Progress Report, poetry, Issue 20, September 1, 2012
Birthdate? July 26th
When did you start writing? I began writing at ten years old, when my 5th grade teacher told me I was an excellent writer. For the first time it occurred to me that the key to writing was just to write. You didn’t have to own snifters or be dying of consumption at all!
When and what and where did you first get published? I suppose my first publication was in my middle school yearbook. My poem was selected to represent the graduating class. My first professional publication was in a poetry magazine called Uncommon Sense, from Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately that publication no longer exists.
What themes do you like to write about? I learned to ride when I was seven, and horses appear prominently in my riding. I love westerns and classic science fiction. They both seek to explore the resilience of courage against the darkest sides of man and nature. I love to write about adventure and the search for the ideal even in the face of harsher realities.
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? I love fantasy and science fiction books. I think creative, fanciful stories reflect the mythical power of literary history like Morte D’Arthur, the Odyssey, and Beowulf. My favorite short story is Asimov’s “Nightfall,” a story with very limited action, which becomes a meditation on the terrifying concept of infinity.
Leslie Anderson was born in Dearborn, Michigan. Most of her childhood was spent on horseback. She received a BA in English from Michigan State University and an MA from Ohio University. She loves comic books, Star Trek, and video games. They tend to show up in her writing.