Q (Katrina Gray): Bill Yarrow, you’re a Fictionaut staple. (Is it going to far to say patron saint?) You’ve recently created two groups that showcase the great work of the Fictionaut community — 2011 Publications and 2012 Publications — and I’m wondering if you’d tell me a bit about what gave you the idea to start the groups.
A (Bill Yarrow): Fictionaut staple? Patron saint? Hardly!
The groups? Well, Fictionaut has many (actually, many more than many!) talented writers whose work is being published in numerous magazines and literary journals in print and on the web, and people were proudly and rightly announcing their publications on the forums page. I personally couldn’t keep up with all the postings and couldn’t keep up with congratulating every single person who posted. I thought maybe a group could serve as a central location for all the announcements during a particular year. Over 80 people joined the 2011 publications group and began either linking to their work in Fictionaut or providing links to the original publications. This is an open group so everyone should feel free to join and to announce and post their publications.
Q: Which came first: the Fictionaut post or the published piece? I guess what I’m asking is whether any of these pieces were chosen for publication because they were posted on Fictionaut — if that is a trend in the group.
I really don’t know which came first. I know that some work has been solicited from Fictionaut but I don’t know what percentage of published work that is. I and Sam Rasnake and others only post previously-published work (with rare exceptions for me) on Fictionaut, so that’s not generally an issue for me.
Q: What is your personal experience with Fictionaut and publication? Have your poems been solicited based on Fictionaut response? Any anecdotes you want to share?
I’d love to share an anecdote if I had one! I did put a poem on The Woodshed (Cherise Wolas and Joani Reese’s group) which Sam Rasnake very kindly picked up and published in blue five notebook.
Q: You’re an editor. I’m an editor. So let’s lean in and chat quietly for a sec. Do you have a problem with published poems and stories appearing on Fictionaut? Do you consider Fictionaut a publication in addition to a social media site? This has been discussed for years, but there are so many ways to look at it.
I do not consider Fictionaut a publication though many other editors do. There’s no general consensus. I have no problem with published poems and stories appearing on it. Almost all of my work on Fictionaut has been previously published. (That does not mean, however, that I don’t tinker my poems it before I post them on Fictionaut! I often do. I also wait a respectful amount of time between online or print publication and their appearance on Fictionaut.)
Q: Now let’s lighten up a little. Meg Pokrass already asked you your favorite pieces of literature on Fictionaut Five. I want to know, 1) if you ever listen to music while you write, and, 2) what albums knock your socks off.
I do listen to music when I write but I almost always write on the computer so Pandora (my bluegrass station, my Zydeco station, my outlaw country station, my British folk rock station…) is usually playing in the background. Albums that knock my socks off? Street Noise by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity, Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart, Revolver by The Beatles, Tears of Stone by the Chieftains, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road by Lucinda Williams, Blonde on Blonde and World Gone Wrong by Bob Dylan, Inner Mounting Flame by The Mahavishnu Orchestra, all the albums by The Shatners, the over 8,000 live shows by The Grateful Dead on The Internet Archive.
Thanks, Katrina. This was fun.
Q: And thank you, Bill. Fun, indeed.
Katrina Gray checks in with Fictionaut groups every Friday. She lives in Nashville with the writer John Minichillo and their lovechild. She is the editor-in-chief of Atticus Review, and she blogs about mostly non-literary things at www.katrinagray.com.