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And the bounty goes to…

We are delighted to announce that the Longshot editors have selected Aholaah Arzah, author of Ring Cycle, to receive our $2000 feature fee. As Mat put it, when the three of us read this story together in a Gakwer conference room last weekend, we let out a collective gasp. We love the multi-layered interpretation of “debt" and admire the beautiful use of language. Congratulations, Aholaah!

Since you all may be curious to know a little bit more about Aholaah, here’s a short Q&A…[SPOILER ALERT! If you don’t want us to ruin the ending, go read the story first.]

LS: Tell us a little about yourself…where do you live? What do you do for a living? 

AA: I live as nearly surrounded by water as possible without actually being on an island…Port Townsend is located at the tip of the Quimper Peninsula in the Puget Sound; a beautiful small town with a vibrant arts community…I work with individuals with special needs as an independent living aid.

LS: How long have you been writing?

AA: I have written intermittently along with making visual art and raising children for many years.  I recently completed my MFA in Creative Writing and am focused on writing.

LS: Where have you been published before?

AA: Over the years, I have been published in a number of small literary magazines: Seattle Voice, Poets West, Brussels Sprout, Clay Drum, Chrysanthemum, among others…recently; the Pitkin Review, elimae and upcoming in Short, Fast and Deadly.    

LS: It appears your primary writing vein is poetry. What prompted you to write a piece like this one? 

AA: My “poetry” of the last two years has been “hybrid” or prose-like and most recently I been writing more intentionally in a prose form although I rarely feel a need to distinguish between these forms.

LS: How did you hear about Longshot? 

AA: A fellow Goddardite (graduate of Goddard College) posted a link on facebook.

LS: What was your process for writing the piece? Did the theme trigger the idea or did you already want to write about it and the theme fit? 

AA: The theme triggered a recognition…I had had the idea to write something about the irony of the ring and my relationship with my father and it personified a particular kind of “debt” that was the only debt I really wanted to write about at the moment…

LS: When did you begin writing the piece?

AA: Sometime during the morning before the deadline…

LS: Will you show this story to anyone else in your family?

AA: Yes.

LS: Other than your own, what’s your favorite story in the Debt issue of the magazine?

AA: I haven’t had the chance to read everything yet but “Appraisal” struck a chord…home “ownership” is an interesting delusion…

LS: Did you really pawn the ring? If so did you ever get it back?

AA: Yes, I really pawned the ring and no, I never wanted to see it again.

LS: And finally, are you going to use this money to pay off any debts? 

AA: Oh, yeah…