Working with AJ Verdelle as a Kenyon Review Peter Taylor Fellow last summer was a dream.
Returning to the bucolic loveliness of Kenyon is always a treat for me. What’s more, we had an amazing group of writers in our group. Our workshop wrote some pieces that I still think about, nearly a year later. I’m so grateful for the time I got to spend with my cohort: Tiana Clark, Shelley Wong, Aja Gabel, Tonja Reynolds, Robyn-Phalen Rayson, Jennifer Hope Choi, and Nathan Lipps.
AJ’s novel, The Good Negress, is a master-class in the crafting of a distinctive narrative voice. Her lyrical and poetic instinct comes through in every line of this stunning novel. Her sharp ear for sound and precision is invaluable, as is her approach to revision.
Interviewing AJ for the Kenyon Review podcast was one of my favorite moments from that week because AJ is as generous as she is brilliant. I could’ve listened to her talk about craft for years (years!).
Curious? Listen here.