Some Questions for Samantha Morgan

What inspired you to write “My First Funeral is Yours”?
It was maybe my second or third Creative Writing class, which I’m currently taking at LaGuardia, when my professor asked that we “Write what we can’t remember.” I felt perplexed by the whole notion of it. How can I write what I don’t remember? And so, I just thought back to a year, any old year, and that year–2009, ended up being the year my best friend died. It was interesting because she’d been recently popping back into my consciousness quite a bit, not sure why. It’s been over a decade since she passed. But anyway, I did my best to remember a day I could never really forget.

What was your writing process like for “My First Funeral is Yours”?
It took me no less than a few days to write this piece. This is not usually my process. I usually groan and moan, and stand up and pace, and leave a piece of writing for days or weeks or even months on end before finishing it. But for whatever reason, this piece came very naturally. The idea came from a prompt in class, and then when asked to write a memory from my body, I just decided to extend this piece into its fullness.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
COVID has both inspired me and bled me dry when it comes to not only my creative process, but my survival in general. The world has been going through a great trauma that we fail to name as such, and it weighs on us all whether we admit it or not. Times like these are both very inspiring and exhausting, because being up against death and war and disease are visceral fears we so often retreat from. It’s also true, whatever we retreat from usually has a wellspring of gifts lurking within its depths if we dare to dive in. Sometimes I dare, sometimes I just need a nap.

Read Samantha Morgan’s essay “My First Funeral is Yours.”