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Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Stevie Edwards

Interview by Jason Teal (Read the Story) September 19, 2016

Stevie Edwards

Art by Claire Ibarra

Do you take issue with capitalism?

Yes.

Seriously, what’s your beef?

Basically, my beef is that even pro-capitalist econ theory texts like The Road to Serfdom by Hayek espouse a need for a level playing field before the market can use its invisible hand to effectively delegate resources and value and whatever. We don’t have anything close to a level playing field in America—far from it: We live in a country where certain racial minorities are far more likely to be harassed by police than white citizens, where neighborhood income level affects the quality of educational opportunities, where women often make a fraction of what men do. The list goes on and on. So, my beef is that we live in a nation of great inequality and inequity and capitalism perpetuates that.

The free market.

Is an interesting theoretical concept, but is not actually an accurate way of describing the American economy.

Changing gears, what comes on the Sunrise Bistro Xpress breakfast burrito?

Choice of meat (sausage, ham, or bacon—but clearly sausage is the correct choice), potatoes, onions, peppers, eggs, cheddar and pepper jack cheese (two cheeses = twice as Amerrrican), served with grits and salsa.

What is the name of the Lifetime documentary within which the narrator finds herself trapped? When does it air? Are there encore showtimes?

She is trapped in a Lifetime movie called Diary of a Consumer: A Daunting Tale of Choosing Between 37 Grubhub Delivery Options and Deciding to Drink a Bottle of Wine from Trader Joe’s and Go to Bed. It airs at 9 p.m. on Sunday night, and then again at 1 a.m.

About the Author

Stevie Edwards is the author of two poetry collections: Good Grief (Write Bloody 2012) and Humanly (Small Doggies 2015), the former of which received the Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze in Poetry and the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from SIU-Carbondale. She is the editor-in-chief and founder of Muzzle Magazine and senior editor in book development at YesYes Books. She holds an MFA in poetry from Cornell University and is a PhD candidate in the creative writing program at University of North Texas. Her writing has appeared in Verse Daily, Rattle, Indiana Review, The Journal, The OffingPloughshares BlogSuperstition ReviewNashville Review, and elsewhere. She is currently working on her third book of poetry, tentatively titled Lush.

About the Interviewer

Jason Teal is the author of We Were Called Specimens (KERNPUNKT Press, 2020), which was a finalist for Big Other’s Reader’s Choice and Best Fiction Book Awards. Writing appears in 3:AM MagazineQuarterly WestSmokeLong QuarterlyVol. 1 Brooklyn, and Hobart, among other publications. He edits Heavy Feather Review.

About the Artist

Claire Ibarra is a writer, poet, and photographer. Her photographs have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including Roadside Fiction, Alimentum–The Literature of Food, Foliate Oak, Lime Hawk, and Blue Fifth Review. She was an artist in residence for Counterexample Poetics and art editor for Gulf Stream Magazine. Claire’s work was included in the “Finding the Light” Exhibition at the PhotoPlace Gallery.

This interview appeared in Issue Fifty-Three of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Fifty-Three
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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Next Date to Join: January 1!

On September 1, SmokeLong launched a workshop environment/community christened SmokeLong Fitness. This asynchronous community workshop is happening right now on our dedicated workshop site. If you choose to join us, you will work in a small group of around 10-12 participants to give and receive feedback. Each Monday, you will receive a new writing task (one writing task each week) designed by the senior editor team of SmokeLong. The core workshop is asynchronous, so you can take part from anywhere at anytime. We are excited about creating a supportive, consistent and structured environment for flash writers to work on their craft in a community.