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Five Questions with Christine Kalafus

1.) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

It never occurred to me. I wanted to be a gymnast like Nadia Comaneci, then a prima ballerina like Gelsey Kirkland. By college, I wanted to be an interior designer who looked like Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting, but spoke to her clients like Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown.

I was always writing. I never thought of it as a profession and I still don’t. It’s more like being an oracle or a magician. Writing is the center of who I am. By doing it, I make sense of my life. At least I hope that’s what I’m doing.

2.) What do you love most about the writing process?

The surprise at the end. I never know where I will end up when I begin.

I might pull a rabbit out of the hat or my grandmother circa 1976.

3.) What do you love most about teaching writing?

Connecting with a student’s writing. It’s like being tapped on the head with fairy dust. Don’t ask me how I know that.

4.) What are you reading right now?

Praying Naked by Katie Condon (poetry)

Drifts by Kate Zambreno (autofiction)

Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein (memoir)

5.) What's your favorite writing quote?

You might as well begin by confessing your greatest shame, anything else is just exposition. -Sarah Manguso 300 Arguments

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