Working with Zenas has been so enjoyable and insightful. With every revision, the work gets even stronger and illuminates the power of Zenas' story. I was first drawn to this story by the way that the COVID experience and Zenas' experiences of violence are paralleled. He comes out of these experiences with incredible, small insights--the kinds of insights that made me reflect and pause while reading because of their energy.
Zenas and I made rounds of revisions to tighten up the wording and ensure that his powerful experiences shine brighter. He has great control over his voice and writing and as a mentor, I didn't want to tweak that. He did an incredible job making corrections and still maintaining his voice. I am very excited for his story, "Collage," to be shared, as it is a reflection of the minds of a young generation around the world coping with a shared experience (COVID) and their own, unique experiences in life.
Nardine Taleb is an Egyptian-American writer and speech therapist. She has performed her prose and poetry at Philadelphia’s Writers’ Conference, has received multiple writerships, has work forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, and is a current Brooklyn Poets fellow. Her passion is mentoring others in writing and helping them share their work with the world. She is a Cleveland native and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon: the people and the coffee are too great.