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Profiles

Profiles

Big Feelings

Mishele Maron has been employed as a professional chef and worked aboard luxury yachts that sailed the world. In her essay in this month’s issue, “Anger Management,” she writes about some of those experiences and also about working at a mental-health clinic, where she participated in group-counseling sessions for men with anger issues. When we spoke over video chat, Mishele impressed me with her nuanced understanding of emotions and her sharp analysis of the various class, gender, and other factors at work in our professional and personal relationships. We talked about her seafaring years, her older daughter’s favorite reality TV show, and why she wasn’t satisfied to vent her rage on a punching bag.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • February 12, 2024
Profiles

All Families

We’ve been publishing Doug Crandell in The Sun for twenty years now. I’ve been his editor that whole time, and I feel like I know him, even though we’ve met face-to-face only once. He writes with such honesty and openness, often about growing up in rural Indiana. I recently talked with Doug about how he navigated his family members’ responses to his essays about them. We also discussed writing as therapy, how Sun readers react to his work, and Halloween costumes in the seventies.

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • December 18, 2023
Profiles

An American Disease

For ten years Anders Carlson-Wee got almost everything he needed from the trash: food, clothes, furniture, lamps. He wrote about his experiences in his essay “The Salmonella Special,” which appears in our November issue, and in his new poetry collection, Disease of Kings, released this October by W.W. Norton. When we spoke over Zoom, I asked him to tell me more about this lifestyle. We talked about capitalism, loneliness, freedom, and one of the greatest hauls of his dumpster-diving career.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • November 9, 2023
Profiles

A Game We Play

By her own admission, Leona Sevick is a latecomer to poetry. She was trained as an American literature scholar and never took a creative-writing class. We published her poem “I Eat My Words” in our October 2023 issue. Leona and I met on Zoom, and we spoke about bamboo wives, pregnancy pains, and poetic meter. At the end of our conversation she read her poem out loud, and even though I knew how it ended, I still got chills.

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • October 18, 2023
Profiles

Transformation

I caught up with Jen Silverman late this summer, after we finished the edits on “Scale,” their new short story in our October issue. Jen was a few months into returning to New York City from Japan, where they worked as a producer and writer on the Max series Tokyo Vice. Jen had just switched gears back to theater, working on the book for a new musical with the composer Dave Malloy, workshopping an upcoming new play called Spain about propaganda, and wondering how long the writers’ strike in Hollywood (which has since ended) would keep a number of other projects on hold.

By Finn Cohen, Associate Editor • October 10, 2023
Profiles

Looking in a New Way

When I read Maria Kuznetsova’s story “Sandwoman,” I was immediately drawn to its offbeat tone and to the narrator’s voice, which is in turns playful, exuberant, dark, and funny. Though much of the story is fantastical, it speaks volumes about the real-life experiences of women who struggle with their physical and mental health postpartum. Maria’s imaginative and surprising perspective made me want to dig into the story’s origins when I got to talk to her.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • August 18, 2023
Profiles

Removing the Mask

As someone who was a socially awkward kid — and remains a socially awkward adult — I find a lot to identify with in John Paul Scotto’s essays. He was recently diagnosed with autism, but for most of his life he knew only that he needed to hide his true self around other people if he wanted to fit in. . . . We’re pleased to have published some of his work in The Sun, including his essay in this month’s issue: “Coach’s Kid.”

By Andrew Snee, Senior Editor • August 15, 2023
Profiles

Christian Girls

As someone who grew up in Southern Baptist and nondenominational churches, I felt seen when I read Virgie Townsend’s work. “Heavenly Bodies” is an excerpt from her debut short-story chapbook, Because We Were Christian Girls. . . . Virgie’s stories capture the complexities of growing up in a strict religious setting, while also showing the friendships and nostalgia that can come from those communities.

By Anna Gazmarian, Outreach Coordinator • July 3, 2023
Profiles

What We Can Do

Chera Hammons’s hometown of Amarillo, Texas, is part of the region once known as the Great American Desert. . . . The landscape and wildlife around Chera’s home informs much of her writing, including her poem “Curve-Billed Thrasher” in our June 2023 issue. “It’s a strange place to live,” she told me. “I feel like it gets in your blood.”. . . We discussed donkey breeds, the challenges of gardening, and writing as a practice of forgiveness.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • June 8, 2023
Profiles

A Curious Observer

Synne Borgen is the author of “Observations on Ice,” an essay featured in our June 2023 issue. . . . Synne bowled me over with her descriptions of the Arctic’s alien (and alienating) landscape — I think the piece works as both exciting travelogue and introspective memoir. We spoke recently about her essay and the Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program she recounts.

By Hank Stephenson, Manuscript Reader • June 7, 2023
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