An Interview with Writer Mialise Carney

Staff members interview writers from the Student Faculty Reading Series.

What inspired your piece?

My story was inspired by geology. I first heard about Canfield oceans a few years ago in a geology class, and I liked how entirely destructive they are without being very common knowledge—the process of a Canfield or anoxic ocean caused most of the last extinction periods and is projected to be our own fate if climate change continues. I liked the idea of total futility as a concept for a story and then paralleled it with a narrator who is also helpless to change anything about her friend’s own deterioration, much like how we might feel about global climate change.

What have you been writing since then?

Recently I’ve written a few short stories since—one about kidneys, one about swamps. I like the idea of swamps, pools, and water in short stories, and how it can symbolize both freedom and confinement.

What was the reading experience like?

I enjoyed the reading experience, particularly listening to the other students and faculty read their work. It was, of course, awkward to read my own story out loud, but I think it was a unique opportunity to share writing beyond paper, and gauge audience reactions I otherwise would not be able to see.

Did you have any take-aways from the reading?

I should have read a completed piece as opposed to an excerpt. I could only read only the first few pages, and it felt incomplete when compared to the other readers who were able to read a full arc.

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann.

What is some advice you would give to someone who is thinking about reading for the series?

I would advise someone thinking about participating to do it. As someone who averse to anything vaguely performative, I understand how uncomfortable the prospect of this event may be. But it’s a unique opportunity to read your work out loud to an audience that wants to listen and support you, and a good practice if you intend to pursue publishing your writing.

Mialise Carney graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2019, where she worked as Editor in Chief of The Bridge for two years. She is the creative nonfiction editor at Nightingale and Sparrow, and her fiction has appeared in Menacing HedgeSagebrush Review, and is forthcoming in Atlas and Alice. When she isn’t pretending to write, she’s preparing her application to become a professional hermit. Follow her on Twitter @mialisec

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