Much gratitude is given to the editors of the following publications in which these essays first appeared, often in slightly different forms:
“On Touching Ground” in Bellingham Review
“Honey” in Sonora Review
“The Dollhouse” originally appeared as “The Granville” in Ducts and was reprinted in The Man Who Ate His Book: The Best of Ducts, II (Fall 2013)
“Mirror, Mirror” in Drunken Boat
“Still Life with Chair” in The Normal School, reprinted by permission of The Normal School, copyright 2015 by Jericho Parms
“Of Things Lost” in South Loop Review
“A Chapter on Red” in Hotel Amerika and excerpted as “Red” in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney
“Lost Wax” in American Literary Review
“Origins” in Fourth Genre 17, no. 2 (2015):53–60
Thanks to John Griswold for recognizing something here and shepherding it through. And to all of the wonderful folks at the University of Georgia Press for the work of publishing this book.
The writing of these essays was generously supported by the time and space afforded by the Vermont Studio Center as well as an artist grant from the Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts, for which I remain grateful.
I am indebted to the rich and nurturing community of writers at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Thanks to the support of Louise Crowley and Ellen Lesser, and to my advisors Rigoberto González, Patrick Madden, Sasha Feinstein, and Philip Graham, who not only guided me through the early stages of these essays, but have been unwavering in their confidence and support. Thanks to the insight, encouragement, and generosity of other remarkable writers who have helped make this book a reality: Steven Church, Dinty Moore, and Audrey Petty. And for their shared passion and unending willingness to read: Emily Arnason Casey, John Proctor, and Laurie Easter.
Thanks to Rachel Gerstein and Anna Child for keeping me grounded, despite the distance. Special thanks to Joe “Guisepi” Spadafora for trusting me with the portions of this story we shared.
In loving memory of family and friends no longer here who have in some way shaped these pages, in particular to Judith Kitchen, who believed in this book before I did, and whose generosity and spirit made all the difference.
Thanks, always, to Joshua Sevits, for the unending love, enduring patience, and critical eye.
Above all, I thank the members of my family, who have left their indelible impression on these essays, and without whom this book would not exist, in particular my mother, Louise Parms, to whom this book is dedicated (“to the moon and back”) with love.