Le Violon Dingue

by Sheila Squillante

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Microsoft Word - Le Violon Dingue.docx

Sheila Squillante is a poet and essayist and her work has appeared in places like Brevity, The Rumpus, Thrush Poetry Journal, The Bakery, Eleven Eleven, Barrelhouse and Hobart. She is the author of three chapbooks of poetry and a full-length collection, BEAUTIFUL NERVE, due out with Tiny Hardcore press later this year. She is associate director of the MFA program at Chatham University, where she serves as editor-in-chief of The Fourth River literary journal. She is also associate editor at PANK.

What fascinating, surprising things can you tell us about the origin, writing, revision of this piece?

I wrote this piece after reading an essay by the writer Lidia Yuknavitch, called “Explicit Violence,” which was published on The Rumpus. The essay itself is beyond affecting—it’s like a knife cutting straight through shame and into clear, marrow-deep truth. But it’s also mesmerizing and lyrical and beautiful, even as it contemplates horror. I was struck by the work, and also struck by the voices in the comments beneath the piece and on Facebook where it was widely shared. The word that kept coming up was brave. I think this is a word that gets applied universally to Ms. Yuknavitch’s work, and after reading her essay, I asked myself what it would look like for me to be similarly truth-seeking, beautiful and brave in my own writing. This piece is a first attempt.


Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

Matter Press recently released titles from Meg Boscov, Abby Frucht, Robert McBrearty, Tori Bond, Kathy Fish, and Christopher Allen. Click here.

Matter Press is now offering private flash fiction workshops and critiques of flash fiction collections here.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions are now open. The reading period for standard submissions closes again December 15, 2023. Submit here.


11/27 • Michael Mark
12/04 • Helen Beer
12/11 • Rachel Rodman
12/18 • Betsy Robinson
12/25 • Trish Hopkinson
12/31 • Kim Chinquee
01/01 • Jill Michelle