Smoking with Kathy Fish

Read the Story June 15, 2007

What made you realize that, by the end, the voice should be addressing “you”?

The POV shifts and shifts in this very short piece, I know. I was trying to give it a layered feel, a sense of movement, if that makes any sense. It just felt right to end very close and specific.

What excites you about microfiction?

I find it inherently beautiful.

Ron Carlson read your work and made you a finalist! How cool was that?

It was extremely cool and now we are the best of friends! Seriously, though, it felt really good.

A three time Pushcart nominee. Might you be the Susan Lucci of the Pushcart? What would it mean to win one and who would you thank in your acceptance speech?

Well, I had to google Susan Lucci to understand this question. Oh I don’t think I am the Susan Lucci of the Pushcart though. About a squillion stories get nominated every year. It’s a pretty big bunch that receive multiple nominations and never win. I don’t expect I’ll ever win, but if I do I’ll thank myself for being so unbelievably talented!

The titles of the stories in this issue wowed me and got me thinking about the value of the great title. What are some great titles—for novels, stories, movies, albums, CDs, and the like? And what is the worst title you’ve ever encountered?

I love great titles too! One of my favorites is: “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried” and almost every one of the titles of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. One of the worst titles I’ve ever seen is one of mine called “Cancer Arm” and I still haven’t published that story.

About the Author:

Kathy Fish teaches for the Mile High MFA at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She has published four collections of short fiction: a chapbook in the Rose Metal Press collective, A Peculiar Feeling of Restlessness: Four Chapbooks of Short Short Fiction by Four Women (2008); Wild Life (Matter Press, 2011); Together We Can Bury It (The Lit Pub, 2012); and Rift, co-authored with Robert Vaughan (Unknown Press, 2015). Three of her stories have been Best Small Fictions winners, most recently “Collective Nouns for Humans in the Wild,” chosen by Aimee Bender. Additionally, two of Fish’s stories will be featured in the upcoming W.W. Norton anthology, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction.

About the Artist:

An Old Woman of Arles by Vincent Van Gogh. This artwork is in the public domain per Wikipaintings.