Mollyis the concupiscent curator

Gaudry (molly.gaudry@gmail.com)

of Willows Wept Review and Press. She is on staff at Keyhole Magazine and works for a literacy agency in Philadelphia. She has been published in such venues as Hobart, Night Train, and the writerly anger-inducing Eyeshot. She is the author of We Take Me Apart (Mud Luscious Press, 2009). I noticed her sometime last year, and finally took the time to fi nd out her origins in the form of an interview. !is interview was conducted over Gmail between May 14th and 16th, 2009, is set in Capsa, and was OpenOffice-born.

P. H. Madore: What drives you to follow this thing we call 'Internet literature' and less-commercial stuff generally? Molly Gaudry: Well, I try to keep up with the morecommercially, traditionally published literature, too, but I can't really afford to buy a lot of subscriptions. One of these days, when I've got a bit more cash flow, I'll probably subscribe to more university-affiliated journals than I do currently. !at said, I came to Internet literature after having discovered Blake Butler's story, "!e Gown from Mother's Stomach" in Ninth Letter. I liked his story so much I read his bio, which directed me to his blog, and from there I was able to link to and read his online stories and poems. While reading his work, I discovered other writers whose names I saw over and over again -Kim Chinquee comes especially to mind. !ese writers are responsible for introducing me to Internet literature. Once introduced, it was impossible not to fall in love. And not just with their stories and poems but with the writers themselves, their sense of community, their willingness to promote each other, share each others' words. ! desire to be a part of their e community is in small part what kept me coming back (daily, weekly) to Internet literature; and, now that I

am a part of it, I feel it is my duty and privilege to keep following it, to follow it every day. PHM: How long have you been doing this? MG: Butler's story was published in the summer of 2008. In July, I began to submit stories and poems to online journals—Lamination Colony, Titular, Robot Melon, UpRightDown, and Keyhole—to name a few. PHM: What is a "Green City Joint"? MG: A "Green City Joint" is a story or poem featuring a character with some connection to Green City. What's Green City? It's the fi ctional location where the majority of my work is set. Matriarchal and matrilineal, Green City is a place run by two ruling classes: Survivors and womben. Survivors are descendants of the thirteen founding mothers, and womben have advantages we women here in the real world simply don't have—like full and total control over our bodies, our reproductive rights. Additionally, Green City is a geographic phenomenon (I was lucky enough to design its topography and landforms with the help of urban planners at the University of Cincinnati's Design Art

Architecture and Planning program, as well as doctoral students in the Geography department). !ere are four quadrants, each with its own weather system (think the United States, without the midwest). !ere are mountains in the northwest; the southwest is desert; the southeast is sub-tropical, and the northeast is the land of four seasons. All within a hundred-mile radius, Green City is a tourist's haven. !e local / tourist, natural / unnatural, and womben / women binaries provide the bases for much of my work's dramatic conflicts. At this time, I'm still working out kinks, but I'm hoping my first novel will really bring the city to life, which will then give greater context and provide more relevant backstories to many of my currently published short fi ctions. For instance, one of the founding mothers, Ivy Oe, has a street named after her in Last time it rained this hard the dog drowned (Lamination Colony), and has a great-great granddaughter, Loretta Oe, in Apple Baby Moses Law (Robot Melon). !ese stories, the womben in them, are not unconnected. PHM: What sets Willows Wept Review apart and more importantly what sets Willows Wept Press apart? MG: I think what sets Willows Wept Review apart from

other nature writing venues is that it tries to redefine the old model of "nature writing." I tend to accept stories and poems that seem as if they'd have a difficult time finding homes in more traditional nature-themed journals. As a reader, I enjoy elements of surrealism, magical realism, irrealism, and fantasy. I believe these elements, when utilized to explore, celebrate, or problematize the relationship between human beings and the natural world, often yield a greater appreciation for nature—if for no other reason than that the recasting of nature in these bizarre roles helps to defamiliarize and remind us to rethink our own relationships with and understanding of nature. I'm not sure what sets the press apart from others. I started it because there were writers out there whose work I wanted to support, to publish in book form. I doubt any other small presses felt any differently when they began. WWP is simply another venue. !ere is no particular theme or motive but the common practice of publishing excellence. PHM: Where does the name come from? MG: Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own—On the further bank the willows wept in perpetual lamentation, their hair about their shoulders.

PHM: What do you do for a living? MG: I work for a non-profit literacy organization and teach three GED classes: the first services women who have been incarcerated and now live in a halfway house; the second services men, post-incarceration, on the men's side of the facility; and the third services parents of children at an elementary school (here, one of our goals is to help parents help their children with homework). PHM: Are you for or against any of the many dividing lines in the literary world (like MFA/non?) MG: I'm not entirely sure I understand this question. Regarding the MFA issue, and what I think you might be getting at, I'm probably for divisions. Specifically, I like to see dedication to one's chosen craft. Degrees— BAs, BFAs, MAs, MFAs, Ph.Ds—seem indications that those who've earned them have at some point made bold and risky decisions to devote years of their lives to the study of craft with the intention of hoping to become better (or at least more educated). As an educator of adult learners, adults who have not had the benefits of education beyond junior high or high school, I have an appreciation for learning, for those who want

to learn, for those who demonstrate their willingness and desire to study, to struggle, to succeed. PHM: How emotionally involved do you feel to your Gmail inbox? MG: I feel like the answer can be found in Linda Pastan's poem, “Marks”. Replace husband, son, and daughter with Gmail; replace all the domestic chores with Gmail functions, and there you have it: Wait 'til Gmail learns / I'm deleting my account. PHM: What is your most played song in iTunes? MG: I recently lost all of my iTunes because my old laptop died. I've yet to begin replacing my music (Pandora's good enough for now), but if I had to guess I'd say my most played song was Ani DiFranco's Dilate. A close second, either Cat Power's Good Woman or Joni Mitchell's Blue. PHM: If you had ten writers who sounded exactly the same but were all good because of it and one writer who was slowly improving but sounded different, which would you promote?

MG: I would promote the one, out of the ten, who has the strongest track record of promoting others. Super extra tireless promotion from me if that person has helped to promote the one writer who was slowly improving. Privately, I would send encouragement to the slow improver. PHM: Why do you use Blogspot? MG: !e fi rst blogs I ever read—Blake Butler's, Porochista Khakpour's, and Kim Chinquee's—were all at Blogspot. PHM: What movie have you watched more than five times? MG: Anything Pixar and the first Harry Potter. PHM: If you could trade your soul for anything, what would it be? MG: A good man who never makes me wonder if I missed the boat and should've kept looking; a couple of terrific adopted kids; a couple of terrific adopted adults (just because they're adults and out of the orphanage doesn't mean they aren't looking for a family, a home);

a relaxed, happy lifestyle that allows us all to summer in a cabin by a pond we call a lake. PHM: If you were alive during his time and Willy Shakespeare plagiarized you, what would you have done about it? MG: Told him to stand still while I used his head to perfect my T-ball skills. PHM: In this for the long haul? MG: Totally. PHM: Want to get a drink sometime? MG: Of course! I like my martinis made with vodka. Extra dirt. What's with you trying to develop a huge following of ladies? Madoreable!

Mentionables: Molly Gaudry mollygaudry.blogspot.com Willows Wept Review willowsweptreview.blogspot.com Willows Wept Press willowsweptpress.blogspot.com Twelve Stories readtwelvestories.com Keyhole keyholemagazine.com Robot Melon robotmelon.com

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