I’m happy to say there are a few fine writers coming up for my segments of “In the Lit Lab” here at Bent Country. Among those is a writer I’ve known, and whose work I’ve admired, for the past decade.
I have published magazines with Jarrid Deaton, attended my
program alongside him, and, so often, looked to him for much needed advice on
both work and life. He is a friend, a
writer, and in a world where it is truly a rare thing, a descent person.
All of this comes through in his work, though many can get caught up in the finesse of a line here, or the purity of an idea never presented before in such a certain and unique sleight of craft. The overall impression after reading a story or poem from Jarrid Deaton is that a writer has just shared a deep truth with you.
Now I’m not talking about divine truth and enlightenment and the like. I’m talking about a truth that Deaton himself felt at some point and then told to us in the most truthful way possible. I cannot overstate how rare this is in fiction, or any endeavor for that matter.
He does not look away – not from the beautiful, the grotesque, the living, the dying, or his own reflection, every wrinkle and flaw and every smile or moment of laughter, each passing moment and revelation of his own humility.
Because of this, I cannot say how pleased I am that Deaton will be writing here in the coming weeks about his short story “Shoot the Ballerina in the Heart”. I hope it will be something you find as important and entertaining as I have, again and again.