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2004 Writers' Forum
Elliott Bronstein

Elliott Bronstein, writer of short stories, grew up in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. After college he traveled extensively in Europe and South America, before settling in Seattle in 1980. He is a longtime board member of Red Sky Poetry Theatre.
Interview with Curator Belle Randall
In this interview, recorded March 9, 2004, Elliott and Belle discuss: composition, performance, storytelling, writing techniques, revision, craft, art, voice, youth writing, community, and more.
photo credit: dean wong
Listen to an excerpt of Elliott's reading (MP3)
5:16 / 3.3 MB
A Match Made for Heaven (excerpt)

"So, I have a question for you. How do you restore the spark in a man?"

"Don’t snuff it in the first place," said Damen, not looking up from the newspaper.

It was Sunday morning and Lena’s father was taking his speed walk. In a few minutes he would walk in on them – the Mary Street house was his, after all – and this was why Lena and Damen were searching the want ads for an apartment.

"Did he have one originally?" said Damen.

"Yes," Lena replied. "Though I never witnessed it myself."

"How do you know?"

"Oh, I have proof," she said. She went into the living room and came back with a black and white photograph.

"Good god," said Damen.

"I’ve been dreaming on that picture all my life," said Lena. "He used to lift me up and fly me toward it like an airplane. That’s my mom."

"That’s your smile, Lena. See? That’s you."

"Look at Howard though," said Lena. "Look at him, D! Doesn’t he look just obscene and crazy happy?"

"That’s proof," said Damen.

"I just want him not to be lonely when we leave!" she said.

"Noted," said Damen."
The back door opened, and they heard the rustling and unzipping of a rain jacket, and the thunk of running shoes dropped on the linoleum in the hall.

Howard Kantor walked with shoulders pulled back and his forearms and palms slightly outward, as though he were about to lift the end of a heavy piece of furniture.

"Find one yet?" Howard asked. He was proud of his posture, which a personal trainer – if he’d had one – would have called excellent.

Lena said, "We were just looking at this old picture."

"September 1981," said Howard. "Spaghetti with chicken and mushroom sauce. New York Times Cookbook – page 335."

"Good god. You remember every dish you ever made?" Damen said.

"I have a full-flavored memory," said Howard.

"Now, see, I can’t remember what I had for breakfast," said Damen.

"Well I don’t think about it," Howard said. "I just do it. It’s like breathing."

To read more work from the 2004 Jack Straw Writers Program, contact Jack Straw Productions to purchase a copy of Volume 8 of The Jack Straw Writers Anthology.
Jump to Elliot Bronstein's Interview with 2004 Curator Belle Randall.
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