Get to Know the Editors! - Ashely Adams (NF)
Updated: Jan 11, 2019
Hey there, bone vultures (we're still shopping the name, give us a sec). In advance of our first issue, we wanted to give you a chance to get to know our editorial staff so that you can start to get a feel for who we are and what we're looking for. This week, we'll be introducing you to Ashely Adams, our Nonfiction Editor and resident swamp queen.
Name and Position: My name is Ashely Adams. I’m the nonfiction editor for the magazine. Also maybe a bird.
What’s your experience in the literary world?: I mean, I was always an insufferable book nerd with Opinions. That said, for a long time I thought I was going to end up as a scientist (and sometimes I still wonder if I won’t end up back in the STEM world). But I really loved writing and decided to try to get an MFA after my undergrad in fisheries and wildlife. Of course, I got rejected everywhere and went to live on a mountain for a while (no, really). When I came back Northern Michigan offered me a chance to work on an MA. While I was up there, I got a chance to work with some really awesome professors that helped me discover my writing voice. I also got a chance to work on Northern’s lit journal (shout out to Passages North!). Once I graduated, I was sick of my nose hairs freezing all winter and decided to get an MFA in creative writing down at University of South Florida. So, long story short, my experiences are kind of all over but certainly exist.
What are some works/authors that inspire you?: Matthew Gavin Frank was one of my formative writing professors, so I have to say a lot of how I feel about genre comes from him and his work. Some other contemporary writers I find myself coming back to are Eula Biss, Camille T. Dungy, Patricia Smith, Sherwin Bitsui, and Carmen Maria Machado. I still have a lot of fondness for some of my formative science writers: Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, and Carl Sagan.
My first love will always speculative fiction, especially science fiction. I love the work of Octavia Butler and Ursula K. Le Guin. Honestly, I think the current speculative fiction scene has some of the coolest, most diverse work going on right now.
Outside of writing, I love metal music and it absolutely informs a lot of my lyrical aesthetics (for better or worse). I also am kinda obsessed with Bloodborne ‘cause I’m a sucker for that cosmic horror.
What kind of writing would you like to see more of in the world?: I love writing that really engages with the natural world. I feel like sometimes nature becomes the “research dressing” on a personal essay without always engaging with it. I also want to see more pushing of boundaries when it comes to genre and form, writing that breaks outside of the nice paragraph-by-paragraph, text-to-paper essay.
I also think we’re nowhere near close enough to leveling the playing field of privileged voices being valued over others.
Also more cosmic horror.
What are your writing pet peeves?: I mean, the pretty obvious one is any work that punches down. Like, wow, how brave.
I also don’t care a lot for literary fiction aimless relationship ennui. Write about relationships! Write about when they fail! But I want something more than “We’re Upper-middle class white people and vaguely sad about it”.
In general, I’m pretty open to most ideas though. I also won’t reject a piece if it has a grammatical error or two.
Favorite bone?: One of my favorite parts of comparative anatomy is the evolution of feet so feet/hand/claw bones are really good.
Ashely Adams (she/her) is a swamp-adjacent writer whose work has appeared in Paper Darts, Fourth River, Permafrost, Apex Magazine, and other places. She can be found on twitter @goosegloriosa. Send bonez pls.