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IN GRATITUDE Being a book about rhythms and cycles and whatnot, it’s only fitting that I started this collection during my first year in the fantastic Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program, and completed the final essay during my last residency. Most of these essays were written during my first year when I was under the encouragement and guidance of the oh-my-god-that-woman-can-WRITE essayist and poet, Lia Purpura. Thus, Lia: oh my god, thank you! I also want to thank my second- and third-year mentors who supported me as I finished and revised this collection, Barrie Jean Borich and Dinah Lenney. And a huge head nod goes out to both the founding and current program directors—Stan Rubin, Judith Ktichen (miss you!), and Rick Barot. There are so many great writers associated with RWW that to list them all here would add about another hundred pages or so onto this book. Though listing those names wouldn’t be a waste of paper, I’ll just give this special thank you to those in the program as a whole: Thank you my RWW tribe! Next up: family. These are the people with whom I’m swimming in the same genetic pool, as well as the friends who are more like family than buddies. Mindy Clammer, Marya Hornbacher, Kate Buley, Sabrina Long, Pat Hall, Betty Ann Hall, Denna Cannon, Clayton Davis, Bernard Grant, Tammy Robacker, Kristina Moriconi, Kristy Arditti, Emma Patrick, and my awesome nieces and nephew who keep me smiling: Dylan Buley, Maddie Buley, and Lily Buley. Lit-world-wise, I must thank Keaton Maddox and the Red Hen Press team for believing in this book, the literary journals and their editors who published these essays, and to all of the readers and writers who cheer me on and support my work. This goes out to those who have left my life, yet their spirits keep me going: Jeffrey Clammer and Sofie Egan. And a big, loving thanks to those who prove the power and strength of community in the face of tragedy: Kelsey Fonzi, Jennifer Rice, Kelsea Weatherly, Shyla Montoya, Kris TJ, Elyse Crowder, Jonathan Sherman, Nathan Sherman, Taylor Bayles, AJ Jamison, Suzanne Kittelson, and Anna Czaja. Finally—Spencer Darr. Thank you for encouraging me to keep writing through all of those times when I thought, “Fuck this shit. It’s too hard.” This page is left intentionally blank BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE Chelsey Clammer is an award-winning essayist who has been published in The Rumpus, Hobart, The Normal School, McSweeney's Internet Tendency , and Black Warrior Review, among many others. She is the Essays Editor for The Nervous Breakdown. Her first collection of essays, BodyHome , looks at how we can find the concept of home in our bodies. You can read more of her work at ...


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