Bio & Response

Ava Chin

Ava Chin is the editor of the anthology Split (McGraw-Hill, 2002.) Her fiction and poetry appear in Dick for a Day, It's Only Rock N Roll, and Listen Up! Spoken Word Poetry. She has been featured on National Public Radio and performed at Woodstock ‘94, the Whitney Museum, and the Knitting Factory in NYC. Her articles have appeared in The Village Voice, SPIN and Time Out New York, among others. As a lyricist, she contributed lyrics for the alternative rock band Soul Coughing on El Oso (Warner Bros.) She received her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins and currently is a Ph.D. fellow at USC in Los Angeles where she is working on a novel.

Question #4: Susan Maxwell writes, “The poem furrows a way out of the white by running over it, while still white underneath ink.” Brian Kitely composes “postcard stories” that are, quite literally, started on the back of postcards that are then mailed to friends and family, after which the stories are rewritten and revised. And Bin Ramke finds that, “the necessity to make the tiny announcements that are line-ends in ‘standard’ verse becomes sometimes, often, annoying, arbitrary, and ultimately misleading.” Why do you write pp/ffs? How are your stories and poems brought into the world?

I first started reading flash fiction when I was working crazy sixty-hour work weeks for a major national magazine. While I waited for page proofs to come across my desk long after midnight, I discovered that the only fiction I could concentrate on were short shorts. Their jarring method and brevity, their element of surprise, lent themselves well to my shortened yet heightened attention span. Now that I'm working on a novel, my day job has been replaced by the long form. If I need a break from that fictive world, flash fiction is the literary equivalent of a hand-job. "Enter At Your Own" was one of the first pieces I wrote after moving to Los Angeles.