Thursday, May 2, 2013

Contributor Spotlight: Becky Hagenston

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to spend five weeks in the South of France, staying with friends who teach at the Marchutz School of Art.

On one of the excursions, we went to the Abbaye de Senaque, and that’s where I saw the Cheshire cat creature. That stayed with me and worked its way into “Bay of Angels,” as did something that happened in Nice a few weeks earlier.

My husband and I witnessed the aftermath of a car accident on the main thoroughfare, the Promenade des Anglais. We saw motorcycle cops, a smashed car windshield, and—the worst part—a woman's high heeled shoe. Just a shoe. I kept thinking: Who is (or was) this woman? Why was she there? Who was she with? The combination of the idyllic abbey and this disturbing scene somehow combusted into this story—and into others, about the woman, her husband, and the people in their lives.


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Becky Hagenston’s first collection, A Gram of Mars, won the Mary McCarthy Prize; her second collection, Strange Weather, won the Spokane Prize. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Bellingham Review, Quarter After Eight, Cold Mountain Review, Hobart, and many other journals. One of the stories that connects with the characters in “Bay of Angels” (published in HFR 52) is forthcoming in Subtropics. She is an Associate Professor of English at Mississippi State University.

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