In this week’s episode of Imagine Otherwise, I interview author, editor, and podcaster Denne Michele Norris about how the writing process differs for novels versus short fiction, why sending authors acceptance letters is the highlight of her day as a fiction editor, how the literary world can make publishing more accessible to writers from marginalized groups, and why positioning difference as a source of strength rather than conflict is how Denne imagines otherwise.
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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Denne’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).
Guest: Denne Michele Norris
Denne Michele Norris is the author of the chapbook Awst Collection—Dennis Norris II, which was named one of the best books of 2018 by Powell’s Books. Denne is a 2017 MacDowell Colony Fellow, a 2016 Tin House Scholar, and 2015 Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, and she will be a Peter Taylor Fellow for the 2019 Kenyon Review Fiction Workshop.
Denne’s writing appears in Shondaland, INTO, The Rumpus, Apogee Journal, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere, and her short story “Last Rites” appears in Everyday People: The Color of Life, an anthology recently published by Atria Books.
Denne’s fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and her story “Where Every Boy is Known and Loved” is a finalist for the 2018 Best Small Fictions Prize. Her story “Daddy’s Boy” is forthcoming in Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction, an anthology celebrating flash fiction by writers of color.
Denne is the former fiction editor for Apogee Journal, she currently serves as the assistant fiction editor for The Rumpus, and she also co-hosts the critically-acclaimed podcast Food 4 Thot. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is hard at work on her debut novel.
“I don’t see art or being an artist as separate from activism or politics. So I’ve never even thought about it as infusing it into my work. It’s just sort of there. In some ways, it’s the purpose of it. So for me, I’m Black, I’m queer, I’m nonbinary, I’m all of these things.”
– Denne Michele Norris on episode 88 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast