Suspend Your Disbelief

Polly Atwell

Contributing Editor

Polly Atwell is the author of the novel Wild Girls (Scribner) and a Contributing Editor at Fiction Writers Review. She teaches English and creative writing at Virginia Military Institute.


Articles

Interviews |

Hogs Will Inherit the Earth: An Interview with Pinckney Benedict

“I am tempted to spin you a story about a chance boyhood encounter in the deep forest with a wild hog that left me scarred and terrified and thus writing out my fear and horror for the rest of time, but I’ll restrain the impulse.” Pinckney Benedict talks with Mary Stewart Atwell in this second interview in a series on rural fiction.


Interviews |

Tell Me the Landscape in Which You Live: An Interview with Jack Driscoll

Mary Stewart Atwell inaugerates a series of interviews with writers of rural fiction, undertaken in partnership with The Art of the Rural, by talking with Jack Driscoll. The two discuss his most recent collection, as well as the influence of place and weather on his fiction, how to “stay in the room,” and starting a story with the rhythm of the line.


Interviews |

Not Just Visible But Beautiful: An Interview with Kevin Brockmeier

Known for stories and novels that force us to question the conventional dichotomy between realist and fantasy fiction, Kevin Brockmeier knows how to reveal the strangeness of the world around us. In conversation with Mary Stewart Atwell, Brockmeier discusses his new novel, The Illumination, and the compelling metaphors that inform his writing.


Interviews |

Starting with Small Moments: An Interview with Andrew Porter

Polly Atwell talks with Andrew Porter about how crafting stories is like editing film, what particular advantages peripheral narrators can afford, and why it’s “completely surreal” to hear actors read from your work.


Interviews |

Creative Writing and the University: an Interview with Mark McGurl

McGurl, a professor of English at UCLA, is a literary scholar who actually likes writers. More amazingly, he likes MFA programs. In The Program Era, published by Harvard University Press, McGurl argues that the rise of the MFA program in the twentieth century made a uniquely significant contribution to the excellence of postwar American literature.