Ariel K. Moniz’s 100 word microfiction, “The Infection”, will appear in the fifth issue of The Centifictionist (Vol. 3, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2022). Ariel graciously answered a few brief questions for us. Read the interview below.
1. What inspired the story “The Infection”?
I have a deep interest in history, especially the dark corners that too often go unexplored. Much of history is painful, and this often causes people to look away from the details. In university, I studied the Holocaust at length, horrified by the social, psychological, and historical fallout that still touches the world today. As a Black immigrant in Germany, I am unable to look away from how this history still exists in more subtle but nevertheless insidious forms in the modern age. When faced with discrimination, the question of “why”— “warum” in German— often comes to my mind, and it is with a heavy heart that I wonder how many victims of the Holocaust held this question for the remainder of their lives, and how those perpetuating the violence seemed able to avoid the enormity of this question.
2. What inspires you and your writing?
I am inspired by many things, including personal and cultural history, social justice, mental illness, mythology/theology, nature, trauma, and the themes of loss, love, nostalgia, belonging, and identity.
3. What keeps you going when experiencing times of misery and despair?
I carry magnitudes of sharp-toothed emotions, melancholia and despair being among them. They are with me every day, so I have needed to find ways to navigate them continuously. When I feel that I need to keep going, I think of my loved ones, of rainy days and dusky oceans, of tea steeping in ceramic pots, and the warm embrace of my furry companions. Sometimes I try to pull moments of love and affection out of the past, and other times I allow myself to dream of the future.
4. What advice do you have for microfiction writers?
I am not by nature a fiction writer as much as a poet. If I had to provide a piece of advice it would be to seek precision within your work. When you are allowed only so many words, you want each one to carry its fair share of your story.
5. Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your writing?
I would like for people to know that I am grateful for every word of mine that they take a moment to read. It is a pleasure to have visitors into my mind through the words I am able to birth onto the page.
Ariel K. Moniz (she/her) is a queer Black poetess and Hawaii local currently living abroad. She is the winner of the 2016 Droste Poetry Award and a Best of the Net nominee. Her writing has found homes with Blood Bath Literary Zine, Sledgehammer Literary Journal, and Sunday Mornings at the River Press, among others. She is a co-founder of The Hyacinth Review. You can find her on her website at kissoftheseventhstar.home.blog, on Twitter @kissthe7thstar, on Instagram @kiss.of.the.seventh.star, or staring out to sea.