They Vampire Nights

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Artist’s Statement: When I’m not writing—when I cannot trick or connive a story into my hand-and-travel-stained notebook—too often, I punish myself with self-loathing and booze until I once again remember: there is more than one way to tell a story. I’m most comfortable with words, but comfort has always felt too close to laziness, which likely makes it all the more important to risk the gesture of telling stories with images, sound, movement, and light to work in the unfamiliar and learn something new or forgotten. On the page, “They Vampire Nights” reads with detachment, and so as a consequence feels mean, or at the very least lacking in love. As a narrated video of collaged found footage, the story for me translates unexpectedly dream-like and tender, a difference made not through manipulating the language but by changing the presentation. So the story exists as more than one story. Which, extrapolated, means that every story is a multitude. It feels vital, to again and again make this discovery in the midst of a private quagmire.

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About Author

Douglas W. Milliken is the author of the novel To Sleep as Animals and several chapbooks, most recently the collection Cream River and the forthcoming pocket-sized edition One Thousand Owls Behind Your Chest. His stories have been honored by the Maine Literary Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and Glimmer Train, and have been published in Slice, the Collagist, and the Believer, among others. www.douglaswmilliken.com

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