Inmate 31349

by Shasta Grant


Microsoft Word - Untitled.doc

[Editor’s Note: Click on the triptych for a full view.]

Shasta Grant grew up in New Hampshire. She holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and was a 2007 writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook. Her work has appeared in Freight Stories, Flying Island and Stirring. An excerpt from her memoir-in-progress was included in the 2010 anthology, One for the Road. She has taught writing at Ball State University, The Indiana Writers Center and several women’s correctional facilities. She lives in Indianapolis and Singapore.

What are some things you enjoyed about your triptych experience?

    The creative piece (in the center) is from a book-length memoir manuscript. I had been working on isolating this short piece, hoping it could stand on its own. Something didn’t feel quite right but then I saw the call for submissions for triptychs and began playing with the piece. I knew I wanted to use a list for the left side column (I love lists) and I initially tried another list for the right side column (the contents of my mother’s wallet). The wallet inventory list detracted from the alias list so I cut it (it was also too mundane to work here). Then I thought more in terms of music video pop-ups and started playing with definitions and interesting facts. I almost did that column entirely of lipstick facts. It was a fun process to look for facts and tinker with them in the column. It felt a bit like a puzzle – what if I move this here? What if I swap this out? How does it look now? My goal with the facts column was to add a bit of light to the piece. The center is quite heavy, which is probably why it wasn’t working so well as a stand-alone piece. The triptych format opened it up, gave it a bit more levity, some space to breathe.
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