and let it all get into my blood.

What is your favorite place on earth? I am a die-hard fan of Huntingdon, PA-- my current place of residence. It is so many things to me, but most importantly it is home.

Anything else you'd like us to know? You are always welcome in my heart and home. My cat has three legs and four teeth. Also, I must attribute "tentative first sip" to Brooklyn's own Steven "Steve" Kendall. I cannot take credit for such a useful phrase.

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