Our Spotlight series introduces you to the people behind Perennial Press. In this post, we hear from force / fields contributor and fiction writer Anna Stacy. Stacy talks to us about her current reads, staying creative during quarantine, and even makes us a playlist featuring The Mountain Goats and Mitski!
What book are you reading right now?
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. I love a good short story collection, and Machado’s prose is so gorgeously textured, and her world-building is truly admirable. I learned about the book through the podcast ”The Scaredy Cats Horror Show,” of all places - Machado was brought in as a guest to discuss the films Alien, Hereditary, and Midsommar, some of my very favorites (I love horror movies). I was so tickled by her queer and feminist lenses on these movies, and she brings these to her writing as well!
How do you stay creative during quarantine?
I’m a medical student, so I wasn’t doing much quarantining during quarantine. The first 1.5-2 years of medical school are lecture-based and I’m now at the end of my 3rd year, so April 2020 was the beginning of my time in the hospital. It was terrifying and thrilling to be plunged headfirst into the clinical world at the start of the pandemic, and I started writing on commutes and in break rooms to decompress. I wasn’t so much interested in writing as escapism as I was in writing as release. To that end, much of my writing from the last year has focused on radical joy and processing loss. I’m also a stage actor and unfortunately, live theatre is still on hold. In the meantime, some friends and I created a web series called Dead-Enders; season 1 was developed, produced, and aired remotely last summer, and season 2 is slated to be filmed in person this summer with planned release in Fall 2021.
Did you go to school for writing / art? Describe that experience.
I studied Anthropology and Theatre Arts at Brown University, and trained in classical acting at Shakespeare and Company - unfortunately, I have no formal training as a writer, but have found that my learning in these areas has been extremely transferable! One of my favorite things about acting is getting to discover and embody honesty through text. I so admire writing that similarly leads with truth. Additionally, I think that spending so much time reading stage plays has tuned my focus to dialogue and how writers might communicate naturalistic dialogue to a reader - in particular, I recommend Lindsey Ferrentino’s play Ugly Lies the Bone, which has some of my very favorite organic dialogue.
Make us a playlist.
Keep up with Anna on their Instagram, @aceystacy