William Reichard

recorded in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN



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William Reichard

I’m William Reichard and I’m from the Twin Cities, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. I am a Midwesterner, born and raised. I grew up about a hundred miles south west of here. I have lived really all of my life in Minnesota, a brief stint in California, but this is home and it’s hard to imagine leaving it, although you never know what will happen. Life just flows. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I think I was in fourth grade and I wrote a little play that I think I actually stole from Land of the Lost [laughs] the tv show that used to be on, not the horrible movie that they just made. And after that I just kept writing and writing and actually always wrote fiction and prose all through high school, all through college. My master’s degree is actually in fiction writing, my master’s thesis is a collection of stories. But something happened my last year in the master’s program. I had to take a class outside my area, so I took poetry. You know, because I needed the electives and it was open. And it was with this guy named John Engman, who passed away probably 15 years ago now. He was in his 40s and had an aneurism one day and was just gone. But I took this class thinking, I’ll just be here for the fall and I ended up staying in class with him all year long and the longer I stayed, the less fiction I wrote. And what became clear to me was all of the trouble that I’d been having with my fiction, which had been getting worse and worse, ultimately, I think, happened because I should’ve been writing poetry in the first place. And John pretty much said that. He said, Okay, welcome to this side. I’ve just been waiting.

The Knox Writers’ House

Did you ever go back?


Um, I still sometimes write fiction and write some essays, but it’s glacial. If I get one essay done in a year I would be happy. Or one story. I have to write the introduction to this anthology I’m editing, and it’s terrifying, the thought of having to sit down and write coherent prose.