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OA NEWS: Interns, Fall 2012

Published  October 8, 2012

Here at The Oxford American, we really value the hard work of our interns. Meet this fall's crew of talented and ambitious youngsters.  

oxford american

From left to right: Max, Vivian, Lizzie, Tess, Olivia, and James.


Maxwell George (Charlotte, North Carolina)

What is the best advice you've gotten about writing? A word is elegy to what it signifies.

Any obsessions? That depends on how well the Carolina Panthers are doing this season. 

Three favorite authors? This year: Christopher Hitchens, Denis Johnson & Truman Capote.

Best part about being an OA intern? Collaborating.

Favorite sentence in the English language? "He had merely fallen face down across the bed, as though sleep were a weapon that had struck him from behind." —Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? The name Little Rock stuck. 



Vivian Wheeler (Springfield, Missouri)

What is the best advice you've gotten about writing? While it wasn’t told directly to me (I read it on the internet), Barbara Kingsolver said “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.”

Any obsessions? Guacamole, bad reality TV, and night-swimming.

Three favorite authors? Barbara Kingsolver, Philip Roth, and John Steinbeck.

Best part about being an OA intern? Everything but the pay.

Example of a perfect sentence? "In sleeping-bag, protected by the looped ramparts of anti-rattler horsehair rope, I take a careful twist, grinding sand on sand, to lie on my back." —Robert Penn Warren, from the poem "Arizona at Midnight"

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? The amount of armadillos you’ll find on the road.


Lizzie Gheorghita (Kansas City, Missouri)

Three favorite writers? I'm in a big Tennyson, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and Tina Fey phase.

Best part of being an OA intern? Books. Everywhere.

Any obsessions? Classical music, blush, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Example of a perfect sentence? "These are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang." —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? Everyone's too cool for blinkers.


Tess Stewart (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

What is the best advice you've gotten about writing? Dorothy Allison said something along the lines of "Writers are burglars, stealers, taking people and their experiences to create truth." 

Any obsessions? Handwritten letters, Halloween, reliable pens, lick and stick tattoos, and beef jerky.

Three favorite authors? Flannery O'Connor, Dorothy Allison, and D.H. Lawrence.

Best part of being an OA intern? Going to fancy receptions at mansions with monogrammed paper towels in the bathroom. And saying that I am contributing to the making of a kickass magazine, of course. 

Favorite sentence? "I use words to rattle the bars of my cage—the bars forming the cage of self, of being alive and mortal and full of conflicting desires." —John Edgar Wideman

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? There are some grungy Indian restaurant gems hidden all around the Natural State. 

Olivia Harrington (New Orleans, Louisiana)

What is the best advice you've gotten about writing? Do it often, and don't expect immediate perfection.

Any obsessions? Ultimate frisbee, caffeine, and squash mac 'n' cheese.

Three favorite authors? I have a really hard time picking favorites! Right now, I'm reading (and enjoying) David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. I also really like Barry Hannah and Denis Johnson.

What do you like about being an OA intern? I have a secret love of reading slush fiction, be it good or bad. I'm told this will be short-lived.

Favorite sentence in the English language? A sentence that I remember often—every time I exit the interstate—"Under Midwestern clouds like great grey brains we left the superhighway with a drifting sensation and entered Kansas City’s rush hour with a sensation of running aground." —Denis Johnson's "Car Crash While Hitchhiking." I love most of the sentences in that story. 

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? The continued existence of chuck-wagon racing in this state. 


James Williamson (Darlington, South Carolina)

What is the best advice you've gotten about writing? Read like a slumberous Aztec lion and revise all work with dusty Fritos fingers.

Any obsessions? Dirty 8-track tape decks.

Favorite author? Nathanael West.

Most surprising thing about Arkansas? The Arkansas state bird is the Mockingbird.

Tagged with: interns oxford-american
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