Five by 5×5: Laura Stanfill



Laura Stanfill is the publisher behind the Portland based, indie tour-de-force, Forest Avenue Press.  She was a 2018 resident at The Mineral School  (Worthy aside, if you haven’t checked Mineral out, what are you even doing?) Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Passengers Journal, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Stonecoast Review, Longridge Review, The Nasiona, and the print anthologies Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 (Central Avenue), Ink (Hippocampus), and The Untold Gaze (O’Donnell/Little). Her zine Sad House: Parenting During a Crisis is forthcoming from Microcosm. She believes in indie bookstores and wishes on them like stars.

And now!! Laura takes five for 5×5, where we throw exactly five questions at slightly-unprepared literary kinfolk at lightening speed! Bam! Let’s see what happens!


1. How do you know when a piece is done?

LS: It slips off center stage in my brain.

2. Do your prolific writing periods coincide with your prolific reading periods?

LS: They’re opposite, but they propel each other. Kind of like a see-saw.

3. Have you ever judged a book by its cover?

LS: That’s my favorite way to browse at independent bookstores—letting covers call me. Midway through a book, my judgment shifts to whether the cover reflects the actual content.

4. Do you have any rituals set up for when you write?

LS: Lately I’ve been wearing a silver anklet dotted with tiny hearts and bells. It jingles when I shift positions at my desk. I can’t quite remember if my childhood friend Priya bought it for me or encouraged me to get it. Maybe she had a matching one. There’s something about not quite remembering the details that speaks to storytelling. In April, Priya lost her life to COVID-19 complications, so I can’t ask her.

5. What’s the name of the brick wall you’ve run your writerly head into most?

LS: I always make things more complicated than they need to be, especially when it comes to novels.


Check out Laura’s piece in the Rumpus here.

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