about
Writer, rejection recipient, fiction editor at Cartagena Journal, and Oxford comma proponent

work in
Ninth Letter, Harpur Palate, Passages North, Redivider, The Rumpus, and Ploughshares


   Follow me @cemiggy

   Email me at caitlinemcg
   [at] gmail [dot] com

upcoming

June 2014 Writer-in-Residence at The Den

June 2014 "From Clay" to be published in The Adirondack Review

Fall 2014 "Infomercials and Hairy Dough" to be published in Zone 3

Winter 2014 "Once I Had Brains and a Heart Also" to be published in Passages North

news

Spring 2014 "Shibboleth" published in Redivider

May 2014 Writer-in-Residence at Balkankult

April 2014 Writer-in-Residence at Zvona i Nari

Spring 2014 "Centralia, Pennsylvania" published in Harpur Palate

February 2014 "Less Fallen Than Clumsy" goes live at The Rumpus

Winter 2014 "The Radium Girl's Undark" goes live at Ninth Letter

Winter 2014 "If You Want to Destroy My Sweater" goes live at Menacing Hedge

Winter 2014 "The String Story" goes live at Scary Bush

Winter 2013: "More Than A Matchstick" appears in Paper Nautilus

12.20.13 "Girl Heads" goes live at fwriction

10.2.13 "Darkness: The Great Equalizer goes live at Ploughshares

9.18.13 "Reproductive Behaviors of Certain Pelagic Fauna" goes live at Hobart

8.31.13 The first issue of Cartagena debuts

7.30.13 Longform Fiction chooses "Going Native," previously published in Booth, as their story of the day

7.23.13 "Welcome to the Life of a Woman" appears in the Good Men Project

7.15.13 Named Online Content Editor for Fjords Review

7.12.13 "Going Native" published in Booth: A Journal

June 1, 2014

"Dr Einley explained that even if he caught him and brought him back to the colony he would immediately head back for the mountains. But why? One of these disoriented or deranged penguins ended up showing up at the New Harbor Diving Camp, already some eighty kilometers from where it should be. The rules for the humans are do not disturb or hold up the penguin. Stand still and let him go on his way.

Here he was, heading off to the interior of the vast continent. With some five thousand kilometers ahead of him, he was headed towards certain death.”

— Encounters at the End of the World (2007), Werner Herzog.

(Source: spleenwheel, via raynola)

June 1, 2014

staff:

Waters have receded after devastating floods in the Balkans last week, but recovery is still just beginning. And threats remain from disease, newly exposed land mines, and the pure staggering cost of the disaster. In response, artists are coming together on Tumblr to spread awareness and support relief efforts. Go ahead and pick out your favorite poster, share it on your blog, and help get the word out.

I had to evacuate my residency in Serbia two weeks ago because of power outages due to the floods. I was lucky enough to carry all my belongings out in a backpack because that’s all I had anyways. A lot of people didn’t have that luxury; they lost everything. Please - consider donating. At the very least, spread the word. 

staff:

Waters have receded after devastating floods in the Balkans last week, but recovery is still just beginning. And threats remain from disease, newly exposed land mines, and the pure staggering cost of the disaster. In response, artists are coming together on Tumblr to spread awareness and support relief efforts. Go ahead and pick out your favorite poster, share it on your blog, and help get the word out.

I had to evacuate my residency in Serbia two weeks ago because of power outages due to the floods. I was lucky enough to carry all my belongings out in a backpack because that’s all I had anyways. A lot of people didn’t have that luxury; they lost everything. Please - consider donating. At the very least, spread the word. 

May 5, 2014

I often think of myself as having deep knowledge of a few very specific things, but no broad knowledge of any particular area. It’s my fault, of course, since once I learn about a topic, I really don’t want to revisit it, even though a second story about, say, orchids, would be much faster and easier than my first one, since I would come equipped with all the knowledge I’d acquired first time around. I’m just attracted to the process of learning, and then turning around and teaching, but then I want to start the process again with a new experience of learning. I appreciate expertise, of course, but I really crave that deep dive into utterly new, strange worlds, and then telling about the experience. Then I want to dive again. I sometimes am amused by how I have a pretty thorough understanding of such diverse topics as urban grocery stores, Bulgarian tennis, show dogs, trailer parks, and taxidermy.
Susan Orlean (via mttbll)

(Source: BuzzFeed, via mttbll)

May 4, 2014

I guess I assumed that a graduate program full of artists dedicated to seeing beyond the world’s masks would be better on the race front—that despite all my previous experience with white-majority institutions the workshop would be an exception. What can I tell you? In those days I must have needed that little fantasy, that little hope that somewhere shit might be better.

