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Mack W. Mani

Scheherazade, poem, Issue 34, March 1, 2016

Mack W. Mani was born in rural Washington State. He currently lives in Portland, OR. His work has appeared in various literary magazines including NeonThe Pedestal Magazine, and The Non-Binary Review. Visit him at

Get to know Mack...
Birthday? January 13th, 1990
When did you start writing? I wrote my first short story at the age of seven. It was about two astronauts who are stranded on a planet of 95% water. It was four pages long. 
What themes do you like to write about? I most enjoy the places where the ordinary and the bizarre meet. I try to play on the expectations of the reader and take them places they don't expect to go, but once they find themselves there, it should seem an obvious direction. 
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? My favorite books are Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. The former is the most beautiful novel I have ever read, the second is the most terrifying. Both slowly draw you inward towards the center of their stories and feature unexpected, but incredibly fitting conclusions. 

In my own work, I consider the piece a success if I can pull the audience or reader into a place where they are asking questions and investing themselves in the story. That's where the fun begins for me as an author and I can start play with expectations and twists. 

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