My essay “Upon Impact” won the 2020 Robert and Adele Schiff Award from the Cincinnati Review.
Here’s what the judge, literary nonfiction editor Kristen Iversen had to say about it. “Upon Impact” is a haunting meditation on friendship, grief, and loss. Tender and insightful, this essay reveals how our bonds and experiences with others can continue to shape and reshape our memories, our lives, and our identities.”
And here’s what I wrote about the essay: When I decided to write about my friend Catherine, I made a rule for myself: I would only write what felt honest. For creative nonfiction, honesty might be a given, but discovering my own emotional truth and then replicating it in language was hard work. In the wake of Catherine’s death, a suicide, my emotions ricocheted. I was furious one minute, bereaved the next, and profoundly grateful in the moments when I was able to consider the entirety of our decades-long friendship. When she died, I was six months pregnant with my first child. That juxtaposition—creating a child while losing a childhood friend—created an intense emotional whiplash. I wanted the form of my essay to recreate those collisions. A year earlier I’d drafted a much shorter essay about a car crash Catherine and I survived as teenagers, and revisiting it, I realized that Catherine died nineteen years, to the day, after that crash. The symbolism was uncanny. Rather than structuring my thoughts along a neat narrative arc, I decided to use jumpy transitions and zigzag through time in a way that would, hopefully, disorient and even jostle the reader. Though I’ve found some resolution in the years since, I hope my essay reflects the upheaval of that period.
Interview with Lara McElderberry on the Podcast “Married to a Doctor”
“Any piece of writing is competing for a reader’s attention span. It has to be more interesting than someone’s cell phone or television. Entertainment is something I talk about with my students, and something I think about in my own writing. We have to work hard for our readers.”
Read more from this interview with Anna Currey at NolaVie.
“Countless writers in New Orleans are ever plucking away at their keyboards, conducting research or interviews, or simply probing their memories and inner lives to create worthwhile work. Much of this is published online, scattered disparately throughout cyberspace. Here are a few things we at Room 220 read recently that compelled us to gather them together and share.”
Read more at Nola Defender.
“An identical twin herself, Groner often writes about the conspiratorial and competitive relationship twins share as well as writing from a child’s perspective. She draws on her experience as a writer to inspire her approach to teaching students in Loyola’s classrooms.”
Read more on Loyola University’s Website.
“A viable Ponzi scheme? Isn’t that an oxymoron? I’d give the $5 to a child and tell him to use it as start up capital for a lemonade stand. Child labor is the root of many multi-million dollar business ventures.”
Read more from “Ask the Author” published by Pank. December 2011.