Like I said: I was young.
April 18, 2014

I hastily throw gummy bears and yogurt into my shopping bag and lock myself in my apartment with my phrasebook until I can recall every suggested useful phrase.
Istrian Numbers and Measures,” three mini-essays, up on the Zvona i Nari website today!
April 6, 2014

Pula, Croatia

Yesterday, I took a trip out about 10 miles to Pula, the largest city in Istria. James Joyce worked on Ulysses here, the Romans set up an arena for their gladiators…it’s a place with history, and I won’t bore you too much with the things that make me excited about it.

On the way to the bus stop, a few seven year olds put me to shame by trying to talk to me in four different languages, then (I’m guessing) made fun of my accent and told me that I’m stupid. Quick and correct assessment, dječaci (kids). 

Here are some pictures (even a rare picture of me!)!

The Arena:

image

Very early on, it started raining. Bitch, rain, you think you can affect my day? I’m from Seattle (or at least that’s what I tell people because even though my parents only moved there after I graduated from college it just feels more like home than anywhere else). Given the Seattle thing, it takes a lot for me to break out an umbrella. This was repurposed scarf rain. 

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April 5, 2014

Zvona i Nari

So, after constructing a remarkable safety apparatus using giant rubber bands, locks, seat dividers, and my own body, I felt comfortable in the security of my luggage to sleep at Stansted airport for a few hours. I bought Wheatabix in the morning (unwittingly, the only sustenance I would have for the next two days) at the weird little airport supermarket, dealt with crazy Ryanair rules (which I kicked ASS at, by the way), got to Pula, and was picked up by Ognjen Rađen, one of the coordinators of the conference. He gave me a tour of the area, and I was, as I tend to be in these sorts of situations, too nervous to ask questions or whip out my camera to take pictures. 

Of course, as soon as he let me into the house and left me to settle in, I went hog wild. This place is beautiful. I cannot even begin to describe in words, mostly just noises, but here’s what I’ve got on paper: two bedroom, one and a half bathroom upstairs, porches off the front and back doors, a balcony off my bedroom, which as well as my shower, has a view of the sea. Downstairs I have a kitchen and an entire library, plus a writing desk and a couch. 

No joke, I want to live here forever. It might be the perfect place. Here are some pictures!

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April 4, 2014

Gratitude

I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given here, that I was lucky enough to have been given this once in a lifetime experience. 

I am grateful for blue skies. 

I am grateful for the clerk at the market who knows I don’t speak Croatian (Ne govorim hvratski.), who cobbles together language with me, pieces of Italian and Spanish and Russian and Croatian and English to help build the sentence: “I would like olive oil, please?”

I am grateful for the cook at the neighborhood restaurant who came out of the kitchen to tell me what produce was fresh, who cooked me an incredible meal I won’t forget. 

I am grateful to the men at the next table over who warmed my heart by loving the toddler stumbling around the patio so much, it took me an hour to figure out which one was her actual dad. 

I am grateful for the English-speaking waiter at the restaurant who told me that if I have any questions about the area, I can come by any time and ask him.

I am grateful for the beautiful blue door to my house. 

I am grateful for my 5 AM love letters, the first things I see in the morning. 

I am grateful for rocky beaches and sandy shores. 

I am grateful for hills and Roman roads.

I am grateful that my smile is real again, for the first time in a long while. 

I am grateful for the new wrinkles around my eyes, that my outsides look closer to my insides. 

And I am grateful, after years of writing in a place where I felt nothing, that today is the first time in a long while that even though the words weren’t coming easily, I didn’t want to stop. 

April 3, 2014

Leaving America

Matt and I drove to Atlanta the day before my flight because I’m a notoriously anxious traveler. I tried not to cry; he told me it was okay to cry. One of us succeeded in our goal; the other didn’t. I’ll let you guess who was who. 

Here’s Nora, who, by the next morning, knew what was going on: 

image

In preparation for my connecting flight on Ryanair, which has crazy restrictive rules on flight behavior (luggage weight, visa checks, big fines, etc), I had to fit two months of life into a 22 pound bag. Here’s a picture of my boot next to my bag for reference:

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March 24, 2014

"They say we are a ghost town, but we are not all ghosts yet."

"Centralia, Pennsylvania"     Harpur Palate