Meet an Editor: Joshua Young

josh1What do you look for in a Silk Road piece (or any writing)?

First I look at the language itself, for indications of the author’s mastery and sense of aesthetics.  I will follow a skillful guide just about anywhere. Afterwards there are some factors which consistently win me over: anything that overcomes the mundane instead of celebrating it; insight, or else an unusual yet consistent perspective and/or sensibility; to treat one’s characters/subject with compassion, without succumbing to sentimentality; a complete lack of moral, social, and/or political agenda.

Also, all cats must be treated exceptionally well by the universes they are made to inhabit. I allow no wiggle room on this point.

If you could have ANY job once you graduate, what would you love to do? Money is no object.

I would want only to write, and to read, and to work for no one.

Do you have any authors (or pieces of literature) that inspire you?

Anne Sexton’s “Flee on Your Donkey,” Carolyn Forché’s “The Colonel,” and Denis Johnson’s “This is Tuesday, Your Exam was Thursday” rank among my favorite poems. My favorite authors include Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, Philip K. Dick, Joan Didion, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Cormac McCarthy, Herman Melville, Vladimir Nabokov, J.D. Salinger, and several more others than anyone would feasibly care to know.

What does Silk Road embody to you? What words would you use to describe Silk Road to someone who knows nothing about it?

Among the first of many testing grounds for voices of diverse backgrounds, which can lead to some truly splendid moments of convergence.

Majors: Creative Writing & Literature

Graduation Year: 2016

Meet an Editor: Gracie Kenny

GracieKenny

Image Credit: Gwendolyn Kenny

Major: Creative Writing

Graduation Year: 2016

Hometown: Glendale, CA

What do you look for in a Silk Road piece (or any writing)?

The most important thing in a piece of poetry, for me at least, is an indication of the ability to think outside of the obvious. What I mean by that is this: a love poem should never simply be a love poem. Yes, sometimes love is just love, but more often than not it is too complex and convoluted to capture in such a simplistic manner. Love poems should also be about trees, and rain clouds, and clam chowder, and the death of a great-great-aunt. Art should expand the average person’s view of what it is to “be.” If a poem fails to make me consider the accepted way of things in a different or interesting way, or if I feel the poem will fail to make anyone do so, then I see the poem itself as a failure. Of course other things go into writing a poem (rhythm, cadence, word choice, the mere ability to write an interesting and eloquent phrase) but the soul of a poem is most important to me upon first reading.

If you could have ANY job once you graduate, what would you love to do? Money is no object.

My DREAM job is to be a professional foster mom for cats—I’ve also had dreams of becoming a florist or home decorator or baker. I’d probably settle for being a high school English teacher.

Do you have any authors (or pieces of literature) that inspire you?

I’m currently obsessed with the work of Adrienne Rich and Edna St. Vincent Millay—strong and unashamed female poets. Charles Simic is one of my all-time favorite poets. I have such a dedication to his work that I’ve had some permanently scribed onto my body. I also greatly admire F. Scott Fitzgerald for his ability to write the same story over and over again, but with such beautiful wordsmithing that the reader doesn’t care at all that there is no difference in the plot of This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and Damned.

What does Silk Road embody to you? What words would you use to describe Silk Road to someone who knows nothing about it?

Silk Road is about pushing boundaries—literally, we focus on the intersection of different cultures and values in clarifying the human experience.

Silk Road Assistant Editor: Hunter Peterson

Hunter Peterson photoMajor: Creative Writing, Sociology & Editing and Publishing minors

Graduation Year: 2018

What do you look for in a Silk Road piece (or any writing)?

The most important things to me when I’m selecting a piece are continuity, clarity, and character. Without any of these elements, a piece doesn’t work.

If you could have ANY job once you graduate, what would you love to do? Money is no object.

If I could have any job, I would be a novelist/children’s book author. This would of course have to be accompanied by a lifetime supply of free coffee and trips to Europe.

Do you have any authors (or pieces of literature) that inspire you?

I admire J.K. Rowling for her own personal story, and Arthur Golden for the story he wrote (Memoirs of a Geisha).

What does Silk Road embody to you? What words would you use to describe Silk Road to someone who knows nothing about it?

Silk Road embodies an exchange of thoughts and voices that don’t often get heard. The stories are like the buried treasures found by a six-year-old who’s digging to China.