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Merrill Feitell

I was born and raised in New York City and my first book, Here Beneath Low-Flying Planes, won the Iowa Short Fiction Award. My stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly, VQR, American Short Fiction, Best New American Voices, and others, and short-listed in Best American Short Stories and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. I began studying creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and went on to earn my MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. I’ve been a fellow at Yaddo, MacDowell, VCCA, and Bread Loaf, and I’ve taught creative writing for over a decade at many institutions, including Pratt, California Institute of the Arts, Cal State San Bernardino, Colorado College, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and the Writers’ Program at UCLA Extension.

Map Inset: Kansas – A Video Essay

This video-essay and the accompanying essay on the process of crafting this piece were published by Electric Literature! A woman, a dog, the open road & the things we carry to the middle of nowhere https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kFeIYqTjCM#action=share A video essay? A photo essay in video form? A lyric essay in filmstrip form? Whichever way, we’re definitely not in Kansas anymore. How Did We Get Here? Notes on Craft & Process Once upon a bleak set of years, I did nothing but drive back and forth across the country. I had no job, no house, no partner, no plan, and, in the wake of…

Forays In Book Making: Vanishing Point

Form + Function Notes On Creative Process I wrote an essay about the years the dog and I spent driving back and forth across the country and called it Vanishing Point: A Mobius Atlas because there was never an end; we just kept going on this endless loop. Even after the piece appeared in McSweeney’s, I still kept imagining it in the form of a handmade accordion that fastens into an actual möbius strip, the form echoing the essay’s elliptical content. Relying on Scotch tape, refrigerator magnets, and Kinko’s coupons, I jury-rigged the essay into book form. The biggest challenge…

“This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie

“This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie POETS OFF POETRY, SONG OF THE WEEK | MONDAY, DECEMBER 14TH, 2015 I just spent 11 days driving across country with my 81-year-old mother. She grew up in the Bronx and has spent her whole life in New York City, squelching her more artistic desires to cater to our family—but, for a brief time in the early ’60s, she considered herself a folkie. With my dad recently dead and without any offspring to offer as distraction, it seemed that the best thing I could do was drive my mom around the entire country instead.…

826NYC + The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

Inventing Superhero products by the dozen, naming them, writing product descriptions, and spray mounting labels onto empty cardboard boxes and paint cans—stocking the Superhero Supply store until the wee hours definitely proved writing’s power to invent a new world.

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