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Finding Safe Harbor: An Exclusive Q&A With Angela Flournoy, Megan Kruse, and Phillip B. Williams

Posted Mon, 2/06/2017 - 8:00am by  |  Category:

On Friday, Feb. 17, authors Megan Kruse, Phillip B. Williams, and Angela Flournoy head to Hugo House for the next installment in the year’s Literary Series.

The night’s theme is exile — a topic Hugo House picked months ago with little idea how jarringly relevant it would be in February 2017. Finding safe harbor takes on new importance in our current political landscape, a reality not lost on this Series’ authors. Read on for how words provide them anchor. Plus, get a hint of their Feb. 17 readings.

And if you want to see these three authors in person, read up on their upcoming event.


Megan Kruse

Q: What, if anything, can you tell us about your Literary Series piece?

I’m interested in the way that guilt and memory can leave us feeling exiled from our own lives, from the person we meant or hoped to be.

Q: What’s one piece of advice that keeps you going when the writing gets tough?

It helps me to remember that it is the act of writing that makes you a writer, and that I will always write. That kind of certainty helps to strip away the angst and agony and reminds me to keep working.

Q: Since the theme of your Lit Series is “exile” — tell us, if you were to be sentenced to exile, what would be your crime?

I’d like it to be something like conspiracy or a crime of passion, but I’m sure it would be less exciting — a crime of poor taste or overstaying a visa because I never paid attention to the rules.


Phillip B. Williams

Q: What, if anything, can you tell us about your Literary Series piece?

The piece is a long poem written predominantly in tercets dealing with war, American privilege, barriers and walls, and the power of story — who gets to tell their own story and who gets their story told for them.

Q: What’s one piece of advice that keeps you going when the writing gets tough?

The writing, for me, is always tough. Even when it feels easy there is a lot of energy used and that too is a kind of difficulty. I like to read more than I write, which has been fulfilling recently as I begin to understand my place in the world with more clarity through the writings of other people.

Q: Since the theme of your Lit Series is “exile” — tell us, if you were to be sentenced to exile, what would be your crime?

My crime would probably be intransigence, because it is a nice-sounding word.


Angela Flournoy

Q: What, if anything, can you tell us about your Literary Series piece?

I’ll be reading a story that I’ve been thinking about for several years, but never quite [got] around to writing. I’m grateful Huge House gave me a nudge to finally commit it to paper.

Q: What’s one piece of advice that keeps you going when the writing gets tough?

I try to focus on small goals, like writing the next 250 words, or getting a character from one location to the next, rather than larger, daunting goals, like figuring out the next five scenes.

Q: Since the theme of your Lit Series is “exile” — tell us, if you were to be sentenced to exile, what would be your crime?

In the current political climate, this question has a new level of gravity. I would never hope to be exiled for expressing my beliefs or sharing ideas, but if we all don’t commit to resisting encroachments on free speech, that seems more and more within the realm of possibility.