Peg Alford Pursell
Peg Alford Pursell is the author of A Girl Goes into the Forest (Dzanc Books, July 2019) and Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow (ElJ Editions, March 2017; Second edition, September 2017), winner of the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year in Literary Fiction. Her fiction and poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies. She is the founder, director, and editor-in-chief of WTAW Press and of its national reading series, Why There Are Words.
Awards and Recognition
- 2017 Indies Book of the Year in Literary Fiction; 2018 Eric Hoffer Award Honorable Mention; 2018 New Horizons Award Short List Finalist
Press and Media Mentions
- Poets & Writers second annual "5 over 50" feature. Poets & Writers second annual "5 over 50" feature.
- Hybridity, Compression, Shimmer: Q & A, by Sonya Chung, Editor, Bloom. "Show Her a Flower is a gorgeous collection of short prose that lives in that maddening and exciting liminal space between prose, poetry, and something altogether its own. Each piece is like a crystal—complex, compressed, luminous. . . it took me a few months to read the slim collection, and this, to my mind, is high praise for the book. I experienced what Joan Silber called its “long, shimmering after-effect.”
- Author to Author Q & A, by Mindy Friddle. “I write first thing, for as long as I can, and that length of time will vary. Most often, the writing time never seems long enough, but I like that too, because I’m then eager to delve back in the following day.”
- Prosody Radio (listen online here). Pittsburgh Radio for Contemporary Literature. Western Pennsylvania's only regularly scheduled radio program featuring contemporary poets and writers, hosted by Jan Beatty.
- Interview at The Rumpus by Linda Michel-Cassidy "Lyricism played against the narrative arc of fiction produces a satisfying tension at the line level, for me. That tension can express the sense of yearning you speak of. Yearning, in one form or another, is the human condition, our shared story."
- Interview at Hamline Lit Link: From a Publisher to Publishing Her First Book [Q&A] "I enjoy that challenge of crystallization, which involves thinking deeply about the reader, imagining what she may fill in with her intelligence, intuition, and empathic imagination and invention."
- Peg Alford Pursell featured at the Association of Writers and Writing Program's "In the Spotlight."
- Interview published by Permafrost: "Goddess of Bibliotherapy."
- Review of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow by Nicholas Alexander Hayes, published at Your Impossible Voice. "...her work is not a saccharine, cloying, or emotive nibble. Instead her pieces are like a well-aged scotch. You could take each of these narratives as a shot but doing so would miss the point of slowly savoring the complexity."
- Review of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow by Libby Maxwell and published by Mom Egg Review. "Pursell’s honesty encompasses not only the truths that aren’t told, but the ones that can’t be known, and yet touch our lives all the same."
- Publishers Weekly : “This haunting collection of 78 tiny but potent stories . . . are so sharp and disturbing . . . they are probably best consumed in small quantities.”
- Kirkus Review. “Pursell is a master of the atmospheric moment. Precise, delicate, yet bloody-minded in their refusal to look away from the most painful moments of our tender lives . . . Tiny tales that resonate far beyond their borders.”
- Booklist Review. "Pursell’s surreal stories together form a familiar picture of a world full of love and yearning . . .”
- The Other Stories Podcast and Excerpt from A GIRL GOES INTO THE FOREST. Interview and discussion with Ilana Masad about forests of long ago as communal places, losses as the inevitable living of life, the one and only play I've ever written.
- New Orleans Review. Interview with Thea Prieto discussing "Diving into the Wreck", patriarchal masks and ideals, little Kay (the boy in “The Snow Queen”) who gets a piece of the magic mirror in his eye and one in his heart, yearning for artistic expression.
- Connotation Press: Signing my Checks as Mrs. Franz Kafka: An Interview with Peg Alford Pursell
- Artistic video by Marcia Pelletiere for "The Map She Is Trying to Follow" from Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow.
- The Rumpus: What Turns Up: A Conversation with Peg Alford Pursell by Kate Milliken