Smoking With Katrina Denza

Read the Story August 15, 2004

We were haunted by this strange story about a man and his garbage. Can you tell us a little about the genesis of it?

The seed for this story came from an image I had years ago while meditating. At the time, I’d reached a point in a love relationship in which my subconscious was trying to tell me enough. One of those rare gifts of insight I chose not to ignore and for which I’m grateful.

Are there any recurrent themes you tend to explore in your work?

I’ve noticed my shorter work tends to be…a bit grim. In my longer pieces it’s the setting. I was raised in Vermont and it’s still the landscape of my imagination.

What have you read recently that’s influenced your writing?

Everything I read influences my writing at least in a peripheral way…and I read a lot of contemporary fiction. There are writers whom I admire for different reasons: Richard Bausch for his ability to create a story of incredible depth using real people and situations; Pamela Painter and Amy Hempel for writing small works of art. And there are others who continue to prove through their words that anything is possible and everything is at stake.

How do you feel about flash fiction—or, as we like to say, smokelong fiction—versus other forms of literature?

Although I’m quite new to flash fiction, right away I fell in love with the form, both as a reader and a writer. For the writer in me, it offers an immediacy, an urgency, which may not always be suitable for longer pieces, and I’ve found it to be a useful tool to get to the seed of what I want to convey.

The reader in me is amazed by the poetry, the innovation, and the emotion I find in just a few words.

Which is better, chocolate or vanilla?

Recently, at a concert, I spent fifteen minutes searching the Hartford Civic Center for a bite of chocolate. I can’t imagine getting that desperate for vanilla.

About the Author:

Katrina Denza lives in North Carolina with her husband and two sons. Her short fiction has been published in Ink Pot, Lynx Eye, and New Delta Review, among others.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.