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The following

interview was
conducted on 5 July
2009 via Gmail Chat
for the purpose of
giving potential
contributors to
Girls with Insurance
some idea of where
Associate Editor
Dawn Corrigan
stands on letters.
disproductions authentic document #GWI-AI
girlswithinsurance.com | disproductions.org
P. H. MADORE: Helo Dawn Corrigan. You want to
be a GwI Associate, I guess?

DAWN CORRIGAN: I do.

PHM: Who do you think you're fooling? Nobody


wants to work at an obscure magazine that's failed
once already!

DC: Heh. I'm a sucker for underdogs, impossible


odds, and lost causes.

PHM: That's going to be a good quality for this job.


What have you been reading lately?

DC: I've been reading some [Young Adult] stuf,


as I was recently informed that, in completing my
frst novel, I wrote a YA book--a little to my
surprise. So, I've been reading John Green. Also
just fnished my frst Fante novel--I started with
Ask the Dust. And I read Mr. Bridge--I've reread
Mrs. Bridge several times, and all of a sudden it
occurred to me that I wanted to see the yang to
that yin. Online, I've been visiting my usual
suspects--Monkeybicycle, Dogzplot, Wigleaf,
etc. I just went and checked out the frst issue of
Stymie Magazine the other day, as well.

PHM: What is the best contemporary magazine,


literary or otherwise?

DC: Oh golly. I can't even begin to answer that


question. Seriously--I'm trying to think of
something clever, and drawing a complete blank.
Then I try to simply answer the question
seriously, and I draw a blank again. I think this
has to do with my tendency to avoid "best" kind
of thinking. I will say that I often fnd Slate
useful. I have a tendency to be a bit of a hermit,
so a magazine like Slate teaches me not just what
people are talking about but how they're talking
about it. You know, how a certain semi-educated
demographic is talking about Sarah Palin, etc.

PHM: Slate is admirable, realy it is. I think if we


can achieve ten percent of their readership in the next
half-decade, we'l be doing good.

DC: Agreed.

PHM: When did you decide you wanted to get


involved with the online literary thinger?

DC: Heh. I actually dipped my toes in that pool


around 1999-2000 or so, then took a hiatus for six
years. In '99 my friend Tim Ferine, a poet, was
running an online journal called Gimlet Eye. We'd
just gotten in touch again after a break of several
years and he took a few of my poems for it. But
when they went up, there were typos, which
annoyed me. So I asked him if I could guest-edit
the next issue, which allowed me both to exert my
editorial being and to learn a bit about HTML,
etc. I enjoyed that, and decided to launch my own
magazine, but I wound up in a stalemate with the
web designer I hired, and it never got of the
ground.
Then, as I said, I took a break, but by 2006
or so I realized the writing was on the wall. I
myself was doing a lot of my reading online by
then, and I realized there was something about
the accessibility and ... I don't know ...
egalitarianism of writing online that I loved. Plus,
I was doing things like writing prose-poems and
inserting hyperlinks and images into them, then
sending them to American Poetry Review [laughs] ...
I wanted to be an online writer before I realized
it.
Then I saw an ad Brad Listi posted on
Craigslist when he was launching (writing website)
The Nervous Breakdown. I responded to that
and then started poking around at the online
literary magazines, and I realized this really
robust scene/community had developed in the
interim since I'd worked on Gimlet Eye.

PHM: I didn't know Listi was behind TNB! I was a


fnalist in his Riot Lit novel contest some years ago.

DC: Get out! Awesome. Oh yeah, TNB is totally


Brad's baby.

PHM: So, are you blind to the various camps and


cliques that have popped up since 99/2000?

DC: You know, I did a long stint in academic


writing programs, so I have a pretty tough skin
when it comes to camps and cliques. I'm sort of
aware that they're there in the online world as
well, but I still try to ignore them, just as I always
have. Not that such a strategy necessarily pays of,
since to the people who think in terms of those
boxes, if you're not in one, you're nowhere. But I
stand by my decision.
PHM: This wil be very benefcial to GwI.

DC: Thanks. I hope so. This sort of thing is part


of the reason I'm interested in editorial work.

PHM: I don't think I have any other concerns.

DC: Great. Groovy. I'm very excited about


working with you and seeing what we can make
via GwI. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.