Contributor Spotlight: Daniel Lassell

“Brush Fire,” “Watching the Glassmakers,” and “Decommissioned County Road” by Daniel Lassell appeared in Issue 12 and can be read here.


We’d love to hear more about “Decommissioned Country Road.”

There’s a former county road behind my in-laws’ house that inspired “Decommissioned County Road.” About three miles long, it used to connect two other county roads, but was discarded when the government created an easier route. From what I’ve gathered, the locals primarily use it to go “mudding” or hunting on other people’s land. When my wife and I visit West Virginia, we love to hike up there and let our dog run.

What was the most difficult part of this piece?

Revision has always been the toughest stage of my writing process. So much can go wrong when making changes. Yet, on the other hand, something really wonderful can happen if you persevere.

Recommend a book for us, which was published within the last decade.

There are so many books I would recommend! I think David Shumate is wildly underrated. Check out his latest book, Kimonos in the Closet.

If you could have a drink with any living writer, who would it be? Why?

This is a hard question because I like a lot of writers…

For those who’ve heard Benjamin Percy speak, I think he may have the deepest voice of any fiction writer. I’m curious to see him do karaoke—does drinking make that voice go higher or lower? Also, I really agree with his tenets of fiction writing, which serve one goal: thrill the reader. I imagine this goal, if applied to drinking, could make for an interesting night.

What are you working on now? What’s next?

I grew up on a llama and alpaca farm in Kentucky, which I think is a unique experience. Over the next couple of years, I’d like to write more about how these creatures have shaped me. Also, I’ve been tinkering with a poetry chapbook–would love to find a home for it. 

Our thanks to Daniel for taking the time to answer a few questions and share her his. Read “Brush Fire,” “Watching the Glassmakers,” and “Decommissioned County Road” here:


Daniel Lassell is the winner of a William J. Maier Writing Award and runner-up for the 2016 Bermuda Triangle Prize. His poetry can be found in Slipstream, Hotel Amerika, Atticus Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, and elsewhere. Recently, he received a Pushcart nomination from Pembroke Magazine. He lives with his wife in Fort Collins, Colorado.