Kristin Naca

recorded in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

 

Kristin Naca

I’m Kristin Naca and I’m living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the great Twin Cities, and I don’t know, I’ve been living all over the place. I grew up on the east coast in a town on the beltway outside of Washington D.C., called Annandale, Virginia and then I left for college and took off across the country and went to Washington state to do my undergrad and University of Washington. And after I’d live in Seattle for a long time, and started writing poems there and even did a residency and was publishing some poems, then I went to all these different kinds of graduate programs in the Midwest. I don’t know why I went to the Midwest. Maybe I did have a sense like maybe I needed some different kinds of training. So I went to the University of Cincinnati and lived there and went from being a poet to a poet and linguist—I did my masters in linguistics. And then I scooted around before I ever finished that program, like back to Seattle for a while, because it’s like going from the most liberal, politically-leaning school, and area, at the time of high multiculturalism to a place where anti-gay statutes were just passed right when I got there. And I put in three years and I was like, I just can’t go any further, I’m not going any further, I’m really trying. So then I went back to Seattle for a year or so. I just needed to catch my breath before I went back and finished and then went off to Pittsburgh to do my MFA. And while I was in Pittsburgh, it was nice. It was a three year program, I did a lot of teaching and a lot of writing and my last year there, I was doing a radio show called Prosody. And I interviewed Hilda Raz who was an amazing poet and editor of Prairie Schooner and a professor at University of Nebraska. And since my friend sort of had affiliations with her—this is how it happens in my life—she’s like, What are you doing next year? And I’m like, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll go do an MFA in fiction or something. And she’s like, You should come to Nebraska. You’ll come here, you’ll write your book, you’ll blabitty blah blah blah. And my friends were like, Well, if Hilda told you that you have to do that, then you have to do that. So I was like, Okay. And, you know, I didn’t have any plans for my life or anything, so I was like, I don’t care, whatever. And the thing that I was aware of was there’s not a lot to do there in Nebraska, it’s quiet, you’re going to work. You’re going to write, you’re going to study, you’re going to teach. It’s very manuscript-focused. And eventually that manuscript really did become the heft of what my book is for Bird Eating Bird.

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