This week, I am delighted to be chatting over Friday Night Drinks to flash fiction author… Meg Pokrass.
Meg, thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. First things first, what are you drinking?
Steel Rig Porter from Twice Brewed, a sweet local brewery up near Hadrian’s Wall here in Northumberland.
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Let’s do white wine in Paris and a huge steaming pot of mussels.
Wouldn’t that be fabulous, I can’t wait to get on a plane again! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Anais Nin and Henry Miller, since we’re already in Paris eating too many mussels.
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I’m working on two completely different collaborative hybrid prose manuscripts. My writing partners are Jeff Friedman (in the US) and Rosie Garland here in the U.K. I can’t tell you how much I’m loving this.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
Co-writing humor flashes with my literary hero Bobbie Ann Mason, and reading our pieces aloud in a private performance at AWP (with Richard Bausch in attendance!!). Bobbie and I wearing matching pussy hats. It was too incredible. This was back in 2014.
Okay, one more… can I have 2? Having my work included in 2 Norton anthologies of flash fiction: Flash Fiction International (WW Norton 2015) and New Micro (WW Norton, 2018).
Biggest challenge: Isolation. And battling with it.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
I’d like to curate a radio show focused on flash fiction. Yes I would!
What are have planned that you are really excited about?
Meeting up with my writing partner Rosie Garland in September, in Manchester, and planning great things for the not locked-down future!
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
Paris. I was only there once and I want to be there again, but 100 years ago.
And I’d also like to visit Alaska with a warm lover before it melts and becomes as hot as LA.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself.
I’m annoyingly shy.
Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
The Last Orgasm by Nin Andrews.
The Last Orgasm continues the journey of Nin Andrew’s first collection, The Book of Orgasms, which became a cult classic that has been translated into Turkish, performed in Prague and has readers around the globe. In both books the orgasm is an ethereal presence, puzzled by humanity in general and Nin in particular.
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
Drink all day, in tiny bird sips. Hungover, listen to the Magnetic Fields.
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
With a friend, let’s say a new friend, in a place without sheep.
Thanks for joining me, Meg, it has been a fun evening, even if it wasn’t quite Paris.
Meg’s latest book, Spinning To Mars, is a collection of 70 linked micro stories about relationships and the difficulties of love. Winner of San Francisco’s Blue Light Book Award, 2021, it became a #1 Amazon Bestseller in Women’s Poetry on the first week of its release. You can buy a copy here.
Meg Pokrass’s flash fiction has been widely published and anthologized, most recently in 2 Norton Anthologies of flash fiction, The Best Small Fictions (2018, 2019), Best British & Irish Flash Fiction (2019, 2020), Wigleaf Top 50, Flash Nonfiction Funny (edited by Dinty Moore), Flash Fiction Funny, Short Circuits: Aphorisms, Fragments, and Literary Anomalies, Nothing Short of 100, and many hundreds of literary journals and international anthologies of flash. Her seventh collection of flash fiction, Spinning to Mars won the Blue Light Book Award in 2020. Recent writing has appeared in Washington Square Review, Electric Literature, Tupelo Quarterly, Waxwing, Five Points, American Journal of Poetry, Plume Poetry, Jellyfish Review, Wigleaf and Monkeybicycle. Meg serves as Co-Founder of San Francisco’s Flash Fiction Collective Reading Series, Festival Curator for Flash Fiction Festival, U.K, Founding Editor of New Flash Fiction Review, and Founding Co-Editor of the Best Microfiction anthology series. She resides in Northern England.