Not Flower but Fire

by Amy Ash

Microsoft Word - Not_Flower_but_Fire.doc

Amy Ash has an MFA from New Mexico State University and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. A Pushcart nominee and the recipient of an Academy of American Poets prize, her work has been published widely in journals and anthologies, including Mid-American Review, Prairie Schooner, Harpur Palate, Salamander, Prick of the Spindle, and The Best of Kore Press 2012. She is the author of a poetry chapbook, Acme Book of Love. Her full-length collection, The Open Mouth of the Vase (winner of the 2013 Cider Press Review Book Award), will be released in January.

How does Amy Ash end up writing a triptych about fire?

    Every spring in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, not far from where I live, controlled burns light the landscape, promoting regrowth of native plants and warding off invasive species. As someone who grew up in southern Ohio, I find these proscribed burns fascinating, haunting, and beautiful. My father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer around the same time of year, and I sped back to Ohio for his surgery. These events became conflated in my mind—the images swirling and overlapping, always at the forefront of my thoughts. Recasting these images, this story, in triptych form is an attempt to make sense of things, to impose order on that what seems so uncontrollable. Like cancer. Like fire.
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