A Process Note
I don’t recall if jen hofer presented condition to my wife and me in person or sent it to us, but from the start I was fascinated by it—and this allure only become more pronounced when, some years later, the thing reappeared among items in my study, reminding me it had . . . vanished! All of this felt essential to the thing itself, the fragility—and the replenishing evanescence—of the connections it seemed (seems) to embody and inspire. I am related to hofer through marriage and the twining branches of blended extended families. The explicit summoning of those ties through the repurposing of snapshots taken by hofer’s grandfather also took hold of me. What kind of telling in such covers and what vivid absences? And what interior (interiors?) to such a book making a gesture toward being a book and not, and toward something else and not, and not for long, forever. hofer did not see what I wrote until I’d finished and asked her permission to publish, which she graciously gave, extending the gift-web of collaboration, ghostly and otherwise.
Donald Morrill is the author of three volumes of poetry, including Awaiting Your Impossibilities (2015 Florida Book Award), and four books of nonfiction, including The Untouched Minutes (Riverteeth Nonfiction Prize). His debut novel Beaut won the Lee Smith Fiction Prize and was published in 2018 by Blair. He’s been the Bedell Visiting Writer in the Nonfiction Program at the University of Iowa and Writer-in-Residence at the Smith Poetry Center. Currently, he teaches in the Low-Residency MFA at the University of Tampa.