Interview – J. David Liss

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

First the best stuff: married for 35 years to the person who matters most; two kids who have brought joy beyond anything I had the right to expect; a chance to grow old enough that I’ve met most of everyone—even written speeches for some of them—and got to build some things of value. On the other side of the scale is a lifetime of dumb mistakes—endless typos in what should have been the perfect story. But that’s how it goes.

When you create, what inspires you?

Unfortunately lately it’s my son’s illness. I’ve written too many stories and poems about cancer.

Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.

I wrote “Silver Birch” a couple of decades ago after reading “I and Thou,” by the philosopher Martin Buber. As Buber posits, you can have an I/thou relationship with a tree. I tried to imagine what that looked like from the tree’s perspective.

What is your medium of choice? Why?

I’ve been making short stories mostly, because I get together every two weeks to share writing with a friend who is far more interested in fiction than poetry, the field in which I got my MFA.

How did you first discover your love for creating?

I needed to tell lies about myself and couldn’t find an audience for them. So I wrote them down. Then, when I was in my early twenties I read Yeats and needed to do what he did.

fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel attraction?

Trust. Humor. My wife.

Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.

Everything in this world is insulating us against real feeling. We’re being given hearts of stone by the very people who were supposed to make us feel that we are in this together. This magazine is bucking the trend. Thank you for that.

Get your copy of issue 11!


One thought on “Interview – J. David Liss

  1. Pingback: issue 11 artists | fēlan

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