Contributor Spotlight: Michael Chin

“The Seams,” a short story by Michael Chin, appeared in Issue 17 and can be read here.

We’d love to hear a little more about this story.

I first drafted “The Seams” a few years back as part of a collection of linked stories about circus performers. I’m a big professional wrestling nerd, and its current form has some origins as a side attraction to circuses, with a trained wrestler challenging people from the audience, not so different from what’s depicted here. Having a man behind the curtain to knockout a formidable opponent with a brick or stone is a legitimate part of the history, too. One of the joys of this piece was weaving these traditional, largely outdated pieces of carney lore into a more contemporary piece in which that way of life is threatening to die out.

What was the most difficult aspect of writing this story?

There were a lot of different pairs at work in this story—the featured brothers, Oslo and Gina, Bruno and Gina, Bruno and Red. One of the big challenges was having these characters push up against one another in complementary ways, but ways that were also distinctive enough to both justify their places in the story and reveal points of value about each character.

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

I’ll recommend Justin St. Germain’s Son of a Gun. It’s a pretty brilliant piece of non-fiction that explores modern day masculinity and family—some of the core concerns of this story, albeit through very different lenses. The book is also a profoundly personal meditation on the tragedy of the author’s mother having been killed by gun shot.

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

The answer might change by the day, but I’ll say Joe Hill. His short stories and work with the graphic novel form really intrigue me for walking the line between literary and genre work.

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

I have a series of flash fiction pieces about a female pro wrestler on the independent circuit that I’m revising and getting ready to send out, and I’m starting to formulate some work around my new born son and fatherhood; I’m not sure yet if that will take on more of an essay or poem form, or something more hybrid-ish.

Our thanks to Michael for taking the time to answer a few questions and share his work. Read Chin’s story, “The Seams,” here:


Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and his hybrid chapbook, The Leo Burke Finish, is available now from Gimmick Press. He won Bayou Magazine’s Jim Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and has work published or forthcoming in journals including The Normal School, Passages North, and Hobart. He works as a contributing editor for Moss. Find him online at or follow him on Twitter @miketchin.