One of the stories in Mattaponi Queen appears in At Length today. I wrote “Homecoming” right after moving from Brooklyn, where I’d lived for three years, to North Carolina, which is now my home. I remember feeling a little like Marcus–I thought a lot about all the great, unusual experiences I’d had, not my screeching daily subway ride or getting yelled at by homeless guys or being cold all the time in the winter. Of course, Brooklyn is Marcus’s home, and I always knew I was there temporarily.
I was also thinking about my former students, first graders who had convinced me, in a weak and crazy moment, to give them my cell phone number. A couple of them called me all the time: “Ms. Boggs!” That’s mostly what they said when they called: “Ms. Boggs!” They were waiting for me to supply the rest of the conversation, I guess. A lot of them lived in the Brevoort Houses, where Marcus lived, and they were good and smart like him but limited in opportunity and burdened, some of them, with absent parents. What are they up to? They’re in sixth grade now. I hope that, unlike Marcus, they’re staying out of trouble.
I also hope you’ll follow At Length, an online magazine that publishes work by amazing longer-form writers, such as Michael Jayme-Becerra, Alan Shapiro, and Erica Eisdorfer, as well as interviews with visual artists and musicians. From their website: “At Length is a venue for writing, music, and art that are open to possibilities shorter forms preclude. While each section represents the vision and judgment of a different editor, we share an interest in making room for ambitious, in-depth work.”
I’m honored to be published there. Here’s the link to the story: