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Lev Mirov

Sunken, Poem, Issue 39, June 2017

Lev Mirov is a queer disabled mixed race Filipino-American poet, composer, and writer. His award-winning poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liminality Magazine, Through the Gate, and elsewhere. His short work has been featured in the anthologies Sunvault and Myriad Lands. With his spouse Aleksei I. Valentin he writes fantasy novels. He is also a scholar of medieval religion and history. Follow his adventures on twitter @thelionmachine.

Get to know Lev...
12 October, Indigenous Peoples' Day!

When did you start writing?
My first memory of writing is of being six and flipping through a catalogue and writing about what people in the catalogue were doing. Apparently before that I would draw scribbles through lined paper and "read" my stories aloud.

When and what and where did you first get published?
My first publication was the poem "A Broken Heart" in Liminality Magazine's first issue in 2014 (link: My first piece of fiction appeared in the 2016 anthology "Myriad Lands II". It might be more accurate to say that I first self-published fanfiction and poetry online, though!

What themes do you like to write about?
Ghosts, revenants, faeries and immortal-yet-dead things -- but not for spooks. I am fascinated by religion and history, and frequently write about the past, both historical, mythical, and made up. I live in the southern US and really like to write about what magic haunts the landscape here. I'm also drawn to stories of exile and isolation, and unexpected or impossible connections -- especially if time travel is involved!

 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?
Growing up my biggest influence was JRR Tolkien's creation of Numenor and Gondor, especially the character of Denethor, and medieval Arthurian romances about Gawain. I actually have a secret life as a medieval historian of religion and magic, so these early influences led me into two degrees! I am always trying to write worlds with histories as rich as Tolkien's own. I frequently explore "missing" corners of Middle-earth, alternate histories, and what-ifs as jumping off places in my imagination. In long-form fiction I love to write the juxtaposition of the world of the medieval courtly romance with modernity. As an adult, Catherynne M Valente's works that mix myth, folklore, and historical setting inspire me to reimagine the familiar past to be as magical and strange as it is in folklore. 

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