Reasons Why We Fell Apart: Fictions is a short story collection that skirts the line between poetry and prose by incorporating several prose poems. Overall, the collection covers my journey as a writer while at Florida State. From my first short story publication of the title story to my ongoing interest in Native American literature, the collection spans a wide array of characters and situations. However, the general unifying connection stands as family, though there are a few exceptions.
A missing mother, autistic son, and drag queen father are just some of the characters that come to reside within the text. While boys and girls in and out of love make brief appearances. Yet who would they be if they were not sons and daughters?
While compiling the collection, I perused other short story collections such as Maile Meloy’s Half in Love, Dan Chaon’s Fitting Ends, and Margaret Atwood’s Moral Disorder for guidance. This collection also stands as a descendent of Raymond Carver’s work in his desire to work within the domestic sphere and the dysfunctional family. Other writers of influence include Louise Erdrich, Grace Paley, Joyce Carol Oates, and Jeffrey Eugenides. While the introduction of the prose poems came during my study of modernist poets, Gertrude Stein, H.D., and Amy Lowell, who experimented with the prose poem before it was in favor.
I’d like to think that this collection stands for its multiplicity of influence and inspiration that a fifty-something pornographer is captured with as much authenticity and dedication to detail as a seventeen year old birthday girl. This process has allowed me to grow, find my voice, and prepared me for my next endeavor: the novel. Hopefully one of these characters is along the ride.