As we step into the new year, we’d like to not only alert you to Proximity‘s next issue, themed The Body, due out in January—within which you’ll find our essay prize finalists, judged by Hanif Abdurraqib—but to also remind everyone of our top reads throughout 2018 and the writers who brought them to us.
“A Working Class Death,” by Carrie La Seur
CARRIE LA SEUR’s critically acclaimed debut novel The Home Place (William Morrow 2014) won the High Plains Book Award and was short-listed for the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel. Her writing appears in such media as Grist, the Guardian, Harvard Law and Policy Review, Kenyon Review Online, Mother Jones, and Yale Journal of International Law. Her second novel, The Weight of an Infinite Sky, a rural Montana take on Hamlet, comes out in paperback this month.
“(Re)using Found Forms,” by Randon Billings Noble
Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her lyric essay chapbook Devotional was published by Red Bird in 2017, and her full-length collection Be with Me Always is forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press in 2019. Her hermit crab essay “The Heart as a Torn Muscle,” originally published in Brevity, will appear in the anthology The Shell Game: Writers Play with Borrowed Forms, edited by Kim Adrian. @randonnoble
“I am Not in my Body,” Daisuke Shen
DAISUKE SHEN is an Asian-American writer from Greenville, South Carolina. Their work has been published in The Asian American Literary Review, Entropy Mag, drDOCTOR, Joyland Magazine, Discover Nikkei, and elsewhere. They are a Pisces sun, Cancer moon, Scorpio rising, and live with their Taurus cat, Salem. You can follow them on Instagram at @ginsengmasque.
“Every Woman Keeps a Flame Against the Wind,” by Kristen Millares Young
KRISTEN MILLARES YOUNG is the author of Subduction, forthcoming on Red Hen Press in spring 2020. She is Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House. An essayist and journalist, her work has been featured by the Washington Post, Guardian, the New York Times, Hobart, Moss, among others. Her personal essays are anthologized in Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze , a New York Times New & Notable Book, and Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity.
“A Conversation with Sarah Smarsh,” by Lauren Bohn
SARAH SMARSH has reported on socioeconomic class, politics and public policy for the Guardian, The New York Times, the New Yorker and Harper’s online, VQR, Pacific Standard, Longreads, Guernica, the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, and many others. She was a 2018 Shorenstein Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University. Her essays appear in Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation and Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living.
LAUREN BOHN is a Chicago and Istanbul-based journalist and social entrepreneur. She covers issues of social justice, and has reported from more than 20 countries for premier publications including Foreign Policy, where she was one of the first female columnists, the New Yorker, CNN, The New York Times, AP, TIME, and Newsweek. Bohn is the co-founder of two social ventures: Foreign Policy Interrupted and SchoolCycle.
“A Conversation with Horacio Castellanos Moya,” by Claudia Castro Luna
HORACIO CASTELLANOS MOYA is a writer from El Salvador. For two decades he worked as editor in Mexico, Guatemala and his own country. He has published 12 novels, 5 short story collections and two books of essays. His novels have been translated into thirteen languages; 6 of them (Tyrant Memory, Senselessness,The She-Devil in the Mirror, Dance with Snakes, Revulsion: Thomas Bernhard in El Salvador, and The Dream of My Return) are available in English. Currently he is associate professor in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.
CLAUDIA CASTRO LUNA is WWashington State Poet Laureate.She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) and This City (Floating Bridge Press), and the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador.