Issue 66: Kerry Muir


About Kerry Muir

Kerry Muir holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. Her creative nonfiction currently appears in Kenyon Review Online, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. Her play for children, Befriending Bertha won first prize at the Nantucket Short Play Festival & Competition and was published in the anthology Three New Plays for Young Actors: From The Young Actor’s Studio (Limelight Editions/Amadeus Press, 2000). She lives in California.

A Profile of the Author

Notes on “The Bridge”

“The Bridge” was one of the first things I ever wrote, long before I had any formal
training, or even entered the MFA program at Vermont College. It began because I just
felt weirdly haunted by the image of a long, dangerously rickety bridge with potholes in
it. I started there, and just moved in a stream of association: breaking the rules in order
to cross the bridge, the non-stop Watergate trials on the TV, my dad watching them, my
dad’s polio, the fact that another kid’s dad, who also had polio, had committed suicide
that year. I just let myself wander, without any preconceived notion of a structure, to be
honest, because I didn’t know what else to do! Because of that, probably, the piece was
over-written in its original version, and Willow Springs editor Sam Ligon helped me
cut to the chase, figure out what was necessary in the piece, and cut what was excessive.
I needed an outside eye. I’m not my own best editor, most of the time, and I’m very
grateful for his help and guidance!

Notes on Reading

Books I’ve loved long-term: Robin Hemley’s Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art and
Madness, Junot Diaz’ collection Drown, Sam Shepard’s Motel Chronicles, Sandra
Cisneros’s Woman Hollering Creek. Also, all of Sam Shepard’s plays, even the ones that
failed. Especially the ones that failed.

Creative nonfiction books I’ve recently loved: Notes from No-Man’s Land</em> by Eula Biss, Sam Shepard’s Day Out Of Days, Sam
Shepard’s Cruising Paradise, Philip Graham’s The Moon, Come to Earth, about Portugal.

Most recent book discovery: I just bumbled into a book of essays that blew me away,
Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery, by Jeanette Winterson, a writer I’d never
heard of up until two weeks ago. She’s an expert on the Modernists: Woolf, Stein,
Pound, Yeats… She had some wonderful things to say about the randomness of ironclad
notions of genre, in an essay called “Testimony Against Gertrude Stein,” and she wrote it
long before all the James Frey sh** hit the fan—really interesting, prickly, timely stuff.

“Slackwater” by Heather Brittain Bergstrom

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile Winner of the Willow Springs Fiction Prize Jill checks in to the Pioneer Inn under a fake name, shaking her head in … Read more

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Two Poems by Todd Boss

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile Still We Like to Imagine that behind the front desk of every Quality Inn and Cracker Barrel in every hamlet in America … Read more

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“Labor” by Kim Chinquee

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile I got off at four, he’d come on at three, we overlapped a bit, but he’d be there until eleven. He worked … Read more

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“The Waves Were Low” by Kim Chinquee

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile My neighbor chartered out his boat, catching shark in his net. Days before, he’d taken out my husband. Now the neighbor’s boys … Read more

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“Goose” by Kim Chinquee

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile He said he’d gone to the dump to find a cheap ignition. But no luck and now the baby was crying. Duck, … Read more

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Two Poems by Denver Butson

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile drowning ghazal first line by Vicente Huidobro I am absent but deep in this absence asleep but asleep in this absence glass … Read more

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Two Lists by Blake Butler

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile Hair Loop My father used to tell me that he’d gone bald from holding the hair dryer too close to his head. … Read more

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Two Poems by Kim Addonizo

Found in Willow Springs 86 Back to Author Profile Long-Distance Your wooden leg stood beside the bed in its tennis shoe & sock, trailing its fasteners, its amputated man leaning invisibly … Read more

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“Uniforms” by Robert Lopez

Found in Willow Springs 63 Back to Author Profile an excerpt from Kamby Bolongo Mean River Uniforms are always good and I have always enjoyed wearing uniforms whenever I am allowed to … Read more

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Two War Poems by Hugh Martin

Found in Willow Springs 67 Back to Author Profile Friday Night, FOB Cobra   1. Smith, shirtless, curls forty-pond dumbbells, veins burst, worms over biceps. The curls are part of his … Read more

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