“High School Bible” started out as a poem in one of Campbell McGrath‘s workshops– a mix of prose poem/ free verse/ epistolary/ collage/ list/ misc.
This poem gave me a voice to explore grief, family history, identity and connections to pop culture. It’s a longer work– about 10 pages. For that reason, I didn’t know if it would ever get published in a literary journal or magazine. But for years, I kept sending it out anyway.
Finally, Educe Literary Journal sent me an email– they wanted to publish “High School Bible.” Not as a poem– as nonfiction.
Since the work itself is already mixing different forms of poetry, I figured why not add another genre?
And it was nonfiction. So I said yes, let’s call it that. For now, anyway.
What’s interesting–when I thought of it as a poem, I could place myself at more of a distance from the work. Now it feels like some of that is gone.
Yet there’s always distance– it’s never “me” in the poem or the memoir. It’s a structured version of “me.”
In this case, it’s “me” traveling on many Greyhound buses, searching for a place of belonging (emotionally/ geographically), trying to connect with the family history I know/ don’t know, and dealing with my mother’s death.
I am really honored to have “High School Bible” included in Educe, particularly because they are a journal committed to publishing queer literary voices.
The current issue of Educe Literary Journal can be purchased online here.