Our lives are haunted, sometimes literally — we encounter places filled with mystery, with unexplainable events like dinner plates that shift and move, doors that open while no one is looking and others that slam shut all on their own. Sometimes there are even ghosts, spirits left behind by old tragedies. But more often than not it is a different kind of haunting — it’s our own shit, the emotional detritus of our pasts that we carry around with us like Jacob Marley with his chains. It’s our heartbreaks and our embarrassments, our betrayals and our regrets, and sometimes it is just the dumb crap we did as teenagers that we can never forget. Norman Mailer called writing fiction “the Spooky Art,” and often it is. The act of writing becomes like a subconscious tunnel into things best left behind, a way dredge through it all, an emotional exorcism.
On July 11th, The Disagreement presents Ghosts Vs. Your Reflexes*, where you’re going to get to hear five writers work through some stuff. There will be tales of dead grandmothers, a possible future where our country is torn apart by another civil war, a hotel room where fucking leads people literally straight into their pasts and their futures, a bartender and an albatross-like severed arm, and the shameful musical choices of our adolescent years.
As always, you’ll find us at Culturefix. We start at 7.
Kayla Rae Whitaker is originally from Eastern Kentucky and has an MFA in fiction from New York University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Smokelong Quarterly, Joyland, B O D Y, Bodega, Burnt Bridge, and Still. She recently appeared alongside such luminaries as Lynyrd Skynyrd in the History Channel’s southern culture documentary “You Don’t Know Dixie.” She is currently at work on a novel about raging lady cartoonists. You can also find her on Twitter @kaylarwhitaker.
Lynn Strong lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and their dog. She teaches Undergraduate Writing at Columbia University.
N. Michelle AuBuchon holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gawker, No News Today, Swink, and Washington Square. She is currently working on a novel-in-stories.
Maxim Loskutoff grew up in Missoula, Montana. After graduating from Pomona College, he worked in hospitals in Dallas and Chicago, on political campaigns, and in the Middle East. He received his MFA from NYU where he was a Veteran’s Writing Fellow. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative, Witness, Willow Springs, Slice, Hobart, and The Minnesota Review among other publications. He’s been awarded fellowships and residencies from NYU Abu Dhabi and the Jentel Arts Colony.
* To get you in the mood we’ve made you a super sad sack playlist, just like your girlfriend/boyfriend/you, if your love was unrequited, used to make mixtapes in high school.