Metastasis Contributor Interview: Sara Cleto

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeSara Cleto is today’s participant in the series of Metastasis contributor interviews I’ve been hosting here on my blog. Sara’s poem, “A Hunter Reflects Upon the Properties of Sunlight, and Also of Ashes, is just one of several pieces from this anthology which touched on sunlight (Cat Jenkin‘s story “Like Sunlit Honey” being the most obvious other example). It was a theme I wasn’t expecting to find as I read submissions, but at the same time, it wasn’t surprising either. Which is not to say that Sara’s poem or Cat’s story are without surprises, because that would be a lie. I’m going to stop rambling now so we can hear what Sara has to say:

Who or what was the inspiration for your story in Metastasis?

Despite my lifelong fascination with vampires–my favorite novel is Robin McKinley’s Sunshine, and my first academic article discusses Gothic vampires– I’d never written anything creative about them because vampiric literature can veer very quickly towards the cliche. The prompt for Metastasis offered an opportunity to invoke vampires in a really unconventional way, and once I made a connection between sunlight, cancer, and vampires, I knew exactly how my poem would unfold.
How has cancer touched your life?
Both my mother and my maternal grandmother have survived cancer. They faced illness with incredible bravery and grace, and my poem is dedicated to their strength. My partner’s extraordinary grandfather passed earlier this month after his own battle with cancer, and I don’t yet have the words to talk about it.
Not counting your own, which story or poem in Metastasis is your favourite?
Beth Cato’s poem “Hunter” just about broke my heart with its magic, sweetness, and sadness.
Sara CletoSara Cleto is a PhD Student at the Ohio State University, where she explores folklore, literature, and the places where they intersect. She spends most of her time reading, writing, and teaching her students about fairy tales and the supernatural. Her creative work can be found in Cabinet des Fees: Scheherazade’s Bequest, Ideomancer, Nightblade, and others.

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