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Back You are here: Home Themed Collections Writers in Residence: Ryan Wilson
Writers in Residence: Ryan Wilson
Writers in Residence: Ryan Wilson

Writers in Residence: Ryan Wilson

Author Ryan Wilson shares excerpts from his novel all month!

Wednesday, 01 June 2011 21:42

May's Writer in Residence: Ryan Wilson

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Who are you?

I identify myself, whenever someone cares to ask, as a writer and teacher, but really the best word is "student." I'm pretty good at that role, so whenever I have success or feel good about a story, teaching a class, or music I write, I feel like it comes from that impulse to learn and express. It's a role I don't think I'll ever graduate from.

Merry Christmas, St. Louis & The Loving Hum of a Subaru

4.

When Tim Conroy picked me up from the hospital to drive me home, the hospital staff and I had every reason to think Iverbe, my roommate and apparent sorcerer, was still alive, his heartbeat strong. So a particularly recent sketch of Lila’s—of me, in my kitchen the night she came over, a nude—was on my mind as I sat slouched in the beaded passenger seat of Tim’s piebald Tercel. It was chilly and clear, and I left the window down to let the air strike against my sewn up gash, which stung, but the cold wind relieved a hot and deeper pain, from underneath.

Awakening Mutilated in Starched White & The Evaporation of Space-Time

3.

My wife divorced me without warning on my fortieth birthday. So there was that; an old sore, but somehow it still determined all the waking hours of my life.

Until Lila called me, and I predictably accepted her advances, I hadn’t touched a naked woman in six years, that’s counting the last year or so with Megan, my wife. Part of a death cycle, woman to man to man to woman to man, unable to think of her body like fruit, then his body becomes oppressive and stupid.

The Jack London Test & A Rare Seduction by way of a Half Deaf Ex Student

2.

I stood up there every day, submerged in a windowless bunker in the southwest suburbs of St. Louis, my place of origin, performing maniacally (they say) in front the eager achieving, ruddy faces (a few brown ones mixed in), for twenty-five years. T-w-e-n-t-y-F-i-v-e. I taught a section of the slower kids too of course. We all had to take our share, “what can you do?!” we used to chortle, all the young teachers, in the spirit of post(post)Woodstockian revival camaraderie, “the fucking war!” You actually have to love some aspect of being in a trench with no way out, or the children eat your spleen.

Duke and Lila, 17 and 21, don’t know some key things. They don’t know that they are brother and sister, or that other even exists. They don’t know their real father. And they don’t know he’s a killer. Linked and guided by Craft, a burned out, depressed, pied piper of a 9th Grade English teacher, the three fatherless pilgrims make their way across their absurd, brutal, and beautiful homeland to confront the man who triggered their bond, their voyage—and for Duke and Lila, their existence.

Each pilgrim gets a turn in the driver’s seat, but the chapters to appear in Thunderdome for the next four weeks spill from the mouth of Craft, the binding agent and the first narrator to hold the wheel.