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Mary Jean Murphy - Writer
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Interview in Epiphany: A Literary Journal

Thank you to the kind editors at Epiphany: A Literary Journal for hosting this short-answer interview session with me.

Epiphany: William Trevor began his adult life as a sculptor and later described his writing as chipping away at a block of marble. Are you a chipper or a builder?  In other words, do you chip away at a block of writing, or are you more methodical, building up the block brick by brick?

Mary Jean Murphy: I’m definitely methodical and imagine the metaphor as building paper mâché. I have these delicate sentences that layer atop each other until there’s something solid. I’ll write a paragraph, decide it doesn’t have that solid feel, then delete it and try again. When it’s working well, it’s a great feeling—when it’s not, it can be pretty frustrating and probably limiting. If I could choose, I’d be a chipper, but maybe that’s a case of “grass is greener.”

What was your first publication? 

When I was in the 10th grade, I had a poem published in Scholastic’s Best Teen Writing of 2006. It was an anthology of selected winners from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and it was the first “real” contest that my writing won.

CONTINUE READING the full interview on Epiphany’s website.

(Image credit: Lydia Conklin)


Tethering to Reality: An Interview with Rebecca Lee

After a year’s worth of planning, soliciting, binge-eating chocolate, meeting, editing, binge-eating chocolate, writing, budgeting, and binge-eating chocolate, Issue 53 of Columbia: A Journal of Literature & Art is finally done and ready for public consumption.  This issue includes work by Rachel Louise Snyder, David James Poissant, Denise Duhamel, and interviews with Mary Jo Bang and Rebecca Lee.  You can purchase copies at (and, while you’re at it, check out some of the great work being published online!)

In the meantime, here is a preview of the interview I conducted with Rebecca Lee:

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