Last week I sat beside a picture window in a lakeside rental cabin in rural Pennsylvania, and, as the morning sunlight spilled over my keyboard, signed a contract giving the Michigan Quarterly Review/ MQR Online permission to publish one of my essays. It’s a beautiful feeling to see my work recognized. Does it make me feel like I “leveled up” as a writer? No. I “level up” only when I produce new work. That will, always and forever, be the thing that gives me the most joy.
I’ve been following Brooklyn photographer Andre Wagner on Instagram for a while now. I don’t remember how I found him, but I think his photos are spectacular. Much of what he posts are high contrast, black and white photos he’s taken of humans being human. When I describe his photos to friends, I call it street photography, but to me, the photos are so much more than that. When I look at his photographs, I feel a connection to each one of his subjects. He has a book, too.