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author kym cunningham


Kym Cunningham likes to conceptualize herself as a nomad, although this perhaps romanticizes her inconsistencies in character. She does not enjoy staying in one location and is known to move across the country on a whim, dragging her reluctant garbage dog, Truffle Monster, around on various excursions. Her writing often reflects this transience, alternately collapsing and expanding in perspective or theme according to her mood. As such, the author acknowledges that her writing is not palatable to universal taste, instead believing she does the best with what she has.


But what she does have is a unique perspective on American life afforded by locational infidelity. Much of Kym's writing critiques what she views as the hypocrisies inherent within American culture, a society whose very freedom depends upon the incarceration of Others. She often emphasizes the body as a mode of inquiry, relying heavily upon feminist literary traditions and philosophies of control. As a writer, Kym is also interested in the divide between the seen and the invisible, especially that which exists in limbo within the periphery. She plays with the idea of borders, conflating the personal with the abstract to alternate perspective as easily as she shifts states. She relies heavily on the musicality of language, often reading her work aloud to ensure that the voice is undoubtedly her own. 

Having earned her MFA from San Jose State University in 2016, Kym Cunningham is currently pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing at University of Louisiana-Lafayette, assuming she has not yet been eaten by alligators. She has received multiple awards for her writing, including two Pushcart Prize nominations. Her writing has been published in more than two dozen literary journals and anthologies. Her debut essay collection, Difficulty Swallowing, was published by Atmosphere Press in 2019 and her first poetry chapbook was published in February of 2018.

Listen to Kym talk poetry with Couri Johnson, author of I'll Tell you a Love Story, here.

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