In the second half of September of 2018 ZiN's writer-in-residence will be Anna Geary-Meyer. Her imminent arrival is a great excuse to find out a few details about her writing and literary interests. Thus, here is a short interview we conducted with her via email. But first a few biographical details:
Anna Geary-Meyer is a German-American writer living in Berlin, Germany. She writes fiction and poetry and is at work on her first novel. She is the organizer and host of a monthly event called Queer Stories, where local LGBT artists share and perform original music, literature, and film. She was a finalist in the 2016 Reader Berlin short fiction competition as well as in the 2017 Bath Flash Fiction Award, and is published in the 2017 Bath Flash Fiction Anthology. Her poetry has been published in magazines such as CHEAP POP, Unbroken Journal, and the Olentangy Review. She has given readings at events for The Reader Berlin, Buchhafen, and for a three-part art event called PUDERPINK. She also writes screenplays.
In her application letter to ZiN's residency, Anna wrote:
"My favorite stage of writing is the first draft. First drafts, for me, are messy and imperfect, but they contain so much playfulness and excitement about writing."
And here is what we wanted to know about Anna - for the beginning:
What are your main literary preoccupations? What ideas are you exploring in your writing?
I like to write all sorts of things, from short stories to poetry to drafts of novels. As far as ideas go, a few things that are on my mind these days are 1) competitive sports -- they're such a visual vehicle for the strength of the body and mind, but also sometimes quite pointless 2) emotional alchemy -- the idea that there's something golden in even the most painful experiences, as long as they're embraced and not avoided or denied 3) mystery -- not the genre but the essential unknowability (and grace) of the world we live in.
Maybe those are all a little vague, but that's where I'm at these days.
What do you plan to work on in Ližnjan?
Hope to sort out the bones of a second novel draft. The story is about a very dedicated sixteen year old swimmer and the strange things she encounters. But I'd also like to refine one short story, unless I finish it beforehand, which would be cool. And if there are any poems that seem like they want to be written in Ližnjan, I'll write those, too.
How familiar are you with Croatian literature? What Croatian writers have you heard of, have you read?
Sadly I'm not very familiar with Croatian literature. I have a Croatian friend in my writing workshop whose work I really appreciate, and she recommended I look into Slavenka Drakulić's writing, so I'll definitely do that. But I'm also hoping that through the residency I can become more familiar with contemporary Croatian writers -- maybe there are some books lying around?!
Looking forward to meeting Anna in Ližnjan very soon.