Have you heard about the new staff of HFR? Our intrepid intern Kacie Blackburn already spoke with Brian Bender, our new international poetry editor, and now she's interviewed one of the prose editors, Gary Garrison. Check out their interview below, and if you want to put this new staff to work, check out our flash prose contest--deadline: May 15th!
Gary Garrison: As a prose editor at HFR I have the incredible opportunity to read through all the wonderful work that our first and second readers have enjoyed and handed off to me. Then, with the help and guidance of my amazing co-editor, Allegra, we have to select the handful of stories that we get to share with the world.
KB: What do you look for in a submission?
GG: I try my best to be open to every single make and model of story that I come across. I guess I look for all the little parts--language, voice, narrative, character--to come together into a greater sum, into something that resonates, something that I really have the desire to share.
KB: What is your opinion on dialogue in submissions? Is using “he said”, “she replied”, “they asked”, too much?
GG: I've always admired great dialogue, so if it is there that's great! But if it's not there and the story doesn't really need it, that's also great! I don't know if I've really been bothered by dialogue tags (though I suppose the line between just right and too many is pretty thin), however, tags that call attention to themselves ("he cried!") and tell us something that the dialogue should be able to tell us on its own can be a bit much.
KB: What do you do in your spare time, other than review submissions?
GG: My spare time usually blends seamlessly into my not-so-spare time as I switch from an assigned book to personal choice. Outside of that I play lots of bar trivia (Reester Bunny!) and try to travel way more than I should. I also enjoy watching movies with my cat.
KB: If you were stranded on a deserted island with one book, what book would it be?
GG: My desert island book would, at the moment, probably have to be The Brief And Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--though that will probably change at any moment.
KB: Have you worked with HFR before this semester?
GG: I worked with HFR as a reader the fall before I started as a prose editor.
KB: What have you enjoyed most about working with HFR, so far?
GG: HFR is an amazing journal! I'm fortunate to have had countless incredible people come before me to build HFR into the literary machine it is today. I'm constantly reading really inspiring work and I get the chance to share those unique little unicorns!
Gary Garrison is an MFA candidate at Arizona State University where he is the prose editor of Hayden's Ferry Review. He lives, writes, movie watches, and trivia plays in Tempe with his cat, Widget.