donnarkevic’s 100 word microfiction, “Dying in the Battle of Arras, 9 April 1917”, will appear in the first issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020). donnarkevic graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “Dying in the Battle of Arras, 9 April 1917”?
I read a poem by the English poet, Edward Thomas, on Poem-a-Day/Poets.org. In the notes section, it said that he died on the first day of the Battle of Arras during WWI. As a poet, I tried to imagine how that might have happened and how he might have felt. After writing the poem, I researched his life and death. He actually died due to a shell explosion. Somehow, in those last moments, I believe he remained a poet.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
Much of my writing is inspired by my childhood and early adulthood in my hometown/steel town of Ambridge, PA. In addition, living in West Virginia for the last 40 years has also had an impact on my writing. Last of all, my Catholic upbringing taught me to observe and reflect on the human condition.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
When I experience times of sorrow and despair, I remember my dad telling me that there’s always something waiting for me around the next corner. He was right.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
For those interested in writing microfiction, I would suggest reading and studying advertisements: in magazines, on billboards, on matchbook covers, etc. (Do they still make matchbooks?) Note the parcity of language and visuals that tell the story.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
In my writing, I try to reflect the universality of what it is to be human. I hope to make someone laugh. To make someone cry. To make someone say, “That’s how I feel,” or to say, “Oh, so that’s how that feels.”
donnarkevic: Nutter Fort, WV. MFA National University. Recent poetry has appeared in Triggerfish, Nassau Review, and About Place Journal. A Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. Poetry Chapbooks include Laundry, published in 2005 by Main Street Rag. FutureCycle Press published Admissions, a book of poems, in 2013. Many Sparrows, a book of poems, was published in 2018 by The Poetry Box. Plays have received readings in Chicago, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia.