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Member Spotlight: Carol Daviss Marsh

author Carol D Marsh standing outdoors smiling at the camera and an image of her book Border/Between

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? From my chapbook (Border/Between: A Symphony in Essays) coming out June 30 from Bamboo Dart Press: “Writing is this for me, the solace of interstitial spaces. I write, and it’s subjective and truthful. I write, and reject the tyranny of absolutism. I note where dissonance breaks through consonance and consonance reverberates through dissonance. I seek what lies between for this is where I feel welcome, and this is where I live.”

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? When I’m blocked on an essay, I pick up a copy of River Teeth or a Pushcart anthology and read all the CNF essays I can find. The inspiration from other writers usually unblocks me. If that fails, I try some free-writing. And if that fails, I set the essay aside for a day or two so my sub-conscious can work on it while I’m out of the way.

What is your favorite time to write? Mornings.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Richard Todd once said to me he didn’t believe in “show, don’t tell.” Shocked into speechlessness, I didn’t ask him why. But just that he said this about what I’d thought to be a sacred truth about writing craft has helped me be skeptical about all such rules. Not that I reject them out of hand – that would be arrogant. But I allow myself to question writing rules, to decide for myself whether and where I will follow them. Or not.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m excited about the growing respect for non-traditional (read, white and male) voices I find on lit journal and publishers’ websites. I know change happens slowly and I don’t pretend it’s not still difficult for certain writers to get published. But I’m grateful for the efforts being made and that a diverse pool of other writers requires of me greater rigor in my own craft.

Carol D. Marsh’s Border/Between: A Symphony in Essays is out June 30 with Bamboo Dart Press.