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Joanna Parypinski

Cold-Blooded Amphitrite, poem, Issue 31, June 1, 2015

Joanna Parypinski is a poet, novelist, and short story writer who seeks the mysterious and the macabre. She received her MFA from Chapman University and spends most of her time hunched over her writing desk. She may also be found teaching community college English, playing her cello (when the planets align), or enjoying the company of her cat.

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Get to know Joanna...

Birthday? February 26th, 1989

When did you start writing? I began telling stories before I could even write. When I was 6 or 7, I would scribble on paper, draw a cover, and staple it together like a book—then I would “read” my own scribbles aloud to anyone who would listen, creating the story as I went along. At some point I started writing my stories down, and I never stopped.

When and what and where did you first get published? My first publication was a surreal crime story called “The Fifth,” which appeared in a small-press anthology called Alternate Dimensions in 2011.

What themes do you like to write about? My writing tends to inhabit the darker spaces of humanity. How do we approach death and find meaning against both the horrors of the cosmos and our own demons? I also tend to infuse my writing with mythological elements, which speak to the stories and fears and wonders that connect us all.

What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? One novel that comes to mind is A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons. This chilling gothic tale is more about being haunted by trauma and loss than the things that go bump in the night, and even though there are supernatural events, it is the distinctly human element that drives the story. Likewise, I want my characters to be human and to deal truthfully with all the ways I make them suffer—even if those ways are ghastly and fantastic.

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