In 2016, I was captivated when Sophfronia Scott read an excerpt from her essay, “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse,” at the River Pretty Writers Retreat in Tecumseh, Missouri. The essay is a meditation about why Scott, when confronted with the news that a deadly shooting had just occurred at her third-grade son’s school, Sandy Hook Elementary (December 14, 2012), chose to stay put until more was known. As you may imagine, Scott’s prose confronts life, death, faith, and everything in between.
When I learned Scott was returning to lead writing workshops at River Pretty this October, I jumped at the chance to interview her for The Common Reader. During our Oct. 6 chat, we discussed her recently published collection of essays, Love’s Long Line, how to navigate writing about family in creative nonfiction, and why transforming grief and anger into art may be one of the ultimate acts of grace.
The Common Reader is published by Washington University in St. Louis.