The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 24, 2013

MSU's Catt lands award, Good Thunder reading with arresting prose



In “On Saliva,” which is the piece Catt submitted for the Wright Award application, the author deftly interweaves an exhaustive informational dossier on spit with carnal recollections both degrading and empowering. 

Catt’s writing in all cases is naked, introspective and unwaveringly self-analytical. And though it may be hard for some readers not to look away, Catt said she does not censor herself and doesn’t bother with judgments.

“I don’t want to say I’m a gross person, but I like gross things,” she said hesitantly, chuckling a bit to soften the edges of what she’d say next: “I guess I kind of don’t care what people think about me.”

The care she shows for her writing, however, is evident.

Her voice is rhythmic, sometimes coming softly in measured cadence, other times delivering with blunt trauma. And her pieces read like ruminations on a theme, alternately unified and tangential, with very little scene-specific storytelling.

“I like shorter styles because they are more condensed,” Catt said. “The words have to be right on, the rhythms have to be right on.”

Writing primarily poetry and short essays, Catt has had her work published in a variety of literary journals. “On Saliva” will be published this fall in 1966: A Journal of Creative Nonfiction; her latest work, “Dirty Panty Factory,” is forthcoming in the The Pinch Literary Journal.

For examples of her work, visit

More about Alan Davis

Davis was raised in New Orleans and holds degrees from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and the University of Denver. He teaches now in the MFA programs at Fairfield University and Minnesota State University-Moorhead, where he is also a Senior Editor at New Rivers Press. His recent book of stories, “So Bravely Vegetative,” won the Prize Americana for Fiction.

His two previous short story collections both won the Minnesota Voices Project competition. He has also won two Fulbright awards, the Loft-McKnight Award of Distinction in Creative Prose, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship.


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