Darlene Pagán teaches creative writing and literature at Pacific University in Oregon. She published a poetry chapbook, Blue Ghosts (Finishing Line Press 2011), and a full-length collection, Setting the Fires (Airlie Press 2015). Individual poems have appeared in journals such as Field, Calyx, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poet Lore, Hiram Poetry Review, and Hawaii Pacific Review, and also earned nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her essays have appeared in venues such as Brevity, The Nebraska Review, and Literal Latté. She adores her family, swimming, hiking, beaches, the rain, the moon, and roller coasters.
Eckleburg: What drives, inspires, and feeds your artistic work?
Darlene Pagán: I write because I have to. Writing is the only way I know to truly understand the complexities of what it means to be fully alive and fully present in the world, and in a body that is rife with contradictions. Mothers everywhere inspire me and children.
Eckleburg: If you had to arm wrestle a famous writer, poet or artist, either living or dead, who would it be? Why? What would you say to distract your opponent and go for the win?
Darlene Pagán: I would love to arm wrestle Isabelle Allende. She has such passion and fire, such a talent for storytelling that we’d be sure to laugh and tell stories during a match that would likely last an evening if I could help it.
Eckleburg: What would you like the world to remember about you and your work?
Darlene Pagán: My activism in word and deed.
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The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review was founded in 2010 as an online and print literary and arts journal. We take our title from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and include the full archives of our predecessor Moon Milk Review. Our aesthetic is eclectic, literary mainstream to experimental. We appreciate fusion forms including magical realist, surrealist, meta- realist and realist works with an offbeat spin. We value character-focused storytelling and language and welcome both edge and mainstream with punch aesthetics. We like humor that explores the gritty realities of world and human experiences. Our issues include original content from both emerging and established writers, poets, artists and comedians such as authors, Rick Moody, Cris Mazza, Steve Almond, Stephen Dixon, poets, Moira Egan and David Wagoner and actor/comedian, Zach Galifianakis.
Currently, Eckleburg runs online, daily content of original fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and more with featured artwork–visual and intermedia–from our Gallery. We run annual print issues, the Eckleburg Reading Series (DC, Baltimore and New York), as well as, the annual Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction, first prize $1000 and print publication, guest-judged by award-winning authors such as Rick Moody and Cris Mazza.
We have collaborated with a number of talented and high profile literary, art and intermedia organizations in DC, Baltimore and New York including The Poetry Society of New York, KGB Bar, Brazenhead Books, New World Writing (formerly Mississippi Review Online), The Hopkins Review, Boulevard, Gargoyle Magazine, Entasis Press, Barrelhouse, Hobart, 826DC, DC Lit and Iowa’s Mission Creek Festival at AWP 2013, Boston, for a night of raw comedic lit and music. We like to promote smaller indie presses, galleries, musicians and filmmakers alongside globally recognized organizations, as well as, our local, national and international contributors.
Rarely will readers/viewers find a themed issue at Eckleburg, but rather a mix of eclectic works. It is Eckleburg’s intention to represent writers, artists, musicians, and comedians as a contemporary and noninvasive collective, each work evidence of its own artistry, not as a reflection of an editor’s vision of what an issue “should” be. Outside of kismet and special issues, Eckleburg will read and accept unsolicited submissions based upon individual merit, not theme cohesiveness. It is our intention to create an experience in which readers and viewers can think artistically, intellectually, socially, and independently. We welcome brave, honest voices. To submit, please read our guidelines.
Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away. – The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald