“Memories in the Park” | Beckman + Bradley + Brown + Degani + Leftwich + Stout + Weisgerber + Wigington

Thanks to editor Laura J. Citino at Sundog Lit for selecting “Memories in the Park,” an 8-writer collaboration, as a finalist in the first ever Sundog Lit Summer Collaboration Contest!

This collaboration would not have been possible at all, however, without the beautiful poem “Memory in the Park” by Kamilah Aisha Moon, from She Has a Name. (Four Way Books, NYC 2013.) Thank you, Kamilah, for permitting us to work and play with your beautiful words.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kamilah in Franconia, NH last summer at the Robert Frost Conference on Poetry and Teaching, and picked up her collection of her poetry while there. It’s beautiful work.

As for this collaboration, what sort of a game was afoot? Our group decided to give the contest a shot, but how to involve so many writers?  We chose to use a common source as a bridge to individual prompts. Moon’s short, ten-line poem was selected as springboard. We sought and received permission from Moon for the project.
Each collaborator was assigned a line of poetry as a prompt (two of us volunteered to write a 2nd time, so all 10 lines are covered.)
The only rule: Each response had to use their assigned line’s words, and stay <100.
When the ten micro-fictions were complete, we did a sweeping edit for POV, tense, and pronouns, then looked on a second pass for any possible narrative arcs and overlaps.
We let it rest for for 24-hours of feedback, pushback, suggestion, gnashing and finessing, before final edits. That is how “Memories in the Park” came to be.

TL;DR: this is a freewheeling collaboration of eight, blessed by a poet.

If you have questions, feel free to add them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy our episodic flash fiction, “Memories in the Park,” over at Sundog Lit!

Paul Beckman of Connecticut is the author of PEEK: Stories and Come! Meet My Family and Other Stories. More information at paulbeckmanstories.com

April Bradley lives on the Connecticut shoreline. Recent work appearing in CHEAP POP and NANO Fiction. Follow @april_bradley

Iowan Audra Kerr Brown’s stories are in People Holding, Fiction Southeast, Fjords Review, F(r)iction Online and more. Tweet her @audrakerrbrown

Californian Gay Degani (www.gaydegani.com) has two story collections, Pomegranate and Rattle of Want, and a suspense novel, What Came Before.

Hillary Leftwich lives in Denver, where she co-hosts the At the Inkwell literary reading series. Stories in Hobart, Whiskey Paper and others.

Jan Elman Stout lives in Washington, DC. Recent work in Literary Orphans, b(OINK), and Jellyfish Review. Tweet her: @janelmanstout

New Jerseyan A.E. Weisgerber recently essayed on Mötley Crüe for March SHREDNESS. Publications news at anneweisgerber.com or @aeweisgerber

Nan Wigington lives in Colorado and tweets @Mind_of_Winter. Recent fiction in Gravel Magazine, Pithead Chapel, and Halo Literary Magazine.‬


NOTE: The header image is of a painting by Shara Hughes. It is called We Windy (2016), it is oil, acrylic, and enamel on canvas, and is in the collection of Chana and Cliff Chenfield.  I saw it at the Whitney Bienniale.