A Travelling Age, poem, Issue 34, March 1, 2016
Birthday? Feb 11
When did you start writing? I started writing as a child - the oldest poem I still have is written in my adorable eight-year-old handwriting. I kept on through adulthood; I knew enough writers I figured it was just what everyone did, but kept the work to myself or a few friends. Eventually, some of those writers talked me into attempting publication.
When and what and where did you first get published? My first professional (ie, paid) publication was my story "Morphic Resonance", published by The Future Fire in their anthology Accessing the Future. The first appearance of my poetry was in the magazine Through The Gate, a poem called "The Place Beneath."
What themes do you like to write about? Shape-shifters, time travel, caring relationships, alternative types of bodies (golems, automata, elementals, magical constructs, etc), and water all permeate my work. Sometimes they're an expression of my experience as a disabled, queer, and transgender writer; sometimes not. I like introspective narratives that explore personal and interpersonal change more than external conflict and grand-scale action.
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 stories where characters care about one another and their world, and where even if things are very bad indeed there is hope; I avoid gratuitous violence or bigotry. I love seeing characters and cultures beyond the standard straight white and Eurocentric, and most of my favourite stories, books, poems, etc feature characters from traditionally marginalised backgrounds, are written by marginal authors, or both.
My own work is informed by my own experiences while also enormously supported by these other authors and their works. They inspire me, encourage me, and in some cases share work, feedback, and crit with me and others, for which I am incredibly grateful. I appreciate that we can interact as a community of colleagues and friends rather than as competitors or enemies; it is hugely beneficial for all our work to have so much room to grow and share. Without them not only would my work not be developing on an ongoing basis, but most of it would probably never have seen the light of day!
Toby is a writer, artist, and teacher based in Burlington, VT. Their poetry and short fiction has previously been published by such places as inkscrawl, Through The Gate, The Future Fire, and Liminality. Visit them at www.tobymacnutt.com.